Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird

22907938.jpgTo Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
narrated by Sissy Soacek
(classic fiction)

IMO, this is a classic but not a keeper. I’m glad to have read it. But having done so, I’m now done with it. It’s a fascinating character study. It’s a good picture of a point in American history. But do I love it? No. Did it shock me? No. In some ways it didn’t even interest me. I am glad a plot finally showed up toward the end, but its pacing and hard to locate plot activity did remind me of other classic books (Tom Sawyer, Jane Austen novels, etc) where the characters are the focus instead of the actual events.

Yes, yes, there was a plot and wasn’t it shocking that the trial was racially prejudiced and the white lawyer was treated poorly by some of the townsfolk for defending the black man. Meh. I live in the US. I know how my countrymen are. Frankly, if anything, I’m a little surprised at HOW Tom died, not that he did. I fully expected a lynching.

Is this a classic book? Yes.
Is it worth reading? Yes.
Do I like it? No, but neither do I dislike it.

It has some neat descriptions, and some good concepts, but it isn’t worth the hype it gets. If you haven’t read it, you probably should. It’s good. It’s worth reading. But I’m glad I read a library copy.

(Side note: I listened to the audio version narrated by Sissy Spacek. I’m glad I did. I think it would have been a slog to read on my own, and I may have DNF’d it due to boredom with the slow pacing.)

Rating: 3 stars


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