To kill a Mockingbird…
(Warning: may contain spoilers)
Don’t get me started. On. The. Sheer. Oh… what adjective to choose?!
I read it two sittings: one the day before yesterday, one yesterday (actually it was today at 2:00 AM, ok, ok) and maybe it was because of the over-exposure to such great literature, I don’t know, but I was close to tears when I got near to the end and I had severe GBOS (Great Book Obsessive Syndrome) by the time I’d finished.
Not that GBOS is unhealthy. In fact, I love it. The rush, the euphoria, the addiction, the pain when you can’t find something to satisfy your addiction…
I can just see the horrified expression on your faces.
‘How did she get the subject of drugs when she is talking about a perfectly respectable book of American literature! The cheek! The heresy! Away with it all! And not yet sixteen! I must get hold of the authorities…’ etc., etc.
But no, I am not talking about a most possibly illegal, hallucinatory drug as you suspect. This is just the
concept real deal syndrome of GBOS being carried on! I’ve never done drugs of course (except for maybe The Book Thief, The Lord of the Rings series and this book among others – they gave me real overdoses of the GBOS Virus…)
Yeah… This is just…
Well, let’s get started…
To kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
Published: 1989, republished 42 times
First time I read it? 2nd time.
FUNNESS: X X X X X
Very fun. Out of the point of view of a child, Scout Finch, so why wouldn’t it be? Must of the humour is only hinted at, or told bluntly, so read it carelessly and you could miss it. So, you have to read it carefully, ok? Actually, now that I think about, top the ‘very fun’, I was rolling around laughing and then laughing some more, weakly this time, from when a particular phrase or sentence got to me. Most definitely amusing, most definitely indeed…. *understatement*
GRIPPINGNESS: X X X O O – X X X X X
One of my sisters told me that she read the first page and then gave up. I would have given this a 4 out of 5, really, seeing as once I picked it up, I wouldn’t put it down. Call it a difference in preferences. Pfffft. Ok, some of the background info about the town of Maycomb and the children’s ancestors might bore you at the beginning (I didn’t find it tiring, though I suspect SOME insensitive people might…. Sniff), but all this ‘boring background information’ counts, and builds up, it really does. Don’t just pass it off… like… sniffle, sniffle…
READABILITY: X X X X O
I mean, just go for it. What’s stopping you?
One thing before we start: I LOVE BOO RADLEY. I mean, I LOVE HIM. I really do.
More on him later
This book is just… ingenuously written. After I’d finished I just sat there, bolt upright (at 2:00 AM, people – this book has sleep-killer qualities) just… going insane over how good it was. GBOS all round.
It was so deep. When I’d read it the first time, I didn’t really understood racism, and the Civil Right’s Movement in America and all that… But I’ve just finished a topic in GCSE History on it, and now I know too much… It was just horrible, and wrong. Lynching, name calling, murder, KKK, Brown v Board, Montgomery Bus Boycott, Little Rock nine, sit-ins, Martin Luther King… I realised that there was a whole world I’d known nothing about. Well, now I am older and wiser, I don’t know… Except I can connect to TKaM much more than I did last time. Weep…
Wow. These reflections of people, and why they do bad things, why perfectly ordinary people like the folks in Maycomb would condemn an innocent man to the chair just because he was black… They hit me hard. Not that I have personal experience about this whole business… (actually I might just make a post about racist comments made to me HAAAAA wouldn’t that be lush…), but it’s just so… Man, when I was reading, I should’ve referenced referenced referenced everything everything everything good to share to you…. Dayumm. Will go searching right away…
No way. I am overcome by the GBOS Virus again. Call that the GBOS plague. But no. I like this plague.
I am overcome, and humbled, and all my cocky superficial pride in being an okay writer smashed. ‘cos Harper Lee just smacks me in the face again and again with her awesomeness.
‘How could they do it, how could they?’
‘I don’t know, but they did it. They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again and when they do it – seems that only children weep. Good night.’
Look, I know you’re probably thinking ‘This girl is missing some marbles.’ And I know this quote, out of the blue, is really out of context and doesn’t affect you in any way unless you do, like me, love and cherish TKaM. So… “Read it!’ (My favourite quote of mine, which is narcissistic, I know). And get into the magic when a word or phrase in a book moves you. Get infected by GBOS. You need a good dose of it, sometimes, when the world seems so dreary and nothing will be great anymore…
‘Naw, Jem, I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.’
‘That’s what I thought, too,’ he said at last. ‘when I was your age. If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they just get along with each other? Scout, I think I’m beginning to understand something. I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s stayed shut up in the house all the time… it’s because he wants to stay inside.’
Jem provides a lot of the deep insight into life.
And this brings me back to the subject of Boo or Arthur Radley beautifully.
In the beginning of the book, Boo Radley was the prime and growing obsession for the Finch children, Scout (real name Jean Louise) and Jem Finch, and their new friend Dill. You know when you’re a child you have these little crazes or obsessions? (I had loads of course….) This part of the book reflects that. And later on the obsession with Boo Radley fades… just as every single one of those childhood obsessions faded for me. It’s so real, and true.
I just want to give him a cuddle, I really do. He’s just so… uggh, I mean he… he saved the Finch children’s lives!!! And then he was in the house with Scout and Scout didn’t know it was him and she didn’t know he’d saved her not Jem and then she realised and then and then she was like ‘Hey, Boo,’ and then her eyes blossomed or overflowed with tears or something and I cried to and oh…
This is such a short review and all
All I’ve written (having re-read it) is about how much of a great book it is, a bit about the Civil Rights Movement, hallucinatory illegal drugs and how much I obsess over Boo Radley.
Apart from worrying, my poor review writing skills have become primitive.
I sincerely apologize.
I haven’t even written about the trial, Atticus Finch, and all the beautiful finer details of the book… *sobs*
I will publish this, see what happens, and since my conscience will not let me alone because I know I haven’t done this book justice, I will come again and fix and write more.
But… it really is the most incredible book.