Thursday, August 6, 2015

Review: Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

It's very hard to rate/review this one.  On the one hand, it's not too well written.  Dialogue is preachy, characters and their time frame go back and forth and are hard to follow, and while there's plenty of racial/family tension, I wasn't quite able to decide whether anything was resolved.

I think all the hype about the book also made it difficult to judge.  I don't think it was meant to be an "enjoyable" read.  I suspect it was definitely meant to be a sociological polemic aimed at the Civil Rights movement of the 60's, and the "interference of the NAACP.   The point of view of the main character "Scout" Finch (of To Kill A Mockingbird fame) doesn't ring true to the Scout we already know and love, Atticus and Uncle Jack are given some decent chances to expound, but other characters are given short-shift.  The whole thing just felt very unfinished, and unworthy of what we know Harper Lee to be capable of.

I'm inclined to believe the suggestions I've seen that this is not a separate novel, but actually the early, very rough and unedited version of what would later (with a lot of good re-writing and editing) turn into the world famous Pulitzer winner.

Title: Go Set a Watchman
Author: Harper Lee
Publisher: Harper Collins 2015
Genre: Fiction
Subject: racism, segregation
Setting: Alabama
Source: Audible dowload


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