To Kill a Mockingbird is a book that can sometimes put people off with its position as a common GCSE text and its time of writing back in 1960, written when the author was 34 years old. Whilst this does very much slow through during the reading experience, this is not a reason to disregard the book as your potential next read. The text is slightly old fashioned in several ways, but you soon adjust to it. For instance, it often, what with the racial attitude of the time, will sometimes use racist terms.
The book does, however, have characters speak about how using this language is, in their eyes, unacceptable. The language is often outdated, which, along with the use of American dialect due to the author’s nationality, can sometimes make for some confusing reading, but it is nothing serious and is easy to settle in to.
The book has a pleasantly unusual start, beginning with describing the final events of the book, namely the main character’s brother breaking his arm. It then explains the consequences of this before moving back to the very beginning. The rest of the story is then effectively explaining the build-up to this, which is comprised of a very nice “Rube Goldberg machine” of events, ranging from the mediocre to the action-packed. As well as being refreshing unconventional to begin the story this way, it also adds an air of mystery to the events that play out within the internal timeline of the book, as many of the happenings seem incredibly unrelated to the aforementioned final twist.
The story that then follows is a style of writing very different from most modern literature, but the good writing makes it easy to see past this inescapable pothole. The story itself is a mixture of very bland and slightly tiring events and action-packed moments – though unfortunately for some adrenaline loving readers, the first is quite a large amount more common than the latter. As previously mentioned, this is easily overlooked because the great writing see,s to make even the most unremarkable events into dramatic, extraordinary cliff-hangers. This continues throughout the book and it is hard to go into detail without ruining the point, but the character and setting description throughout the novel is exceptional and it is hard to find anything bad in the book that wasn’t acceptable at time of writing – and perhaps that’s what makes it a classic.