Publisher and Amazon apologise for misprinted copies of Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman

By Lindsay de Freitas
20 July 2015

The much-anticipated release of the acclaimed author’s Go Set a Watchman has been marred as Amazon sold an unknown number of misprinted copies.

Some readers who pre-ordered Harper Lee’s follow-up to literary classic To Kill a Mockingbird have encountered an unhappy ending as the last pages of a certain copies were misprinted.

Set 20 years after To Kill a Mockingbird, the book focuses on the relationship between a now adult Scout and her lawyer father, Atticus Finch, as she tries to understand his views on a changing society in America’s Deep South. The book was officially on July 14 with thousands of fans queuing to get their hands on the very first copies.

But a week later Penguin Random House has revealed that a misprint in a "limited number" of the initial 25 000 editions has led to two sentences being omitted- six pages from the end of the book. The first time readers became aware of the error was in the middle of an argument between Scout and her father which occurs very close to the end of the novel.

"Due to an error in the printing process a limited number of copies of Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman are faulty…replacement copies are currently being printed and the situation will be resolved swiftly," a statement from Penguin read.

Amazon, which supplied many of the misprinted copies, also issued an apology and told customers that they would receive a new copy free of charge. After initially promising new books the online retailer went one step further and emailed the missing lines to the unhappy customers. The subject line on Amazon’s email read, ‘Warning potential spoilers. Please don’t scroll down before reaching page 252.’

The long lost manuscript for Go Set a Watchman was discovered in a safety deposit box by Harper Lee’s lawyer last year after the author wrote it in the 1950s. The novel has been mired in controversy with accusations that publishers have take advantage of the author’s poor health by releasing the book against her will. Despite mixed reviews the novel has proven to be a hit, selling 105 000 copies in the first day, in the UK alone.


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