Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee – To Read or Not to Read?

With July 14th and the release of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee one month away, I decided to read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time since I was in the fifth or sixth grade. Back then I don’t think I really understood everything in the story all that well because I remember really not liking it and wondering why in the world my dad made me read it. This time around I really enjoyed it, finished it in less than a day (instead of what felt like forever) and hated how abruptly it ended while at the same time loving the ending. In short, To Kill a Mockingbird was all about timing for me.

Now that I’ve found that I actually do like To Kill a Mockingbird, however, I have a dilemma: whether or not I should read Go Set a Watchman.

For most readers, the answer is simple. If you like a book, read the sequel. If you really like a book, read the sequel ASAP!

For someone like me who is aware of different situations and goings-on behind the scenes in the publishing world, it’s trickier. Stories of authors behaving badly can tarnish a book even for those who try to keep authors and their books separate. But in the case of Go Set a Watchman and Harper Lee, it’s the possibility that Harper Lee’s wishes weren’t taken into account and she was instead taken advantage of that keeps reading Go Set a Watchman from being a certainty.

I am in no way saying that Harper Lee has been taken advantage of, but it is the fact that one cannot know for sure that has me on the fence about whether or not I’m going to pick up and read Go Set a Watchman.

What are everyone else’s opinions on the matter?

This entry was posted on June 15th, 2015 and and is filed under Thoughts & Musings. Get RSS feed for comments on this post or the TrackBack URI for this article. Tags: , ,

Comments (1) »

Everstone - June 23, 2015 @ 6:17 am

1) I’m so glad you were able to better appreciate TKAM this time around 🙂 It’s one of my all time favourite novels (possibly helped by the fact that I didn’t read it until I was at least 18 and so was old enough to really appreciate it).

2) I am really conflicted about whether to read Go Set A Watchman or not. Partly because I’m worried it won’t be as good as TKAM and I will be disappointed, but mostly because of all the conflicting stories about the publication and the possibility Harper Lee has been taken advantage of. I would just hate to read it and then find out that poor old woman had her trust and integrity abused like that (if it turned out to be true).

It’s a tough one! I probably won’t decide until after the book comes out.

Question: Have you read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry or any of Mildred D. Taylor’s other books? I love them and they have strong similarities to TKAM. Taylor has also drawn on family history and experiences, possibly even more than Lee. Her books just feel so real and they’re very moving.

I’ll stop babbling in a minute, but before I do, I just want to say that I saw a stage adaptation of TKAM and it was really good!! Almost as good as the film with Gregory Peck! But the play was nice and intimate and the girl playing Scout was adorable.

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