Saturday, August 1, 2015

Review: Go Set a Watchman

Go Set a WatchmanGo Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I hated this book. Hated. And I'm still not sure why my reaction is so strong and so visceral. I've waited a few days to see if I could better articulate my feelings, and I can't.

The book started off fairly strongly, but the last third was basically a screed in dialogue form between cardboard-thin characters who were never more than superficial in their views.

I'd say this book needed an editor, except that this book HAD an editor: the one that said, "Don't publish this book; the kernel of what you are trying to do lies in another place;" the one that got us "To Kill a Mockingbird."

As for how Atticus has changed/is racist/was always racist, I appreciate Lance Mannion's insights on the matter in his post about both books [], and fiction in general:

"It will be a shame, though, if thousands of adults who love and cherish To Kill a Mockingbird do have it ruined for them by having Go Set a Watchman rewrite it for them and they now see it as merely a prequel to the real story, the one in which the truth can finally be revealed. And going by the online discussion, there are a lot of people who already think that Go Set A Watchman is the true or, at any rate, the truer story and its Atticus is the real Atticus.

"As if there is a “real” Atticus.

"But the basis for thinking Watchman's the real or more realistic Atticus seems to be that in reality there were more racists in that time and place than there were white liberal heroes and that Go Set A Watchman is told from the adult Scout's point of view and as an adult she is ready to face and reveal the whole truth about her father.

"As if To Kill a Mockingbird had been written by a nine year old.

"As if adults are better at perceiving and handling the truth."


View all my reviews