Carson McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is a powerful exploration of alienation and loneliness in 1930s America, published in Penguin Modern Classics. Carson McCullers' prodigious first novel was published to instant acclaim when she was just twenty-three. Set in a small town in the middle of the deep South, it is the story of John Singer, a lonely deaf-mute, and a disparate group of people who are drawn towards his kind, sympathetic nature. The owner of the cafe where Singer eats every day, a young girl desperate ...
Carson McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is a powerful exploration of alienation and loneliness in 1930s America, published in Penguin Modern Classics. Carson McCullers' prodigious first novel was published to instant acclaim when she was just twenty-three. Set in a small town in the middle of the deep South, it is the story of John Singer, a lonely deaf-mute, and a disparate group of people who are drawn towards his kind, sympathetic nature. The owner of the cafe where Singer eats every day, a young girl desperate to grow up, an angry socialist drunkard, a frustrated black doctor: each pours their heart out to Singer, their silent confidant, and he in turn changes their disenchanted lives in ways the could never imagine. Moving, sensitive and deeply humane, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter explores loneliness, the human need for understanding and the search for love. Carson McCullers (1917-1967) was the critically acclaimed author of several popular novels in the 1940s and '50s, including The Member of the Wedding (1946), adapted for the stage in the 1950s and filmed in 1952 and 1997. Her novels frequently depicted life in small towns of the southeastern United States and were marked by themes of loneliness and spiritual isolation. Other films based on her books are Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967, with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando), The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968, starring Alan Arkin) and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1991, starring Vanessa Redgrave). If you enjoyed The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, you might like Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'She has examined the heart of man with an understanding ...that no other writer can hope to surpass' Tennessee Williams 'A remarkable book ...[McCullers] writes with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming' The New York Times
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The most startling and wondrous novel I have encountered in quite some time. McCullers writes like some child prodigy who is inventing the form as she goes along, tossing off observations of human behavior and environment that would seem extraneous, or simply odd, in any one else's work and here seem as natural and harmonious as the elements of a great (sad) song.
Jun 10, 2010
This is a monumental achievement, which should be on any serious reader's list.
Jan 11, 2009
would only recommend to certain people
Definitely character driven. I'm just not a fan of Oprah's choices. SOOO depressing. I'm having a hard time rating this one. I did not particularly care for the story yet the author did a great job of portraying isolation and loneliness. Hence, a wishy washy three star review.
May 26, 2007
Great intelligent and moving novel. Highly recommended. The presence of music, the social problems within South communities, but above all the loneliness of the lovers, are extremely interesting if seen through McCullers' lens. Provocative novel.
Apr 1, 2007
Great book. Very easy to read and hard to put down. Highly recommended.
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