Bookreview-To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Me leí el libro en inglés así que pensé hacer la reseña en inglés también. Si preferís que haga reseñas en el blog en español, solo tenéis que decírmelo. Aunque os recomiendo que, si podéis, os leáis el libro en inglés por todos los matices del lenguaje que se pierden en la traducción: el acento de los personajes y las formas coloquiales e incorrectas de hablar.

~~I read the book in English, so I thought about doing the review in English as well. If you prefer me doing reviews in Spanish, just let me know.

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my pic, please if you take it give credit!

Several days ago I finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and I loved it. It’s one of those books with a perfect ending, even though there are a few things left unexplained, but as there’s a second book – Go set a watchman, released last year – it’s okay. I can’t wait to read the second one, and I hope there’s a clearer view on what happened in To Kill a Mockingbird.

So, the adventure began. To be honest, I thought that, the book being a classic, I would take my time to read it and not be really interested in it. Oh, how wrong I was. I remember being only 10 pages into the book and I already felt so hooked to it! The tone of the book is honest above all, the narrator is Scout, a girl. The book starts when she is 7 and finishes when she is 9, I believe. Due to the narrator, the facts and action are presented in a simple way, in the way a child understands what happens in the world. But this same way of understanding leaves out a lot of explanations and details that provide the story with a thick layer of mystery.

The story takes place in Maycomb, Alabama, during the 1940s. The themes in the book are racism, classism, honesty, silence/absence and honour.

There are two big events or facts in the book that lead the action forward. One is the constant presence of Boo Radley in the children’s minds, and the other one is Atticus’ case. Without giving any spoilers, Atticus is Scout and Jem’s dad, who is a lawyer. He’s an old man that comes across as different from most of Maycomb population. He is more open and a really kind person. During the whole novel the sense of difference between the family and the neighbours is a constant. Atticus has different views and a different morality from the rest and that makes him bring up his children to see things as he sees them.

It’s not an easy read in terms of what happens in the book, it deals with important issues such as rape and guilt, but they are very well portrayed. I will talk at the end of the post about what I didn’t like – just tiny details.

The writing is very realistic and quite unique. It accurately reflects the way the characters talk, using many contractions – such as ‘em or ‘tis – and also non standard expressions or words like yessir or yessum. This is the main reason why I recommend reading it in English if you can. The vocabulary is quite hard, though, but I think that you can guess most of it.

Moving onto the characters, I can’t choose who would be my favourite. I love Scout, because after all thanks to her voice we know what happens in the story, and our point of view is crearly biased. But one of the characters that specially stands out is Jem. Even though Scout doesn’t praise him, Jem brought my attention. He has really strong moral values for his age, when the book finishes he is 13 years old, so he is 3-4 years older than Scout, and that matters. Atticus and Dill are lovely above all. The figure of Dill is quite interesting because of the stories he is always telling, many times utterly fake, even about his own life. Last but not least, one of my favourite characters is Boo Radley. He just being how he is. You will understand me if you have read the book.

Finally, the quotes. There are a lot of amazing quotes in there that can still teach a lot, and that is quite sad. More than 50 years ago (the book was published in 1960), the author wanted to expose a reality in order to change it. Now, there’s still a lot to change. Racism shouldn’t be a thing anymore. I hope that, day by day, we can educate ourselves to not discriminate against anyone.

Cry about the simple hell people give other people – without even thinking. Cry about the hell white people give colored folks, without even stopping to think that they’re people, too. – Mr. Raymond.

There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results. – Atticus.

He told me havin’ a gun around’s an invitation to somebody to shoot you. – Scout.

If there’s just one kind of folks, why can’t they get along with each other? If they’re all alike, why do they go out of their way to despise each other? – Jem.

I hope that you give a chance to this marvellous book! If you already read it, what did you think about it?

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Now: spoilers.

If you don’t want to know about the mysteries in the book, DON’T READ THIS. Okay:  What I did NOT like at all, was that the case used in order to show the racism was a fake rape. Feminism is struggling a lot with this issue because there are very very FEW fake rape reports, and still people think a lot of real rapes are fake. Things like this, in such an important book, don’t help at all.

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