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"The Help" by Kathryn Stockett

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Thriving posted 8/1/2011 21:07 PM

Anyone read it?

I'm intrigued by the teasers I'm seeing for the movie. Being a southerner (born in Memphis), raised by a non-prejudiced southern bred mother and ultra-prejudiced Yankee father, I know my view of the Civil Rights movement was severely skewed compared to most people and I'm wondering if this will set thing a little straighter for me.

I'll probably watch the movie first when it comes out and then read the book since movies never measure up. I hate spending the money for a movie and being disappointed. That's probably why I haven't gone to a movie since the mid-80s.

kdny posted 8/1/2011 21:26 PM

I just finished the book. I loved it. I wanted to read it before I see the movie.

Red Sox Nation posted 8/1/2011 21:35 PM

I read it as well. Seemed rather predictable, mass market and preachy. At least it moves quickly.

authenticnow posted 8/3/2011 22:17 PM

I read it and loved it. I'll see the movie with the expectation that it won't be nearly as good as the book. But I usually enjoy watching books get translated to the big screen.

Hope24 posted 8/4/2011 04:50 AM

Read it. Wasn't a big fan.

It will translate well to the big screen, I suspect.

TheHardWay posted 8/4/2011 08:40 AM

I read it also - I MADE myself finish it. Just was so-so - at best, IMO. It certainly wasnt worth the hype and the long wait on my book wish list.

invictus posted 8/4/2011 09:34 AM

I read it -- I remember people like some of those housewives, although at the time I thought they were just rude. Now I think they were ignorant and rude.

I thought the book was an eye-opener for people who had no idea that sort of prejudice existed. I'm looking forward to the movie.

MissesJai posted 8/4/2011 11:41 AM

loved it! I'm going to see the movie with the full on expectation that it won't live up to the book...

[This message edited by MissesJai at 1:01 PM, August 4th (Thursday)]

wannabenormal posted 8/4/2011 12:39 PM

I really enjoyed this book, so much so that I finished within a week, which is FAST for me! (I work, have kids...tend to spend my free time watching trash TV).

ETA: I don't think the movie will be near as good - but I'd like to go see it anyway.

[This message edited by wannabenormal at 12:39 PM, August 4th (Thursday)]

click4it posted 8/4/2011 12:42 PM

ooo there is a book? I definitely want to read it, because I really want to see the movie. Thanks for the heads up.

formerlyteflon posted 8/9/2011 13:37 PM

I read this for my book club. I read it in one sitting and still think it's one of the best novels I've read in the last few years.

However. In the 5 years and 40-odd books we read in our book club, this was the most controversial. The gender and race divide was clear, as all the non-black women loved it and the men of all races and black women thought it was "depressing as hell", "borderline racist" and "contrived". We basically disbanded after discussing this book!

persevere posted 8/9/2011 15:16 PM

I'm reading this right now! So far I'm really enjoying it.

steph posted 8/12/2011 14:25 PM

I just started the book last night and I like it so far.
I want to see it before I see the movie.

MissesJai posted 8/12/2011 16:18 PM

going to see the movie after work. super excited.

as all the non-black women loved it and the men of all races and black women thought it was "depressing as hell", "borderline racist" and "contrived".
People are going to have their opinions but the truth of the matter is the book is a pretty accurate depiction of southern culture at that time. I find it unfortunate that anybody, especially black readers, would consider it contrived. It's reality. Yes, it's depressing but it's our history as a country. It's embarrassing as hell, but it's the truth. You can't run from the truth. Racism was and still is very prevelant in the South. In fact, there's a small town in Mississippi where slavery still exists. Yes, you read that right.

InnerLight posted 8/12/2011 23:17 PM

I really enjoyed this book. I don't take it as the end all be all depiction of how black women in the south at that time felt at all. It's just one author and a white one. But I really loved this book a lot. Lots of black women writers to enjoy for a broader perspective.

MissesJai posted 8/15/2011 09:47 AM

Saw the movie. EXCELLENT! Writers stayed true to the book, which was very pleasing. I'd definitely see it again.

Cabrona posted 8/15/2011 11:57 AM

I read it, and was not unduly impressed. I agree that the black female characters were contrived and that annoyed me.

Thriving posted 8/15/2011 18:24 PM

Thanks everyone! Such a varied set of opinions. I'll probably wait until the movie is on "on demand" before I watch it but I may go ahead and read the book.

cmego posted 8/15/2011 21:04 PM

I thought both were very good. The book is better than the movie.

I am very Southern, born and raised in the South, by very Southern parents. I remember my grandmother having "Help". My Mom said she always had a African American maid. It's just what southern women had at that time.

So, for me, I found it wonderful. I loved hearing about how the "Help" viewed the family...certainly not something my grandmother ever considered!

I'm amazed at how much has changed in 2 generations. My grandmother could have been one of those women in the book...and here we are, 2 generations later, where I grew up knowing nothing about segregation until it was taught in school.

veritas posted 8/16/2011 10:24 AM

Racism was and still is very prevelant in the South. In fact, there's a small town in Mississippi where slavery still exists. Yes, you read that right.

That's exactly why many black women don't like it and many black women like myself might read it, but the annoyance factor is already high. It might be an accurate depiction of Southern culture, but it's not a particularly accurate depiction of The Help, the real women. I read somewhere that it was more like Mean Girls or Desperate Housewives for Jim Crow, and looking at the trailers, um, yeah.

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