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Mockingbirds at Midnight

I was in the one GCSE English set that didn't do To Kill a Mockingbird, with the result that I read it of my own free will in my early 20s and enjoyed it very much.

I still hadn't seen the acclaimed film version, though, so when Foyles put on a free screening in advance of their midnight release of Go Set a Watchman, I went along.

To my shame, this was the first time I'd been to Foyles's new six-floor emporium. I made my way to the summit, accepted a glass of wine, and chose a seat. Luckily for lonesome me, someone almost immediately sat next to me and we had a nice, polite conversation about the book, the film, films in general, and London.

The film ended at a quarter past eleven and we proceeded to the ground floor, where a jazz trio was laying down some smooth sounds, to wait for midnight. People were wielding serious cameras, and one gentleman stood by the door saying "...followup to the classic...amid concerns...author Harper Lee...American South...racism..." into a microphone in clipped tones. As the hour approached there was a countdown, a balloon release (black, red and yellow, which lent the event a weirdly German look), and then we were free to purchase.

And that's when I came away, because I'm probably not going to buy an enormous hardback on release day unless the author is there signing it. Sorry, Foyles. Besides, I hear that [Spoiler (click to open)]Atticus turns out to have feet of clay, and I'm not sure I could cope with that. I like my free tote bag, though.

Picture of the event, not by me:



Did you get the impression that the concerns the gentleman with the microphone was mentioning were "Oh and this is almost certainly being released against the explicit wishes of the author"? I am surprised that this seems to have totally dropped out of the conversation about the book.
Oh, that was definitely the gist! I've read much more about the possible coertion issue than about the book itself (though that's partly because I've been avoiding spoilers), but now that you mention it, the focus does seem to have moved away.
"Mockingbird" is pretty much my favorite novel ever, and once I got over the 'it's not identical to the book'ness, I love the movie too.

I'm leery of "Watchman", probably won't go near it any time soon.
They both kind of make you want to live in that time and place, even though it's dirt poor and has racists and is far too hot!

The film had some very nice touches but it's made me desperate to read the book again.
a balloon release (black, red and yellow, which lent the event a weirdly German look)

Heh! That must've been quite surreal.

Wine and jazz, though, that's a good combination.
I wish I'd caught the name of the group - they were good! Oboe guy, female singer with lovely voice, and guitar/banjo guy.
Yeah, Mockingbird is pretty special, and I see why Lee never felt the need to publish again. Something feels wrong with the whole situation -- her sister (who was her lawyer) died; this was found and judged fit to publish. I'll probably read it sometime, but won't be buying it. Library waiting list is at least 150, which is just fine.
Honestly, I'm surprised they didn't just wait until after her death to make this discovery.