Atticus, Scout , mad dogs and morphine addicts

A few weeks ago this post by zuzu made me bump To Kill A Mockingbird up to the top of my “classics I gotta read one day” list. I started reading it a few hours ago and have now finished Part 1.

I was engaged by the first page:

“Being Southerners, it was a source of shame to some members of the family that we had no recorded ancestors on either side at the Battle of Hastings. All we had was Simon Finch, a fur-trapping apothecary from Cornwall, whose piety was exceeded only by his stinginess.”

… and the third page made me fall in love:

“[…] but they were Haverfords, in Maycomb County a name synonymous with jackass.”

Although I’ve not yet seen the movie, every word uttered by Atticus Finch convinces me that Gregory Peck was perfectly cast in the part. Like everybody else, I utterly adore Scout, and Miss Maudie Atkinson is damn fine too. Obviously I will shortly need to chase up the DVD.

There is the added joy that I picked up my copy in a secondhand store, and it appears to have been used by a high school student(s), with underlinings, highlightings and marginata scattered throughout. I smiled at the marginata on molasses (“golden syrup”) and was disturbed to find that Morphodite was unsullied by any markings at all. Kids these days.

Categories: arts & entertainment, Life


4 replies

  1. I started reading TKAM to my then-10-yr-old last year. It was riveting and even though I had read the book at least 2 times in my younger days, and seen the movie also several times, I kept finding myself reading ahead.One of the greatest books – ever.I have also begun rereading many of the classics I read in high school and college – I keep finding new things to love (and occasionally to hate). Did I miss so much when I was younger?The Great Gatsby is worth several reads. Stranger in a Strange Land was disappointing. Hmmmm…..

  2. We did To Kill a Mockingbird in middle school (about age 13 or 14). Some of my friends so loved it that they adopted names from the book. Julia became Scout forever-more (or at least until her family moved away). I really should reread it…

  3. I’ve finished it now. What a book!I can imagine why she didn’t write another – how could you match that?I also have more respect for the Willis-Moore parenting era – Scout is a perfectly decent and better than most name for a daughter (ditto Tallulah), and researching their name choices has led me to discover Rumer Godden, of whom I was previously unaware. I’ll have to hunt down some of her books, too.

  4. Carolyn, I hear you on SiaSL. SF is interesting – the Golden Era stuff is definitely worth reading, but does it stand rereading? For much of it I think the answer is no – more recent stuff outstrips it by far. Frank Herbert’s Dune is worth rereading, also Ursula K. Le Guin’s work. Of newer works, the Arbai trilogy by Sheri S. Tepper, also her Gate to Women’s Country and Gibbons’ Decline and Fall. Away from SF except for the Handmaid’s Tale , of course anything by Margaret Atwood, and I reread Pride and Prejudice annually at least just for pure joy in the language.

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