For all those people asking, ‘Should I read Go Set a Watchman?’
Today, the much-anticipated novel and sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman, will be released. And across the world, millions will be lining up to get their hands on a copy.
But not some people.
It’s not just because the title is annoying. Seriously, how do you set a watchman? Is it supposed to be Go Set a Watch, Man? Did they omit the comma by mistake, not realising until the millionth book rolled off the printing press?
Anyway. No amount of FOMO means I’ll be parting with my hard-earned. Go set your watch, man, to the fact I won’t be reading it. Here’s why.
1. The book’s dubious ethical beginnings.
Harper Lee never wanted to release this book. In the few interviews over her career, the publicity-shy Lee spoke about only ever wanting to publish the one book. Her sister, who was her manager, agent and trustee, kept Harper’s word for her. THEN THE SISTER DIED.
And suddenly, Harper Lee’s “forgotten” manuscript is discovered?? OH, WHAT A COINCIDENCE.
Then there’s her capacity to actually consent to the deal. The 89-year-old author suffered a stroke in 2007, which resulted in serious vision and hearing problems. Some claim the publicity-shy octogenarian is able to communicate. Others say she is “in her own world”. An investigation was launched into the publication of the book. It ultimately found the book’s publication did not amount to elder abuse, but the whole affair has left a lingering question of whether the Pulitzer Prize-winning author was pushed into publishing her second novel.
2. To Kill A Mockingbird fanatics don’t want to ruin their enjoyment of the first book.
Remember how good Wayne’s World was? Yep. Remember Wayne’s World II? Me neither, because I’ve done turds more interesting than that. When has a sequel ever been better? When has a second book or movie ever eclipsed the brilliance of the first?