Saturday, May 12, 2018

#604 : To Kill A Mocking Bird By Harper Lee : Review


BOOK TITLE:To Kill A Mockingbird

ISBN: 0061120081


AUTHOR: Harper Lee


GENRE: Literature


NUMBER OF PAGES:  324


FORMAT: Digital (E-Pub)


SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone


REVIEW BY: Shree Janani


HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: One of my Goodreads friends challenged me that I would stop hating classics if I read this book and I decided to humour him ! Found the book in iBooks.


REVIEW:

I started hating classics after reading Tess of the d'Urbervilles. The boring classic narration drove me to a reader's block. I couldn't pick up any other book for at least a month. Since then I started hating classics and didn't read any more. Until my goodreads friend challenged me to read it.


I should admit, this book broke my “I won't read classics” stance.


The story is narrated by Scout Finch. Scout is a typical tomboy who adores her father and prefers wearing overalls to a frock. The kind of a character I can really relate to. It's this coming of age kind of story where a white man being a Black's lawyer (Tom Robinson's lawyer) is initially frowned upon. But when the whole town realizes that the black man (who is accused of Rape of a white girl) is actually innocent, perspectives change.

The whole white vs. black drama is beautifully written. The actual “Hero” of the book would no doubt be Atticus. For someone who has no idea of the extent of White vs. Black conflicts (Being Indian, I am a “Brown” technically!), the book has been a real eye opener. Such was the character of Atticus Finch, who not only taught Scout good morals, he taught me a lot of things too – Be kind, don’t be prejudiced. Accept people.


No wonder the book won a Pulitzer. All characters were well written and had that depth which is lacking in most of the books written these days. More importantly, the characters mostly had some good values. Except of course that of Bob Ewell (Father of the girl who was supposedly raped by Tom Robinson).


The book also brings out the ethics of a true lawyer beautifully. In spite of the whole town being against Atticus defending Tom, Atticus still defends Tom and does a real good job at it though he loses the case. But at the end of the Bob Ewell loses his honour. This makes him resolve to murder Atticus and harm his family. That's when Nathan “Boo” Radley comes to rescue.


Nathan “Boo” Radley live in scout's neighborhood but has never been seen by her or her brother (Jem Finch). So they taunt him in the beginning of the story yet, Boo Radley gives leaves them gifts in a tree, In the end Boo Radley saves Jem (When Bob Ewell attacks him), this changes Scout's perspective making her realize that she hasn't repaid Boo for his gifts.


Bob Ewell dies while attacking Jem. But the real twist of the story is when the Sheriff declares that Ewell fell over his own knife and died and neither Jem nor Boo are responsible for his death.


Overall, the book had that warmth and humor even describing about rather serious and cold issues like rape and racial inequality.

I am glad I didn't miss this book.


VERDICT: A book definitely to be read.


RATING: 4.8/5


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nelle Harper Lee (born April 28, 1926) is an American author known for her 1961 Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird, which deals with the issues of racism that the author observed as a child in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Despite being Lee's only published book, it led to her being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedomfor her contribution to literature. Lee has received numerous honorary degreesbut has always declined to make a speech.


EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Mass market paperback, Paperback, Hardcover


PRICE: Rs.175 (Paperback)


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse




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