To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird discussion

Am I the only one...

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message 1: by Rebecca (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:52AM) (new)

Rebecca who was underwhelmed by this book?

message 2: by ashwini (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:53AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

ashwini no, i was too. Even when I read it in the 8th grade.

message 3: by Michael (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:53AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Michael Fennelly Wow. What were the odds that the two people in the world who didn't find this book moving and brilliant would wind up posting on the same site? This book is so good - the film version is brilliant too. How often does that happen?

message 4: by Brandon (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:53AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Brandon i like how every comment on this post makes a claim and there is no support anywhere...

message 5: by Christopher (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:53AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christopher How can you not fall in love with Scout?

message 6: by teal (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

teal precisely christopher. how can you not fall in love with the characters? all the characters in the book no matter how "wrong" they are, they are well written, well thought out, and they all make the story very complete. it left me very entertained and i guess b/c of my roots i felt very connected to the era and characters.

message 7: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laura I remember reading this book when I was in 8th grade. I remember how the story development of the characters were beautifully developed. Even though many years have passed I can still remember details of the book. For example, the soap dolls in the tree. I would place specifics, but its hard when you don't own the book and have not read it in a long time.

message 8: by Sawsan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sawsan personally i thought it was brilliant, and actually too overwhelming for 8-9th grade. i didn't appreciate it then but i've read it a couple of times since ...its actually profound in the way that it teaches family values, equality, compassion, justice, etc...Scout is a great character - not to mention Atticus,...gotta love the passionate attorney

message 9: by Fuzz (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fuzz Sorry to hear that there are people out there who didn't like this book. Having read it when i was younger (like most folks), i too found it to teach quite a few moral lessons. While i reread it constantly, there is no need because i can still recall the novel almost word for word. Any book that sticks in someones head like that has to be one of the best.

message 10: by Maita (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maita this book had a huge impact on my life when I read it in junior high. It still does. one of my favorites

message 11: by Beth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Beth This is definitely one of the masterpieces of modern American literature. The fact that the film (Gregory Peck is brilliant as Atticus) is as good as the novel is incredible! It is always a revelation to re-read TKMB & see the film.

message 12: by Joy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joy There's a New Yorker article ripping this book up and down. I kind of see where the author of the article is coming from but I adore this book. I read it again a few years ago and still believe its one of the few books in the running for "Greatest American Novel."

message 13: by lucke1984 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:56AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

lucke1984 I too was underwhelmed by this book. I think it was probably the morals that ruined it for me.
The literary moments that have touched me most are those that have revealed (or reinforced my pre-existing belief in) the falsity of morality. Even in 7th grade I guess.

message 14: by Kaye (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kaye I thought this was a rather brilliant novel. Actually, the whole thing blew my mind. The surface of it seems so simple and innocent, but the intricacies that go on between the lines are so precise and deep. I was drawn in immediately.
I think this is one of my favorite books. ^^ For sure.

message 15: by Megan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Megan Bettis Agreed. Everytime you read it, it gets better and better.

message 16: by Bradley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:57AM) (new)

Bradley To Kill A Mockingbird is The Great American Novel...and if I might guess, its importance will become refreshed in the Neo-Romantic vein of contemporary fiction that is arising now. And those who disagree, well, seem to have quite a lot of juvenile literature in their repertoire. This is a commendable book both in theme and style.

message 17: by Dominic (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:57AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dominic hahaha just because it's a well written book doesn't mean you have to like it. and also just because someone has juvenile books doesn't mean they necessarily liked them. But yeah, i totally agree it's a well written book, just sometimes certain books don't rub you the right way. I don't think the people who didn't like the book are saying that it's a horrible book or that it shouldn't be so famous, rather that it wasn't appealing to their personal tastes.

and come on, let's not be so serious here. this is supposed to be fun.

message 18: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new)

Jessica it was fascinating to read this in 8th grade because my mother had raised me on the (paraphrased) Atticus quote: Atticus was the same man in the middle of the street in the noon-day sun as he was at night in his home. It's not that dramatic in the book, but I was very interested to actually read about the man who my mother had always held up as a paragon.

message 19: by JG (Introverted Reader) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

