Suggesting that the only thing readers love more than classic literary figures is finding out that those classic literary figures become jaded racists when they get old, The Hollywood Reporter says that Harper Lee’s controversial To Kill A Mockingbird sequel, Go Set A Watchman, has already sold 1.1 million copies in the United States and Canada. The book just came out last week, so that number not only includes people who ran out to wherever they sell books (Amazon?) to buy it as soon as they could, but also people who pre-ordered it despite early reports that it would not only feature a disappointingly racist Atticus Finch, but also that Harper Lee maybe never wanted it to be published in the first place.
Whether or not the book can keep up the pace of these sales remains to be seen, but we hope the success of Watchman opens the door for some more sequels to old books that completely change how we view beloved characters. They could make a new Lord Of The Rings where Frodo decides to keep the ring and be evil, or a new Catcher In The Rye where we find out that Holden Caulfield is actually a phony, or even a new Great Gatsby where Nick Carraway doesn’t beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. Don’t try to pretend that everyone in the world wouldn’t buy The Great Gatsby 2: This One Has A Happy Ending.