To Kill A Mockingbird: 50th Anniversary Edition: 60th Anniversary Edition Paperback – Special Edition, 24 June 2010
|Paperback, Special Edition, 24 June 2010||
Loose Leaf, Import
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There is humour as well as tragedy in this book, besides its faint note of hope for human nature; and it is delightfully written, Sunday Times
No one ever forgets this book, Independent
One of the best novels I remember ... uniquely unsentimental, Guardian
Her book is lifted … into the rare company of those that linger in the memory, Bookman
About the Author
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- Item Weight : 171 g
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780099549482
- ISBN-13 : 978-0099549482
- Product Dimensions : 11 x 11 x 17.8 cm
- Publisher : RHUK (24 June 2010)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0099549484
- Best Sellers Rank: #147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from India
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But finally I had a chance of reading this and reading after this I felt like I would give more stars than possible .
The patience is utter key in the book. The way every character progress , the way harper Lee have developed each character it's real more than fiction.
It's written from a little girl's point of view but has amazing thoughts for everyone. Even after being written so many years ago, it still has some very relevant lessons for everyone, there is something for everyone in it! Definitely one of the #mustread books.
Here are some of my favourite #quotes from the book:
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."
"People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for."
"There are just some kind of men who-who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results."
Worth spending time. a gentle feel-good story. Reminds the friendship which we have lost while growing up.
Great way of telling how a father can influence his child, not by advising but by setting an example.
Covers the problem of blacks in that era.
No need to talk about the book because we know it is a canon of English literature and you need to read it.
And this edition is the best one out there I've seen.
Specifically mentioning that there are two covers which is not at all usual, like really.
For me it was first book to own with two covers,
The white blossom all over the cover with this bird it looks very different, stands out and definitely if you take it out you'll get compliments.
But as always I am not satisfied with the paper quality, vintage Publishers do this almost every time, I don't know why this but the paper is so thin and light that I feel I should not turn it (just kidding but really it is not what I expect from a big Publisher)
Vintage Publishers mostly make books with gorgeous covers, so you need ti check them out.
That's it for today.
Happy reading, happy Collecting
Set in the era of 1930, the events take place in a small sleepy place named as Maycomb. The protagonist of the book is 6 years-old Jean Louise ‘Scout’ Finch. She lives with her widowed father Atticus Finch, older brother Jem Finch and her black cook Calpurnia.
Atticus is the lawyer and man of the rules; He is a calm man with great wisdom. He always tries to up bring his children in the moralized way. Due to his unbiased and dutiful behavior, he is the man who is respected by all.
Scout and Jem have a very good bond. One summer, they befriended a boy Dill, from his neighborhood and they tried to sneak peek in the supposed haunted house of Boo Radley. Many times, Scout and Jem found various small gifts in the knothole of the tree near the Radley’s house. They also created a play on Boo Radley, which was shut by Atticus telling them that try to see the life of people from another person’s point of view.
On the other side, Atticus has taken the case of Negro Tom Robinson. Those were the days when the racism was on the peak. Atticus, Scout, and Jem faced many hateful comments from the people. Tom was accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell. Ewell is the infamous family in the county.
In spite of presenting sufficient evidence in defense of Tom, the white jury convicted Tom. Atticus knew what will be the result but he tried his best to save Tom. Scout and Jem have witnessed all the proceedings in court and the decision literally shook Jem.
Is this the ending of racism unsettling in Maycomb? What is the truth behind Tom’s conviction? Is Ewell happy with the court decision? Who is Boo Radley and how the kids going to meet him? Read this book to know further.
Top reviews from other countries
Firstly, even though I was always an avid reader, when To Kill A Mockingbird was published it managed to pass me by. It wasn’t being read by my peers and any stir that the film had created was already dwindling by the time I reached the age group to which the book seemed to be appealing. Secondly, it is a book that seems to be better known these days for the film version than for its own merit, which is a shame. The 1962 film depiction, while creditable, is very narrow in its take on the story, focusing on the trial of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman. I’ll return to that later. Finally, of course, there are whole generations of people who will not have read the book (or seen the film) as it tends to be contemporary books that are read, while older works are mainly gathering dust on library shelves.
The plot covers many aspects of life in Alabama in the mid 1930s, as seen through the eyes of the protagonist Scout, or Jean Louise Finch to call her by her real name. The nickname is never explained. At the start of the story Scout is 6 years old, two years younger than Harper Lee would have been at this time. She is joined in her adventures by her older brother Jem (Jeremy) and a neighbour’s visiting nephew Dill (Charles Baker Harris). The book is not only a depiction of who two races see each other, it is also how different groups within the white race view each other and an early issue raised is about white poverty during the Depression.
It later emerged that Dill was loosely based on Harper Lee’s real life neighbour Truman Capote, another novelist also recently deceased.
Scout’s father is lawyer Atticus Finch who is also a member of the State Legislature and a much respected member of the community – at least at the start of the book. In real life Harper Lee grew up in Alabama and her father was a lawyer who became caught up in a rape case similar to that featured in the book. Harper Lee may also have been influenced by the trials, in Alabama, of the Scottsboro Boys, concerning the rape of two white women by nine black teenagers. The trials took place in 1931 the original trials are now generally regarded as significant miscarriages of justice.
We join Scout at the start of her schooling where we discover that she is a precocious child, already able to read and write. Some might describe her as old beyond her years. The story then takes us through three years of her life, including the period of the trial and its aftermath.
The use of Scout as the narrator is a very useful tool. As a child she is automatically considered to be naïve, which allows her to ask questions that no adult would think to ask, or maybe dare to ask. This is useful for the reader as the answers usually come from Atticus so we get to know him very well. They are more often avoided if asked of the other adult characters. We can feel Scout’s confusion as she is told by her first grade teacher not to read at home because she’s been taught to read “the wrong way”, which is one of the first narrow minded adult issues she has to deal with.
