'Go Set a Watchman' Hoopla Reaches Fever Pitch; Fans Wait in Long Lines to Snatch Up Novel

The popping of a Champagne bottle at midnight says it all. The wait is over. Harper Lee's much-anticipated new novel, Go Set a Watchman, is finally on sale.

Read: Will Atticus Finch's Racist Behavior in 'Go Set a Watchman' Tarnish Harper Lee's Legacy?

One party happened in Lee's hometown of Monroeville, Alabama.

It's the book event of the decade - and the hoopla is at fever pitch. There are lines everywhere. It's already broken presale records and could go on to become one of the fastest-selling works of fiction ever.

At a Barnes & Noble bookstore in New York City, fans were so excited they started reading it out loud as soon as they bought it. Go Set a Watchman is the first thing you see when you walk into the store.

To Kill A Mockingbird made Atticus Finch a hero, and Gregory Peck's legendary performance earned him an Oscar.  

But folks buying the book Tuesday are reacting to a big revelation that the new book depicts Finch as a 72-year-old bigot.

Read: The Book About Harper Lee's Reclusive Life

Reviews for the book are also in. The Wall Street Journal calls it a "practice run for To Kill a Mockingbird," saying "it existed before anybody would have known that small-town Alabama lawyer Atticus Finch would become a symbol of the nation's moral conscience."

The New York Times review described it as "a distressing narrative filled with characters spouting hate speech."

Entertainment Weekly gives it a D+. Positive or negative, this book is already a huge cultural event.

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