Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman and Ghostbusters

A few years ago I named my pet goldfish Atticus. I grew up reading ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ and I thought that my pet goldfish was like the fictional character, a strong individual who stood up for what he believed in. After hearing that Atticus is now a racist I had to flush that bastard.*

Atticus Finch is revisited in the new release from Harper Lee. In Go Set a watch, man, (I left the space on purpose because I like the title when said in a hippy voice, man) Atticus or so I’ve heard, becomes a raving lunatic who engages in racism, immoral acts and other lewd behavior of a 72 year old.

People say oh no! this will ruin my life, or they say great! it shows he is a human with flaws and decaying brain cells. But I say, gently, it is neither. It is fiction.

Once upon a time and a very good time it was, there was a decade called the 1980s. Early in that decade, after filling myself on Jaws, ET and Star Wars, along came a movie call the Ghostbusters. It was everything I dreamed of as a young boy. Ghosts, ghost zapping guns, giant marshmallow men. I bought the dolls (i mean action figures), the toy gun, the t-shirt. I made a real big deal out of it. To me the ghostbusters was an amazing work of art, a work of genius, one of America’s classics. I wanted to change my name to Egon, I wanted to work in the ghost busting industry, I wanted to sneak down into the library’s cellar to be attacked by librarian ghosts. I was certain that nothing would ever ruin this amazing time of love.

Then years later came Ghostbusters 2.

I was interested. I bought tickets. The early scene in the court room was excellent, the movie was barely OK, the statue of liberty moving about seemed stupid. I came to realize that it is not the characters in the movie, it is the experience the movie brings to your life. Who did you see the movie with? How happy did it make you? Did you receive joy? Basing your life on what some writer or actor creates is not the best way to live. You’re putting so much into a strangers hands. If you liked something they did, then be happy for that, if they teach the world something important, then reward them with your money but don’t start saying that they’ve ruined your life. You shouldn’t be putting your life in their hands.

Ghostbusters was not ruined by Ghostbusters 2. I will always have Summer of ’84, I will always have the ghostbuster song.

If you tried to live your life like Atticus from TKAMB, then great, because he is such a great example to follow. You have probably done very well in life. If you tried to be like Bill Murray even better.


* I never flushed the bastard.

Sequels I’d like to see

With Harper Lee’s sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set A Watchman coming out about the same time as my debut novel The Bomber, I thought about a few more sequels or prequels I would like to see.

1984-book catcher-in-the-rye

1. Sequel To Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger

Titled ‘Go Catch a Rye Bird’ this novel revisits Holden Caulfield ten years later. He is no longer the angsty teen but now a rather melancholy adult living in New York. He dreams of leaving the city and his job working as a writer on a small lifestyle magazine. He wants to head up into New England and live on a small farm, but with his girlfriend pregnant and his money running out, he has to find a solution to his problems. He tries to get a job as a writer but the New Yorker keeps rejecting his short stories, his parents won’t give him any more money and the city, the huge cold place it can be, is slowly driving him mad. His friends won’t talk to him and his girlfriend is almost fed up with him. Will he have the courage to stay and fight or will he thumb a ride and disappear?

J D Salinger’s estate, having found the manuscript in a closet, hope the big five publishers will become involved in a bidding war for the rights and have stated that: “This is exactly what J D Salinger would have wanted. He loved Caulfield and this book shows the growth of the character. Salinger was a very out going person and loved to make himself available to the public.” Expected to be released mid July 2015.

2. Prequel to All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

This novel set in the years before World War One focuses again on the life of Paul Bäumer. This manuscript to be titled, A Happy Youth, focuses on Baumer’s childhood and the experiences of being a boy growing up in pre-war Germany. A much lighter and happier novel we get to know the boy who became the soldier. Ignored by his parents, Baumer experiences adventures in his home town and nearby forest, one day finding a man who has hanged himself in a milking shed the boy is forced to confront the harsh separation between youthful joy and adult trauma. The novel traces his life up the point where a teacher urges him to join the German Army, in order that he might see action ‘before the war ends at Christmas.’

3. Sequel to Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell. 

Titled Nineteen Eighty Five, revisit the zany and whacky antics of Airstrip One in Oceania. Visit Winston Smith as he struggles to find love and a hiding spot. Think Catch-22 meets Slaughterhouse-five. This novel has a mixture of darkness and magic, having been co-authored by Stephen King and J K Rowling.


My debut novel The Bomber is set to be released June 24th 2015 with Pen Name Publishing.

Please visit http://www.pennamepublishing.com