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The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
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The Moviegoer

by Walker Percy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,713712,075 (3.69)1 / 104
  1. 00
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  2. 00
    The Floating Opera by John Barth (michaeljohn)
    michaeljohn: Both are slyly humorous novels with philosophical undercurrents.
  3. 01
    Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (erezv)
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English (69)  German (2)  All languages (71)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
St. Barts 2019 #7 - I know this won the National Book Award, but it just did not do it for me......in the beginning, i thought it would....but was not to be so. Far too many characters thrown at me in disjointed ways....and from complicated relationships of deaths and remarriages and half-brothers, etc. And i am sad to say early on, I just did not care enough to go back and try to fetter out my confusion, which probably was a mistake. I thought it would settle out for me with further reading....but alas, no. So, the premise, i guess, was the search by our main character, Jack Bolling (Binx) for his purpose for existence.....since he seemed to have none.....Malaise was his nemesis, and it was everywhere....but movies would set that aside, albeit briefly. The early movie references were interesting and i thought would give it promise, but the further the book went, the less there were. Certainly his disjointed, rather spread out family of very varied heritage contributed to his sense of empty wandering, yet he has to be, by his own definition, one of the most selfish, and personally vacant souls i have encountered in a while.....and perfectly content to be such on the one hand, but yearning for something else on the other. It just did not click together for me. Likely a little too much thinking needed for my reading taste, which is purely for entertainment. Did he find whatever he was in search of???? I wish i could tell you, but sadly, i really don't know..... ( )
  jeffome | Jan 20, 2019 |
Eh, it's fine. I felt slightly disappointed by this book because I love fiction from the American South and this came highly recommended to me. Percy has a great turn of phrase and his strength is in descriptive writing, which is frequently beautiful and powerfully written here. The novel fared less well, for me, in its action: I was pretty bored by Binx and his "malaise" and his "genie-soul" musings - in particular the section where he visits his family after the trip to the beach with Sharon just dragged. Ultimately I didn't find Binx's central conflict or "search" to be all that compelling and although there's clearly a good writer at work in this book, it all felt a little unfocussed to me. ( )
  haarpsichord | Nov 5, 2018 |
A challenging book but so worth it. Some of the most beautiful prose I've read. ( )
1 vote dldbizacct | Sep 7, 2018 |
SO I've been meaning to read this book for a while. But a website ( https://mubi.com/lists/the-moviegoer-walker-percy ) actually lists the films mentioned in the book, and there are only nine of them, so I had been waiting to at least see a couple of the movies. I'm always interested to see what the TCM channel has playing (no one else airs any old movies, so I love TCM. Also, check out filmstruck.com!) THEN over a couple of months, TCM played eight of the nine Moviegoer movies... onto the DVR they went. I was able to watch them all before reading the book (including one I found on ebay for $4.)
If I ended up hating the book, I would have probably hated the work I put into watching all the movies mentioned. BUT I loved the book. Percy has a lovely way with words. I love that his descriptions are amazing but then the dialogue is how real people would actually speak. Binx is a great character. It's one of those books that are filled with observations rather than plot, but it a writer can do that well, that is fine with with me. My copy was older and already underlined, which I feel gives me the go to also underline. I ended up underlining things on almost every page. Though Binx is a "moviegoer" the movies certainly don't become a main focus in the book, but I'm sure that is the point. It's a shame Walker Percy only wrote a handful of books.
This book reminded me of so many others: The Catcher in the Rye, Wise Blood, The Confederacy of Dunces, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (though Binx is a much more practical character than many of the characters within these books.) And I think I like The Moviegoer best out of all this tough competition. I'm always trying to find books like Wim Wenders or Tarkovsky films, and this book is close. (Any suggestions for more?) ( )
2 vote booklove2 | Aug 29, 2018 |
A good balance of plot, philosophizing, and a passive interior wanderlust ("the search" of the "seeker") . The characters seem plucked from Faulkner's south and believable in context. The existentialism is "lightweight" in that it arises simply from Binx not making any progress from his readymade worldview at the outset. ( )
1 vote albertgoldfain | Jul 8, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
Ironic but not cynical, complex without being abstruse, hopeful without sentimentality.
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Percy, Walkerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Handke, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
... the specific character of

despair is precisely this: it

is unaware of being despair.

Søren Kierkegaard,

The Sickness Unto Death
Dedication
IN GRATITUDE TO W.A.P.
First words
This morning I got a note from my aunt asking me to come for lunch.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375701966, Paperback)

This elegantly written account of a young man's search for signs of purpose in the universe is one of the great existential texts of the postwar era and is really funny besides. Binx Bolling, inveterate cinemaphile, contemplative rake and man of the periphery, tries hedonism and tries doing the right thing, but ultimately finds redemption (or at least the prospect of it) by taking a leap of faith and quite literally embracing what only seems irrational.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:46 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Kate's desperate struggle to maintain her sanity forces her cousin Binx to relinquish his dreamworld.

» see all 3 descriptions

Legacy Library: Walker Percy

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