Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Color Me Flabbergasted


As much as I read, I've still got huge, gaping holes in the Great Reading List of my life. Improbably though it may seem, until yesterday, one of those holes represented To Kill a Mockingbird.

I can't understand how I managed to live 54 years without reading that book, can't understand why I've been writing so many years without studying this how-to manual for my life's work. It's a masterpiece. The layers of meaning behind the title alone give me chills. Harper Lee's dialogue, her characterizations, the way she weaves delicate threads through the storylines—the power of it stuns me.

I'm probably the last literate person in America to read the book, but it may have been a while for some of you. Do yourself a favor, especially if you're a writer. Pull your copy off the shelf and read it again.

I've started again already. This time I'm not reading for the story, not even for the language. This time I'm reading it simply to roll around in the art of Ms. Lee's craft.

Join me, won't you?

6 comments:

mamatulip said...

I'm flabbergasted, too! I LOVE that book; it's one of my all-time favourites. I read it once every few years.

Suzy said...

Incredible book, as was the film.

Doubting Thomas said...

If you haven't seen the the Capote film, you should rent this, too. The depiction of Harper Lee's friendship with Truman Capote is very interesting.

I have to confess, too, that I've not yet read the book either. And I'm almost as well-read as you.

I'm going to B & N over lunch, though...

Amber said...

WOW! Really?? I even had a cat named Atticus once. lol! Isn't he just the best idea of a man ever? Well, happy you found it. So then another classic you may not have read yet, and would eat up is "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn".

:)

Deb said...

I'm on my way upstairs to find my copy and to read it through a new set of eyes!

Michelle O'Neil said...

Ooo. It's been a long time! I'll have to check it out at the library.