Powells daily review delivered a surprise to the inbox today--a review of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, originally published in the August, 1960 issue of The Atlantic Monthly. This book, now hailed as a beloved American classic, was not originally greeted with universal enthusiasm. This will come as a surprise to many readers.
The author of the review is Phoebe Adams, a salty and witheringly concise presence at The Atlantic Monthly for nearly fifity years.
It is frankly and completely impossible, being told in the first person by a six-year-old girl with the prose style of a well-educated adult. Miss Lee has, to be sure, made an attempt to confine the information in the text to what Scout would actually know, but it is no more than a casual gesture toward plausibility.