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The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

The Moviegoer (edition 1998)

by Walker Percy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,962None1,926 (3.69)1 / 83
Title:The Moviegoer
Authors:Walker Percy
Info:Vintage (1998), Edition: 1st Vintage International ed, Paperback, 241 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

  1. 00
    The Feast of All Saints by Anne Rice (kraaivrouw)
  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 (42)  German (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Wow, what a densely woven, moody, beautiful little book. I could really just go back and start at the beginning and read it again, and I might just do that a little later on.

Five stars because of one just amazing passage that takes place at a drive-in movie—one of those things you read that stays with you forever. ( )
  lisapeet | Jan 1, 2014 |
Some keen observations of human traits and behaviors here. Particularly of people with depression and bipolar disorder, which affect the two main characters.

Jack Bolling is a thirty year old commodities trader in New Orleans who has found a niche to occupy, but has no real ambitions other than to go to movies and dally with a succession of secretaries. But underneath all that, he feels he's on a search for meaning that can't be answered by the brand of patrician conservatism espoused by his Aunt Emily. One constant in his life is his cousin, Kate Cutrer, a bright, witty woman who is subject to debilitating mood swings.

Question, how come when cousins marry in the poor classes, we laugh and cue the banjo music, but when rich people do it, it's all proper and preserves the bloodline, old chaps?

I liked it, though. It reminded me of [bc:The Sun Also Rises|3876|The Sun Also Rises|Ernest Hemingway|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1165367268s/3876.jpg|589497] in many ways. Not that Percy is as terse as Hemingway, just that he gives the same sense to the daily living of life. But whereas with TSAR, Jake find a calm escape from the struggles of life on a fishing trip, Jack "Binx" Bolling finds one in an unintentional visit with family at a bayou fishing cabin. Even though the fishing element is common to both interludes, it is family, not nature (as in Hemingway) which provides the solace.

An internet friend said that she and her friends tried to parse the Catholic message and didn't have much luck. I didn't either. Although one clue might be in Camus's "The Plague", wherein a do-gooder atheist and a do-gooder Catholic meet and find a lot in common. I know Percy read and was influenced by the existentialists, including Camus. Maybe a further delving into his later novels will show better how his religion and his philosophy interact. ( )
  EricKibler | Apr 6, 2013 |
I wasn't hating it, but I have to admit I'm not going to finish it.

(June 29)
Okay, I picked it up again on the strength of the bit about "This I Believe". We'll see how it goes.

(June 30)
I actually finished it! I liked it more than I thought I would, especially the part about "rotations". I was totally going to even go to book club and discuss it, but there was a whole situation (two, actually) and that just did not happen. Maybe next time. ( )
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
The Moviegoer is a coming-of-age story of a twenty-nine year old, 'Binx' Bolling, who works in a suburb of New Orleans at a brokerage firm. Binx doesn't know himself very well. Although he claims to enjoy the mediocrity of his life at the branch office in Gentilly, he at the same time fears the everyday-ness of life. His aunt believes him to have an analytical mind, whereas he believes he has never analyzed anything, meanwhile he continually analyzes himself and everyone else in this first-person narrative.
The most charming and at the same time disturbing aspect of this work is Binx's relationships to other women, because he proves to be a moody lover, and is unaware of what he wants. He admires his secretary's (Sharon) beauty, but while they embrace on the beach, he experiences the realization that he does not "love her so wildly as I loved her last night."
This might be a good book for teenagers, because of Binx's struggles with identity and the everyday aspects of life that he associates with malaise, despair, and deadness, but much of the book seems rather pointless. ( )
  Coffeehag | Mar 16, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Ironic but not cynical, complex without being abstruse, hopeful without sentimentality.
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... the specific character of

despair is precisely this: it

is unaware of being despair.

Søren Kierkegaard,

The Sickness Unto Death
First words
This morning I got a note from my aunt asking me to come for lunch.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:10 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

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

(summary from another edition)

Legacy Library: Walker Percy

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