JG (Introverted Reader) I'm very fortunate because I was never told to read this book in school. I found it on my own sometime in high school and absolutely fell in love with it. It's still one of my top five books. Maybe even top two. Had I been "forced" to read it, I would probably have hated it. English was always one of my favorite subjects, but I can recall only one or two books that I had to read for class that I actually enjoyed. I guess I'm just rebellious enough to want to decide for myself which books are classics and which aren't. This one definitely qualifies on so many levels. I love the characters and the story. I also love that it points out wrongs in our society in a way that leaves you thinking but without getting too "preachy." This is just an all around wonderful book.

message 20: by Meg (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meg Egitto I am still eagerly awaiting her next book.

message 21: by Dana (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dana I taught 9th grade English for several years and this was one of the books I taught. I loved it more every time I read it.

Waiting for her next book. Good one. :-)

message 22: by Amelia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new)

Amelia What I think is really striking about this book is how unusual it is. It is a novel but it has the striking clarity of the best non-fiction. The detail is peculiar and poignant. The voice is extremely intriguing. I can understand why people may not care for this work. It's strange and striking all at once. I admit, I admire it immensely. I wish Lee had written more or would publish something now.

message 23: by Thuy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:59AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Thuy This book was superbly written and is wayyyy ahead of its time. My thoughts were, how can anyone not love Atticus? A man like that is almost too good to be true!!!

message 24: by Cathy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:59AM) (new)

Cathy Just like you said - this book is so well written. No matter what, it deserves high marks for that alone.

message 25: by Trina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:01AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Trina Martinez I also read this book in the ninth grade but it was simply for my enjoyment. I loved it then and I love it now.

message 26: by Rebecca (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:02AM) (new)

Rebecca I've read it several times... on my own... for high school and in a children's lit class in college. To me it is "just ok." I think the story itself is a good idea, it just wasn't written well to me. I feel like this story and these characters were almost wasted... that they could have been so much more.

Like I said in my review, I know there are people who enjoy this writing style... I'm just not one of them.

To me, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry succeeds where this book failed.

message 27: by nadia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:05AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

nadia i came back from spring break, 8th grade. TKAM was a reading assignment. My english teacher asked me how i liked it, and when i shrugged my shoulders, she was devastated. what is wrong with me? i will try again.

message 28: by Jonelle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:06AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jonelle I think this book is definitely a 'right time' book--you've got to read it at the right time to have it hit you with any sort of impact. But it is also a book that when you read it at different times in your life, you see very different themes and moving scenes, or your character identification alters with your own age and family situations. I think I first read the book as one sympathetic to Scout or Dill. Then later, I saw more of the Tom and Mayella tragdy. Now, I really see the size and grandness of Atticus and Miss Maudie. But I always love Boo.

Give it another chance--I know there are some tedious passages about the South or Finch family history, but it is definitely a book to revisit more than just twice in your life.

message 29: by Jackie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:40AM) (new)

Jackie Its those "tedious" passages about the South and the Finch family that made me love it. I recently discovered the book and it was like a glimpse at my own childhood - the way children were treated, the way they were expected to treat adults. It was a joy and Cissy Spacek's audio version was wonderful.

message 30: by Katie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:43AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Katie Why don't you try reading it again at your age now!

message 31: by Rosa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosa i concur. gregory peck was excellent

message 32: by Ralph (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ralph Good point, JG. I'm glad I was never forced (or assigned) to read it. I discovered it on my own and think it's a wonderful book - also in my top two or three novels. And if you haven't read it since 7th or 8th grade, try it again - maybe your tastes have changed and you will love it as many others do. A true classic, never out of print, and our great-grandchildren will be enjoying it in years to come.

message 33: by Erin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:18PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin I, like others, never had to read this book in high school or college, but I read it myself and I can honestly say it is one of my favorite novels. Atticus Finch is one of the best characters in American Literature. Read the book, then watch the film, which is so well done. I think you will find a new appreciation for it. Give it another chance, I promise it gets better every time!

message 34: by Rosa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rosa This book is definitely in my top ten of all time.
Atticus Finch may be to some too good to be true, but in my heart I hope there were and are people out there who try to do the right thing in the face of all adversity. The world would be hopeless otherwise. Atticus Finch gave me hope.

message 35: by Amber (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:57PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amber I was also not impressed by it. It had been hyped up for years before we actually read it in school.

