Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Harper Lee's Go Set A Walkman: A Review

Before I begin, I want to assure you that there are no spoilers in this post. Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books, and I find that I still re-read this classic every few years. So when I heard that Harper Lee was going to publish a new novel, I had mixed emotions. Could it possibly live up to the expectations? Is she going to tarnish the legacy of legendary figures like Atticus Fitch and Scout? Yet, most people wanted to know if Lee was more than a one-hit (though monster hit) wonder.

In full disclosure, I have not read Harper Lee's new book yet. That's why I can promise you that there are no spoilers. With that written, I'm intrigued by the subject. As a teenager, I spent many summer nights at an overnight camp trying to find out the final score of Pittsburgh Pirates games. There was no internet in those days (well, there was internet but there were no computers at camp), and we did not have access to a television. Therefore, before bed, I would use my Walkman to find Lanny Frattare on the radio dial. It was often difficult finding the exact spot on the dial to get the signal. I feel like weather was often a factor in getting the signal too. Harper Lee is a visionary in knowing that Walkmans and cassette tapes were the future. Have you ever had a cassette tape become unraveled in a Walkman and then have to wind the tape back in? Well, building a novel about an individual (Scout? Boo Radley?) who can set and possibly repair a Walkman is truly amazing. Now, I can't wait to read it.

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