Hello there and welcome to The Turndog Review: the books I read, reviewed.
I aren’t a professional critic, instead all I offer is my honest opinion into everything I read. However, I do this with a difference, as I don’t only offer my personal views on the Writing, Plot, and Story, but also the Book Cover, Book Marketing, and Author Website.
We live in a modern world where being a writer is different to years gone by, and I feel the whole experience of the book matters. This covers everything from the initial find, the actual read, and everything that follows. Therefore I hope this review not only offers a great insight into the book and author, but also into my own mind and what makes me tick.
So without further ado let’s begin, and today I focus on To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Read: January 2012
Discovered: Via Goodreads January Reading Challenge
To Kill A Mockingbird is considered an American classic, and rightly so in my opinion. The narration is from a young girl’s perspective, Scout, the daughter of Atticus Finch, a lawyer in 1930’s America. It’s a story split into two, the first surrounding the recluse, Boo Radley, and the second on Tom Robinson, a black man up for trial.
Despite it being ultimately two stories, they are seamlessly integrated into the life of Scout and her brother. Despite some serious politics discussed throughout, the style and flow are somewhat whimsical. It’s this, I feel, that places To Kill A Mockingbird in such high regard.
The use of a young girl as the narrator is genius, and allows these deep topics to be discussed and featured in a way that allows the reader to remain somewhat impartial. Quite frankly this book is amazing and certainly one of my all time favourites. Everything from the un-easing charm of Boo Radley, to the quite heart wrenching racist prejudice, this book is powerful and something everyone should read at some point in their life.
The use of Scout as the narrator is genius, and allows a variety of characters to play a large part (Atticus, Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson), without ever delving too deeply into their life. An element of mystery and assumption is left in all of them, but you can fully understand what they are feeling and thinking.
I also find it amazing how so many important issues are included, without the book dragging. There is never one point in the book where a filler scene occurs, and how Harper Lee achieves this, and effortlessly integrates the various aspects is impressive to say the least.
It’s hard to focus on the bad points, and although I’m sure it has some, I’m certainly not well read enough to spot them.
The writing is solid; the plot is as flawless as it comes, and the pace of the entire story is great. The one thing that is shocking is the racist insight. It’s hard for a modern man to read such racial slurs and outlooks, but with the setting being in the 30’s, it portrays the particular time perfectly.
I also feel this type of language was used to not only showcase the particular time, but for Harper Lee to demonstrate the need to change. 1960’s America was seeing a shift and I feel this book is a perfect example of how certain people began fighting back.
The book I bought is the 50th Anniversary edition, and I find it a very charming cover indeed. I’m a big fan of silhouettes within design, and feel the drawing sets up the story well.
It doesn’t particularly draw you in as such, but with the fame of the book this isn’t as important. It overall does enough to catch your attention, which in all honesty is all this book has to do.
One thing I will say is the text is hard to read. Again, this doesn’t matter as much for a book like this, but such font is never a good way to go in my opinion.
Some books don’t need marketing, and this is one of them. I read the paperback version so there’s only so much you can do in regards engagement, and considering this is Harper Lee’s only book and she has been in hiding for 50 years, well, it’s hard to expect too much.
All the publishers have to do is refresh things from time to time and I feel To Kill A Mockingbird will forever sell. It really is that simple sometimes.
Author Website & Engagement:
It’s hard to expect a woman who’s in her 80’s and been in hiding for so long to be on Twitter and Facebook. The book is a classic, and although it’s sad to think Harper Lee will never truly surface, I can hardly hold it against the book or author.
Her website is good though, and although I’m sure she has no input at all, it provides some great info on the book, on Harper Lee herself, and something for fans to cling onto. It’s all we can expect under such circumstances, so I won’t judge the marketing for this book too much.
As I say, sometimes less is more, so I’ll leave my overall assessment at brilliant!
A truly great book, a classic one no doubt, and worthy of the praise it gets. It’s a shame Harper Lee has never written again, but in a way it creates a perfect story.
As for my score, well it would be rude to give anything other than…
5 Turndogs out of 5
Thanks for reading this version of The Turndog Review. I review every book I read, not only for the writing, but the marketing, website, and general communication from the author.
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