July 17, 2015

Some copies of British edition of “Go Set a Watchman” have no ending, due to printing error


watchmanHave you ever reached the end of a book and wished for something more? Then you know how many British readers felt this week as they approached the final moments of Harper Lee‘s Go Set a Watchman and realized that a full six pages were missing from their edition.

That’s right. Due to a printing error, anywhere from a few paragraphs to a few pages were missing from an undisclosed number of copies. The publisher, Penguin Random UK, issued a statement:

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.

Who knows how many people were left hanging? Readers shared their dismay:

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Some printing company may have lost some business, or at least received a stern phone call. It doesn’t seem to be slowing sales. The UK edition sold 105,000 copies in the first day, though many readers may not be aware of the error until they reach the final pages.

Those lucky few may have a valuable first edition in hand. Meanwhile, Brilliant Books in Michigan issued refunds to American readers who found the (complete) book to be unsatisfactory.


Kirsten Reach is an editor at Melville House.