- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 11, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446310786
- ISBN-13: 978-0446310789
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10,015 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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To Kill a Mockingbird Mass Market Paperback – October 11, 1988
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"When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.... When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out."
Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus--three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up.
Like the slow-moving occupants of her fictional town, Lee takes her time getting to the heart of her tale; we first meet the Finches the summer before Scout's first year at school. She, her brother, and Dill Harris, a boy who spends the summers with his aunt in Maycomb, while away the hours reenacting scenes from Dracula and plotting ways to get a peek at the town bogeyman, Boo Radley. At first the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape of Mayella Ewell, the daughter of a drunk and violent white farmer, barely penetrate the children's consciousness. Then Atticus is called on to defend the accused, Tom Robinson, and soon Scout and Jem find themselves caught up in events beyond their understanding. During the trial, the town exhibits its ugly side, but Lee offers plenty of counterbalance as well--in the struggle of an elderly woman to overcome her morphine habit before she dies; in the heroism of Atticus Finch, standing up for what he knows is right; and finally in Scout's hard-won understanding that most people are essentially kind "when you really see them." By turns funny, wise, and heartbreaking, To Kill a Mockingbird is one classic that continues to speak to new generations, and deserves to be reread often. --Alix Wilber
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Lee's beloved American classics makes its belated debut on audio (after briefly being available in the 1990s for the blind and libraries through Books on Tape) with the kind of classy packaging that may spoil listeners for all other audiobooks. The two CD slipcases housing the 11 discs not only feature art mirroring Mary Schuck's cover design but also offers helpful track listings for each disk. Many viewers of the 1962 movie adaptation believe that Lee was the film's narrator, but it was actually an unbilled Kim Stanley who read a mere six passages and left an indelible impression. Competing with Stanley's memory, Spacek forges her own path to a victorious reading. Spacek reads with a slight Southern lilt and quiet authority. Told entirely from the perspective of young Scout Finch, there's no need for Spacek to create individual voices for various characters but she still invests them all with emotion. Lee's Pulitzer Prize–winning 1960 novel, which quietly stands as one of the most powerful statements of the Civil Rights movement, has been superbly brought to audio. Available as a Perennial paperback. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the School & Library Binding edition.
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Top customer reviews
I was so wrong. Harper Lee is an amazing writer. Her tale of kids and their summer adventures really would have been enough. I stood in my hallway after the book downloaded & completely forgot that I was going to another room. I was completely sucked in by Scout, Jem & Dill's antics in trying to lure the elusive Boo Radley from his house. And because I fell in love with fierce little Scout I was ready to fight the townfolk myself when the controversy over her father's defense of Tom Robinson came to call on the Finch family.
Yes, it is still relevant today - town rumors and conjecture take the stage much like hysterical media does today, and injustice is served. But it's also a beautiful little vignette of summertime in a small town, a place where adventures are always there for the bold and imaginative.
Of course the writing is wonderful, it did win a Pulitzer prize. Harper Lee does a fantastic job writing in a child’s voice without sounding childish. It’s a rare gift to write a series of everyday moments without once sounding tedious or boring.
“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
Soon I'll open the pages to "Go Set a Watchman" and decide for myself whether it was just an early draft that morphed into "To Kill a Mockingbird" or was a separate manuscript and complement. I've read many op-eds, articles and reviews and am anxious to decide for myself. Regardless of where I land, it will not alter the beauty of the message and characters Harper Lee gave us in her masterpiece about one of the defining elements of American history.
It is suprisingly difficult to find critical essays on To Kill a Mockingbird. This book is a gold mine of multiple critical views, each exploring some aspect of the book. As so many of the people that scored this product with only one or two stars have stated, it is NOT the actual novel. The title should make that plain. If not, the product discription states that "Michael J. Meyer has assembled a collection of new essays that celebrate this enduring work of American literature. These essays approach the novel from educational, legal, social, and thematic perspectives." A hasty purchase without reading either the product title or the description should not translate into a low score for the product.
That said, I will be using this book for research as an M.A. Literature student and am thrilled to find such a wide variety of critical approaches in a single volume. The book is relatively current (2010) and contains fifteen critical essays grouped into four broad areas of approach.
I've just started sampling the contents, but can already say that the navigation appears to be friendly if not fantastic. The table of contents allows the various essays to be accessed directly. One excellent perk of the Kindle edition (used with the free laptop Kindle reader) is the inclusion of the specific Kindle reference information pasted directly into a Word document immediately below any cut/pasted text.
This book is primarily intended as either a research resource for college level students or by advanced readers familiar with literary criticism who wish to gain a deeper appreciation for Harper Lee's master work. In case you missed it, this is NOT the novel.