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  1. #1
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    Go Set a Watchman/To Kill a Mockingbird

    I don't plan to speculate or provide spoilers.

    I have my own opinions about this whole event and I know that feelings are strong. To Kill a Mockingbird is a book that means a great deal to me, and I do have Go Set a Watchman on pre-order.

    I just want to say, for those who are following the impending release, that the first chapter as an excerpt is now available on The Guardian's website and also the Wall Street Journal.

  2. #2
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    With all the publicity and marketing push they’ll inevitably sell a lot of books. However, I wonder if Harper Lee had wanted the book released why she didn’t do so years ago. I know people have spoken with her and said she supports the release, but it still gives me pause. Oh, and yes I will probably read the new book.

  3. #3
    Forum Member binje's Avatar
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    I'm an oddball in that I am about the only liberal southerner I know who does not cite To Kill a Mockingbird as having some sort of defining impact on my young adulthood. I liked it just fine and read it without complaint as assigned reading sometime in junior high (I'm an avid reader but I have always rebelled against required reading, not matter how good it might be). I thought it was a good story. With all of the recent kerfluffle, I plan to read it again. I have mixed feelings about Go Set A Watchman, but if TKAM inspires me, I may well add it to my reading list. It's a durned long list, though.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    I'm re-reading TKAM right now and have the next book on pre-order as well.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Forum Member bermudajes's Avatar
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    To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all-time favorite books and has impacted me in different ways at different stages of my life. I wish this new book was being released under less questionable circumstances, and I feel a bit conflicted about supporting it, but I can't imagine not reading it.
    kindness is contagious.

  6. #6
    I work here at TOM BIHN
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    When I started following the news about Harper Lee and the impending publication of her old/new book, I realized I had never read To Kill A Mockingbird (seen and loved the movie). A friend recommended the Audible audio version with Sissy Spacek reading, and now I too cannot recommend it too highly. I'm so glad I did not read it in high school - I'm pretty sure I was far too cynical to have appreciated it as much as I did just now: my heart sank and soared, and yes I even cried. Sissy Spacek's voice as Scout was perfect, and her reading was the lemon-sugar frosting on Harper Lee's delicious language. Go Set a Watchman is on my Audible wish list and I'll get it as soon as it's out; I'm hoping Reese Witherspoon treats it as well as Sissy Spacek did To Kill A Mockingbird.

  7. #7
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    The NYT review is out. I'm not sure I will read GSAW; I think TKAM is perfect and I don't wish for an alternate version of the characters either from the book or the movie. Though, the review does single out some of the passages about Scout as an adult that sound lovely, and I wish I could read them as standalones. I guess it is like deciding whether to see the screen adaptation of a beloved novel - same names but potentially different treatment.
    Last edited by haraya; 07-11-2015 at 07:18 AM.

  8. #8
    Forum Member threeteez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bihn View Post
    I'm hoping Reese Witherspoon treats it as well as Sissy Spacek did To Kill A Mockingbird.
    The first chapter is offered both as a written excerpt and an audio version online via The Guardian if you wish to hear a snippet in advance. Go Set A Watchman: read the first chapter - interactive | Books | The Guardian

    Nothing against Reese Witherspoon, but I think it would've been interesting and cohesive to repeat using Sissy Spacek for the reading of GSAW. Several years ago, I saw Ms. Spacek shopping in Short Pump near Richmond, but not wanting to intrude, I didn't tell her how much I enjoyed her rendition of TKAM. Recently she was also terrific as the matriarch in Netflix's Bloodline.

  9. #9
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    I tried audio books a long time ago - did not warm to it. I may try TKAM audio. Maybe follow along reading my book.

    Thanks for the reminder. I will need to locate and dust off my copy of the book.

  10. #10
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    An interesting perspective on why this new take on a character might be an appropriate protagonist for these times we live in. (There's an overview of the storyline, though no outright spoilers that I can see without actually having read the book - so if you want to go in without knowing anything at all, best to skip this one.)

  11. #11
    Forum Member sujo's Avatar
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    @haraya - Thanks for the link. That is very interesting and the article makes a lot of sense.

    Also, with all the hoopla about Go Set a Watchman, I think it is important to remember that it was the novel Harper Lee wanted published originally but the publishers at the time did not. They wanted something else. So, I can see why she might want GSAW published. It was the story she wanted to tell from the start. And the way it went down all those years ago might be why she didn't want to publish anything else. "Here's my story, Mr. Publisher." "This is nice Ms. Harper, but I don't thing so. Completely re-write it into something else, then we'll talk."

    I plan to read the new one.
    Last edited by sujo; 07-16-2015 at 07:58 AM.

  12. #12
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    Here is some additional insight on Harper Lee and "To Kill a Mockingbird" / "Go Set a Watchman":

    "While Some Are Shocked by ‘Go Set a Watchman,’ Others Find Nuance in a Bigoted Atticus Finch"
    by Alexandra Alter The New York Times July 11, 2015


    It appears that "Watchman" was Ms. Lee's original manuscript, written as a more hard-hitting book about the early Civil Rights era (1950s) directly. Her editor persuaded her to write a second manuscript focusing in on a young jean-Louise "Scout" Finch. ("Scout" was Lee's fictional adaptation of herself; Atticus was her adaptation of her father, attorney A.C. Lee; apparently the elder Mr. Lee had attended some kind of white supremacist meeting or meetings and this upset Ms. Lee.) The second manuscript, a prequel of sorts, was set in the 1930s. This second manuscript became "To Kill a Mockingbird". It looks to me as if Ms. Lee, and/or her publisher, decided that the time is right for the "original" since-unpublished "Watchman" story. In light of the recent church massacre and the resulting furor over the Confederate Battle flag, they may be right.

    Not surprisingly, there has been at least one editorial on the Huffington Post welcoming this new story.
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    npr's Code Switch blog has a similar perspective.
    'Go Set A Watchman' Is A Revelation On Race, Not A Disappointment : Code Switch : NPR

    I was set on not reading it, but now I'm waffling a bit.

  14. #14
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    For those who haven't finished the book or want a hint as to what happens...


    SPOILER ALERT************ Don't scroll down and read if you don't want to know one of the important plot points.







    "Rosebud is a sled." Smilie (I knew you'd look.)

    Did you really think I would spoil the pleasure of reading a book. I hate it when people, and reviewers, do that.

    Now...can you reference my quote above?
    Last edited by Frank II; 07-16-2015 at 01:18 PM.
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    "Rosebud is a sled." Smilie (I knew you'd look.) ... Now...can you reference my quote above?
    Citizen Kane?
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

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