Go Set A Watchman

Discussion in 'Book Forum' started by Rubberhead, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. Rubberhead

    Rubberhead Elite Refuge Member

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    The best thing about Go Set A Watchman was that I decided to re-read To Kill A Mockingbird first which re-acquainted me with what I think is the single best literary work of modern times.

    There is a definite discontinuity in the narratives and the storylines between TKAM and GSAW. As a stand-alone book Watchman isn't a bad story or a bad read but it does pale in comparison to Harper Lee's much more famous work.

    Another plus is that the vocabulary in Watchman is a higher level than many modern 'best sellers' so you may have to reference a dictionary or search engine in at least a time or two. It's a relatively short book and is really worth the limited investment of time it takes to read.

    The downside is that Go Set A Watchman falls way short of expectations set by To Kill A Mockingbird. The discontinuity of the stories in TKAM and GSAW aren't so bad that it's distracting but it is noticeable. What did bother me was that Lee writes from third-person rather than the familiar first-person narrative of Mockingbird. Even considering that, the single biggest complaint I have would be large doses of really awkward, unrealistic, dialog. WARNING this may be something of a spoiler but...the other complaint I have is that several minor but interesting storylines that are left hanging giving me the feeling that I read an incomplete work.

    Summary: A good read but not going to change your life. It'd be a perfect book to borrow before going to the beach for a long weekend.

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  2. 'tween_fly_ways

    'tween_fly_ways Moderator

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    I, of course, ordered the hard copy before publication.

    I didn't get to read it for weeks after it arrived. . . and therefore heard all the "Atticus is a racist" comments. These were absurd.

    While I, like you, love "Mockingbird". . . mainly for its beauty, its language, its vision,. . .it sits on a well deserved literary pedestal. I think "Go set a Watchman" is a much more complex work. It deals with the nuances, misunderstandings, complexities of real life. In short, it goes beyond the now typical first order analysis. . . and so may fall short as a piece of literature.

    Still very worthwhile, though.
     
  3. Mrs. Ripline

    Mrs. Ripline Senior Refuge Member

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    TKAM is my favorite literary work and the movie is even with the book. I think Lee got a whole lot of flak for GSAW for no reason. Obviously, not the up to the standard of To Kill A Mockingbird, but I thought still a great read. And I still don't think Atticus is a racist. Maybe I need to read it again?
     
  4. LiamSmith

    LiamSmith New Member

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    I heard Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee is really something special, so going to read it during my next vacation. Already ordered that book for myself)
     
  5. bgoldhunter

    bgoldhunter Senior Refuge Member

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    I bought it, but have had it stolen by my daughter who's favorite book is Mockingbird. I think she's on her third reading, and I still haven't read a word...
     
  6. LiamSmith

    LiamSmith New Member

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    I think the fact she's re-reading it is already the best review!
     

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