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The Heart is A Lonely Hunter by Carson…
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The Heart is A Lonely Hunter (1940)

by Carson McCullers (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (110)  Spanish (4)  Catalan (3)  French (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (120)
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is the first novel by Carson McCullers, she rose to fame with it at the young age of twenty-three in 1940. It's considered a masterpiece, and her finest work. I didn't get it. Truthfully, I marked it as "did not finish" and went on to other books. I came back to it because of the reviews, thinking maybe the ending was spectacular.

The book depicts small town America in the 1930s. Noone has much money, nothing exciting goes on. Everyone has big dreams that don't come true and they end up bitter and disappointed. The story is dark and depressing, which may have been the author's intent, but it made the book very hard to read. ( )
1 vote NCRainstorm | Mar 27, 2014 |
Two stars because it was well written with good character development. A dark, depressing, sad book of family dysfunction and urban loneliness. A group of misfits center around a quiet, mysterious deaf-mute. Everyone invests him with the answers and qualities they are most in need of, but no one realizes his needs and problems, his desperate loneliness and inability to communicate. ( )
  FancyHorse | Jan 31, 2014 |
It is very hard not to be in awe of a 23-year-old McCullers after reading this book. Drawing from your own childhood and teenage years is one thing, turning that into a deeply sad and absorbing tale that magnifies the all-too-real "problems" of the South is another.

Here, we meet a small town wriggling under the oppressive thumb of poverty and ignorance. There are four visionaries, who will never be that, but visionaries nevertheless. And their deaf and mute confidant. The lack of good communication is striking, where people find it hard to say what they think or believe they have been understood by those who hear them. In this regard, it was a good idea to read this book after Morrison's Beloved.

Beyond the hunger, the poverty, the ignorance and lack of education, beyond the racial lines that haunt every conversation, beyond it all, there is loneliness. This loneliness bleeds every one of the characters, bleeds them in their isolation, their desire to find someone to love/understand/listen, until it blurs their vision so much that when they are listened to, they think they are understood, and when they are hurt they think they are alive. ( )
1 vote bluepigeon | Dec 15, 2013 |
The book's title--a good title--really tells you what's inside the book. This would be an ideal sort of book for a high school English class. The themes are not difficult to tease out, and there's plenty to discuss. ( )
  tercat | Nov 19, 2013 |
This novel is set in a small Georgia mill town in the late 1930s. At the center, is John Singer, a deaf man, who rents a room in the Kelly house after his fellow deaf companion, Spiros Antonapoulos, is sent away to an asylum. Singer becomes the confidant for four of the town's misfits—Mick Kelly, a teenage girl who dreams of becoming a trained musician; Benedict Mady Copeland, the town's black doctor; Jake Blount, an alcoholic socialist; and Biff Brannon, the owner of the local café. Each of these four characters regularly visits Singer, telling him about the injustices and pain in their lives. Each outcast believes that only Singer can understand his or her loneliness, although Singer reveals little of himself to them. What is so heartbreaking in this book is that each of these characters is so self absorbed, they fail to discover that Singer listens, but he doesn’t understand, nor do they realize that he, too, is lonely and isolated — or why. The theme of social and spiritual isolation is overwhelming in this book. Issues of race relations and poverty are also presented. I found the book beautifully written, yet incredibly heartbreaking. One caution I would make is that some of the language is of the time and may be offensive to some. A 4 out of 5 stars. ( )
  marsap | Oct 21, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
No matter what the age of its author, "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" would be a remarkable book. When one reads that Carson McCullers is a girl of 22 it becomes more than that. Maturity does not cover the quality of her work. It is something beyond that, somthing more akin to the vocation of pain to which a great poet is born. Reading her, one feels this girl is wrapped in knowledge which has roots beyond the span of her life and her experience. How else can she so surely plumb the hearts of characters as strange and, under the force of her creative shaping, as real as she presents—two deaf mutes, a ranting, rebellious drunkard, a Negro torn from his faith and lost in his frustrated dream of equality, a restaurant owner bewildered by his emotions, a girl of 13 caught between the world of people and the world of shadows.

Carson McCullers is a full-fledged novelist whatever her age. She writes with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming. "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" is a first novel. One anticipates the second with something like fear. So high is the standard she has set. It doesn't seem possible that she can reach it again.
 

» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCullers, CarsonAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bruggen, W.F.H. tenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Elst, Ad van derCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Reeves McCullers and to Marguerite and Lamar Smith
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In the town there were two mutes, and they were always together.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618526412, Paperback)

With the publication of her first novel, THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters' inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers' finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer's mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book's heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated -- and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.
Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability "to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness." She writes "with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming," said the NEW YORK TIMES. McCullers became an overnight literary sensation, but her novel has endured, just as timely and powerful today as when it was first published. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, endearing best.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:06 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

With the publication of her first novel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters' inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers' finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer's mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book's heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated -- and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability "to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness." She writes "with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming," said the New York Times. McCullers became an overnight literary sensation, but her novel has endured, just as timely and powerful today as when it was first published. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, endearing best.… (more)

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