Watchman Set, Read, Gone. No Spoilers!

I finished the book in two days. And, after the loooong wait, I loved it.

But it has to be read not as a To Kill A Mockingbird sequel, or prequel, but as a stand-alone novel, albeit with familiar characters. Perhaps that will negate the sense of expectation for you-but I doubt it!

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The book is still concerned with the racism of the south at a certain moment in time, but instead of being seen through the innocence of the child Scout, it is now seen through the scathing judgement of the adult Scout: Jean Louise Finch.

It is in effect the first draft of what my favourite book evolved from, and so we must remember that the characters changed and evolved too.

For those of you who hold Atticus in such high esteem, you should maybe be prepared to have your figure of ideal rocked, although it is not so black and white (pun not intended). His brother, on page 265, gives a speech to Jean Louise about her father which he could so easily be giving to any of us who have admired this fictional character for so long.

After being so elated and thankful for the chance to read something-anything-else by Harper Lee, I find myself being greedy again, wishing that she had written more books. Perhaps the one that was meant to be the follow up to To Kill A Mockingbird about someone hunting deer, which was allegedly stolen shortly before completion.

It is up to you if you want to run the risk of shattering the image of your literary heroes and ideals, but I enjoyed it. My copy is already promised to the Polish guy who runs the coffee shop in which I read it in this morning. Might be worth a Latte or two.

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10 thoughts on “Watchman Set, Read, Gone. No Spoilers!

  1. I’m afraid I still need to read the original! Must be the only person ever. Its in all the book shops and supermarkets though ( sales of To kill a mocking bird have gone up too apparently) so I have no excuse.

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    • My wife has just given me the smelling salts and brought me around again 🙂 You must read the original. In fact, if you don’t, I will invoke the spirits of those Pendle witches, in whose footsteps you have walked, to come and plague you.

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  2. Pingback: To Kill Atticus Finch by Harper Lee | Heart, Depth and Soul

    • I received an email from Amazon tonight, saying they have discovered that a certain batch of the books have six sentences missing from the bottom of some of the pages, so they are sending a new copy to me. Does this mean I should read it again, you think?

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      • Oh no! Did you notice? The printing machines must not have been able to hold their excitement either.
        I’ve been refraining from reading reviews (yours not included!) as I was worried people would hold it to the immeasurably high standards of TKAM. But as you said, they are different novels. 🙂

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      • No I never noticed! The email informed me of the missing lines, too. Did it so I had to scroll down to read them, just in case I hadn’t got that far, which was good of them.
        Polish coffee seller has my copy now. I have heard a lot from people who have Atticus on a pedestal, but the ‘official’ Atticus is the one given to us in TKAM. The grown up Scout is the moral hero/heroine of this book.

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