So you can read my books

Monday, July 13, 2015


We remember Atticus Finch as "To Kill A Mockingbird"'s moral conscience:

kind, wise, honorable, an avatar of integrity

who used his gifts as a lawyer to defend a black man falsely accused

of raping a white woman in a small Alabama town filled with prejudice and hatred in the 1930s.

As indelibly played by Gregory Peck in the 1962 movie, he was the

ideal father and a principled idealist, an enlightened, almost saintly believer in justice and fairness.

 In real life, people named their children after Atticus.

People went to law school and became lawyers because of Atticus.

Now, shockingly, in “Go Set a Watchman” (due out Tuesday),

Atticus is a racist who once attended a Klan meeting, who says things like

 “The Negroes down here are still in their childhood as a people.”

Or asks his daughter:

“Do you want Negroes by the carload in our schools and churches and theaters? Do you want them in our world?”

"Go Set A Watchman" was written first, and the prose shows it. 

I was looking forward to reading this novel --

I was going back to look at the landscapes and streets I had known,

to look at the faces, to hear the voices, to hear, in fact, the voices in my own blood.

Not now.

And now, there is to be a stand-alone Han Solo movie ...
focusing on the adventures of a young Han Solo (no Harrison Ford)
because as everyone knows, you can't have an older hero for your movie.  Sigh.
Hugh Jackman has told fans at the Comic-Con that the latest Wolverine movie will be his last as "Old Man Logan."
I mean he is at the terrible old age of 46. 
(Shakes his head.)
{Yes, I know that "Old Man Logan" is a grim future tale of an aged Wolverine having to go cross-country across a vicious landscape
 to pay rent to the vicious grandchildren of Hulk and She-Hulk accompanied with a blind Hawkeye.}
I know that getting into shape for the role is grueling.  I understand that. 
But it seems as if Hollywood is saying adventure ends in our mid-thirties.

Is there no room for mature heroes in our myths anymore?

(This is written for the last time on a friend's computer.  Mine is dead.)


  1. I'll never want to read the book written before To Kill A Mockingbird. It'll just ruin everything. :(

    Although Wolverine isn't supposed to age, I don't think any of us care if Hugh Jackman is 46 or 50 playing Wolverine. He's the perfect Wolverine and doesn't seem like he ages either. lol

    1. He doesn't, does he? Like you, I will never read that book either.:-(

  2. I agree with Chrys - I don't think he ages either.
    Harrison Ford on the other hand is showing his age...

    1. How many of us could walk away from a plane crash and still film the next week!

  3. Has Hugh Jackman been aging? It doesn't seem to all lol!

    It's been decades since I've read To Kill a Mockingbird. Although I appreciate the content of the story and the author's courage to confront the controversial topics, I'm not exactly jumping up and down to read this next publication. Since it's been forever, I may consider reading this prequel then re-read TKaM to see if there's a difference in how I take in the content.

    1. I suggest Mockingbird first as it occurs first in the timeline. I refuse to tarnish my enjoyment of the first with the second. :-(

  4. I don't understand why the manuscript was not destroyed. I don't think Harper Lee was of sound mind to approve the book. As a fellow Southerner, I had a feeling some less than savory aspect of racism would be in the book. It was a fact of life for so long.

    The civil right's laws that were applied in the South truly freed us. They should put similar laws throughout the United States. We still have a race problem.

    I will probably read the book. But, it was a WIP.

    1. I believe she was not of sound mind , too. It seems the media has an agenda of saying there are no men of compassion and courage in the South. And yes, we in the South still have a race problem, but demonizing past heroes just seems sad.

  5. I've known one or two people who compulsively tore down anyone better than them, which pretty much meant most of the human race because they themselves didn't set the bar high. They were sad specimens.

    As for older heroes--Hollywood and the media accept older men as heroes far more readily than older women. From Liam Neeson to Sean Connery, the men have been able to play hero roles that are never (or almost never?) allowed women. Pisses me off, too.

    1. You,re right. Older actresses are shunted aside much worse than their male counterpoint. I am still w/o a computer and must make do with my Kindle ... and it's keyboard hates me!

  6. Hi Roland .. I heard a very good review from someone who'd read the book, who'd had time to evaluate the Nightwatchman ... and who gave it the thumbs up ... people seem to be making judgements without reading it. I can't really comment - but I'm interested at the furore and just happened to watch this snippet on tv ... I can't even remember the woman reviewer's name ... but she said she was on the tube - took her advanced copy out and nearly got mugged for it ... that she jumped off the train early! Also it's a draft ... She also said she was inspired to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird again ... I think it was Arifa Akbar, who writes for The Independent over here ...

    Looks like people are jumping to a lot of conclusions and not considering it in the context in which it was written ... nor in the context in which Harper Lee lived ...

    It's like all things isn't it ... we'll find lots of opinions and ideas after the event ... Interesting though ... cheers Hilary

    1. It was written before Mockingbird so I believe Lee,s picture of Atticus changed with M mockingbird. The quotes are undoubtedly racist which I know agrees with the popular feeling that even "decent Sutherners are racist. Mockingbird has been such a classic for years that I hate to see Atticus degraded.

  7. The thing with Go Set a Watchman is that it was written before To Kill a Mockingbird, but set after. And yet Atticus is not racist in TKAM... so what happens to make him that way in GSAW? They both were written in the same time period, so that cannot be an excuse for the content.
    I won't be reading it because I don't want Atticus ruined for me and I'm very sure Harper Lee didn't actually agree with it being published.

    Well, to be far if it's about a young Han Solo, they wouldn't want an older guy playing him. That wouldn't make much sense would it?

    Hugh Jackman isn't getting old, what?! That guy is eternally young. I'm not sure if they're going to make that old man Logan movie, but I bet it would be awesome and grim.

    1. I agree with about Hugh and Atticus. I would like to see a movie about an. Older Han having learned to be more crafty than brash. :-)

  8. I think Hilary is right, Roland. Those who've read it fully have denied that Atticus is seen as an outright racist. But in that time in the American South, racism was the accepted more for many and Atticus no doubt had a little brush off on him. :-)

    1. Define outright racist. Those quotes are accurate. And run counter to the Atticus portrayed in Mockingbird. There was a real life Atticus written of by John Steinbeck in his Travels with Cherley, and it was as in the same period ... and the brave man was definitely no t racist ...and he lived in New Orleans. not every man in the South was racist. Sigh.