I enjoyed it, but it wasn't the greatest novel I've ever read.

message 36: by Sheryl (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sheryl One of my favorite books.

message 37: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:11PM) (new)

Tiffany I read this book a couple of years ago, never in school, but only after my husband just kept talking about it. He even had a copy left over from school. While I enjoyed the story, I too do not see what the hype was all about. It was a good story, but not a life changing read. Sorry for those who swear by it, but that's what's great about this country and opinions. If we were all the same and read the same stuff, life would be boring!

message 38: by Kristine (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:35PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kristine My favorite Scout quote: "Pass the damn ham." She's a gem!

Kristin perhaps there are now 3 of us here underwhelmed by this book. while the characters are burned into the national psyche, harper lee had a suspicious one hit wonder.

Jason perhaps you didnt take into account the historical context while reading it.

Becca Becca I'd be interested in reading the article. Do you have a link?

Cheryl S. Me too--but I don't think it's gonna happen.


Cheryl S. Hi Rebecca--

Please tell me a little bit more about "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry".


Monelle I thought this was an okay book when I read it in school (whatever age that was) but I just reread it now, and I'm amazed at the flow of it. Great books feel like they were born, not created, and to me this qualifies. I loved that even though it's a "coming of age" story, Jem is the one who changes, not the narrator/main character, Scout. Also, the court-room drama is not the central event of the book--at the end of the day, it's not about racism and hate. It's about the eternal wonder of a child and the ability of a man who's been beaten down by life retaining the ability to love and help "his" children.

Meels Books are rarely as good when they are "assigned reading".

I'm in the "love it" camp. It has been such a long time since I have read it, you have inspired me to get it out an have another go...thanks!

Sandi When I was growing up, my mother got the Reader's Digest Condensed Books. I would read abridged novels out of them all the time. I read "To Kill a Mockingbird" in the condensed version when I was in 3rd grade. At that age, I identified very closely with Scout. The key ideas of justice and prejudice really affected me. It taught me that we should judge people by what they do, not by their social status, color or mental capacity. It taught me how harmful gossip can be. At the ripe old age of 8, I had no idea what the trial was about. That's something that came with a later reading in adulthood, when I passed the book on to my 6th grade daughter. I'm trying to get my son to read it, but he's just into fantasy and historical fiction.

message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

To Kristin,

It is, of course, your right not to like a book - for any reason. But please, do yourself a favor and find out precisely WHY Harper Lee is a "one hit wonder." Try googling her, and find out why the second book never came out. I think you'll be quite surprised.

message 48: by Nan (new)

Nan The Great This is the first book I read that made me want to write.

message 49: by Malia (new)

Malia I have heard about the book but have never read it. I have gotten the impression that there is a killing in it and I don't want to read about blood and guts or rapes, etc. Have I gotten the wrong impression of this book? Is it not graphic? I'm not even 100% sure what it's about. Any help please, especially if there are any graphic scenes. Thanks.

message 50: by [deleted user] (new)


Yes, there is killing in the book. To tell if there is a rape is to give away a large portion of the plot. Regarding "blood and guts," the worst of that is the killing of a rabid dog early on.

In terms of being "graphic," no, not really. The "graphics" to which you refer are a part of our history of the South, which should be more enlightening than "frightening to read about."

This is a mulit-faceted book, which I do not believe one can recommend based on the particular scenes which might - and should - bother a person. But...this is a book about a man of morality who never wavers - whether as a father, friend or attorney.

Also, please remember when this book was written. It is not like more modern fiction, where there is talk of "blood spatter" and the like - far from it. CSI it is not.

To answer your specific question, I believe that you are afraid of the "courtroom" drama. Not to give anything away, but Atticus Finch, our hero, decides to defend a black man accused of raping a white woman.

I believe you do yourself a disservice to NOT read this book. It is not gory or bloody, but, rather, beautiful. Saying you don't want to read this book because of the factors you stated is akin to saying that you don't want to learn about Marie Antoinette because she is beheaded.

This is a book of love, surprises, and first-rate writing. Give it 30-40 pages. Then make your decision. I hope you will continue it to the end, as it is, I believe, one of the best-written stories with characters who will steal your heart.

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