During the first half of the book black people are barely mentioned. Calpurnia, the Finch’s cook/housekeeper, is black but is very much a part of the Finch family, carrying much of the burden of Scout and Jem’s upbringing to that point. Scout’s mother died when she was quite young and was almost unknown to Scout. Apart from that we hear nothing much about the black community of Maycomb County, as though they are invisible. This is entirely intentional, of course. Black people and white people just didn’t mix. Scout lives in a white neighbourhood, so almost the only black people she ever sees are domestic servants such as Calpurnia and those such as Zeebo, the garbage truck driver, who has to come into the area as part of his duties. She never encounters the majority of the black community who work on the land.
Most of the first part of the story is about the three children and their adventures which, despite the passage of time, are not really any different from those that I enjoyed as a child and which many children still enjoy. In one sub-plot they are much taken by the mysterious figure of their reclusive neighbour, Boo Radley, and spend much of their time devising ways to tempt him from his house.
Later the story turns to the trial of Tom Robinson and we discover some things that the film doesn’t make clear. The first is that Atticus didn’t willingly take on Tom’s defence. He is appointed to it by the County Court judge. The judge’s choice is deliberate of course, he wants Tom to have the best defence possible and Atticus is the man who will deliver that, but we are left with the interesting question: “Would Atticus have taken the case of his own accord?”
The reason I ask this is because the film makes Atticus appear very liberal, almost a man of the future. I think the book shows us a different man. He was liberal by the standards of many of his peers, there is no doubt of that but would he, for example, have voted for John F Kennedy or Barak Obama? I’m not convinced. He believed in justice for all and the equality of all men before the law, but that is not the same as being liberal.
The film also omits some characters who have a considerable influence on Scout, those of Aunt Alexandra and Miss Dubose, for example. I can see the need for the Director of the film to be selective in what sections of the plot are included and which left out, but those decisions are what makes the book superior to the film. I actually rented the film to watch so that I could make those sorts of comparisons for this review.
In the run up to the trial the town is abuzz with gossip and divided in its attitude towards Atticus. Most people recognise that Atticus is just doing his job, but others regard his behaviour as showing favour to black people over white, which was unthinkable. Scout is regularly taunted at school over this matter and is not slow to take up arms in her father’s defence (be prepared for many uses of the “N” word).
This is where the story becomes so contentious, because white attitudes towards black people were just starting to be challenged openly in 1960 when the book was published. Rosa Parks took her famous bus ride in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955 and the book was published only 5 years before the civil rights marches protesting about black people not being allowed to register to vote in Alabama, despite it being their legal right to do so.
It is of course impossible for Tom Robinson to get a fair trial from an all-white jury in Alabama in the 1930s, so Tom is duly convicted despite there being more than a little doubt over the evidence presented by the two key prosecution witnesses, Bob Ewell and his daughter Mayella, the supposed victim of the rape. Indeed it is key to later events that the pair are shown up to be liars, but that isn’t enough to sway the jury. Indeed Tom is more than a little lucky not to have been lynched before the matter even got to trial.
It could be argued convincingly that it is still hard for a black person to get a fair trial in Alabama, even 80 years after the events depicted in this book, which makes the book as relevant today as it was then.
However, the period in which this book is set is crucial to the way it is told. The last surviving Alabama veteran of the Confederate Army still lived in the town. The parents of most of the characters and some of the older characters, such as Miss Dubose, will have grown up in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, which left two communities struggling to makes sense of what had happened to their way of life. This will have doubtless had a profound effect on the way the white community viewed the black, while the black community discovered that being free was not the same as being equal.
So, is this book still relevant in 2016? I would say it is.
Why have I only given this book four stars? After all, it was seen as one of the great works of the 20th century. Well, it is somewhat dated. I think that if Harper Lee were writing it today (if she were still alive to do so) she would take a whole new approach to get her message across. It is also a matter of expectations. We shouldn’t try to judge the past on the basis of our values in the present. As Atticus Finch himself says, if we want to know a person we have to put on his shoes and walk around in them for a while. If we wish to judge the present then we have a whole lot of new evidence available on which to base our opinions.
Do I recommend the book? Of course I do. My only regret is that I didn’t read it much earlier in my life.
I quite enjoyed this book. I won't bother telling you what it's about, you either already know or have read some other reviews who have gone into detail about the story.
The cover is beautiful which is an added plus.
Side note: don't bother with Go Set A Watchman. It's not good and changes the opinion of Scout's dad. Plus Harper Lee was not in the position to publish another book. She wrote it before Mockingbird. It was turned down and that's when she made Mocking bird. The draft for Watchman was found by her lawyer and the money grabber published it. Harper Lee had previously (while she was able to) said she didn't want to publish Watchman and that Mockingbird was to be her only published book.
So by all means, enjoy this book but don't buy Watchman.
To Kill a Mockingbird focuses on that gut instinct of right and wrong, and distinguishes it from just following the law. Even the titular quote: "Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird" is in itself an allegory for this message. Being in itself a generic message, the idea of 'doing what's right' obviously has a different meaning depending on when and where you're reading the book. If you take 1960, when the book was written, America was in a state of ethical development as social inequality was - very - gradually being overcome. Women's rights and black rights movements were beginning to emerge and some campaigned through violence. Would Atticus Finch condone this?
I never read To Kill A Mocking Bird at school so sort to right that wrong. It's regarded as a classic and fully deserves its credentials. It's at once a product of its time but also light years ahead of it.
The world has changed greatly since its firsy publication but the wrongs and attitudes within still sadly prevail.
This earth needs more people like Atticus Finch and I for one shall endeavour to follow on good footsteps.