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The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
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The Moviegoer (edition 1998)

by Walker Percy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,462621,544 (3.69)1 / 100
Member:andreablythe
Title:The Moviegoer
Authors:Walker Percy
Info:Vintage (1998), Edition: 1st Vintage International ed, Paperback, 241 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:**
Tags:classics, literary, library, not a favorite, read in 2012, 12 in 12 Challenge

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 (59)  German (2)  All (61)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
This was the first Walter Percy book I've read and I'm hooked. His ability to capture details that make you see his scenes and characters vividly is unlike anyone else I can think of. I'm hooked and looking for more by him. ( )
1 vote Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
Coincidentally I finished this book on Ash Wednesday. It made the read all the more enjoyable, or should I say aesthetically pleasing--a rotation.

I first read this my freshman year of college. Can't say that I understood most of it then. Yet, this repetition was a deeper one. I understand I think more the stoicism of Aunt Emily, the coping of Kate, and the search in which Binx partakes all the more. I see Percy's keen eye so much clearer now through his protagonist.

Binx reminds me so much of Johannes de Silentio. Is this what Percy was going for? Perhaps in his marriage to Kate he becomes more like Judge Vilhelm. I am not quite sure. But, anyhow, I understand better now the search and perspective of Binx much more now. I am glad to have revisited this book: A fruitful reintroduction to the self.

I am reminded again why I love Percy. ( )
  cambernard90 | Apr 12, 2017 |
Sort of wore me out. ( )
1 vote | TBoerner | Mar 22, 2017 |
(10) This is a hard book to describe. It is a pivotal few weeks in the life of Binx Bolings, a young New Orleans man who represents the next generation of the moneyed Southern upper class. He is the last hope of his aunt to carry on the families genteel traditions, but he wavers between being what everyone expects him to be and a 'moviegoer.' I think the title moviegoer is both literal and figurative in that Binx loves the romance and the un-ordinariness of a movie plot, and thus being a 'moviegoer' comes to symbolize for him living a romantic life - a quest for beauty, excitement, entertainment. Binx's step-cousin, Kate, is a fragile young woman, who struggles with the same navel-gazing issues that Binx does - Her nervous breakdown during Carnival and its aftermath make up the central tension of the novel.

The writing was quite good and the New Orleans setting was rendered spot-on. The novel took place in the 1950's yet seemed almost timeless. There were a few times I got a bit bored with the meandering construction and a few times a bit confused about the characters. I am not sure Percy did the best job with explication re: who is who. And who the hell is 'Rory?' - all of a sudden, our narrator Binx, seemed to be telling his story to someone named Rory. I was also surprised at times by the interjection of sexual or lewd content that came out of nowhere in an otherwise restrained novel; surprised but sometimes quite amused. For instance, one scene where Binx's aunt is talking at him and he is overcome with an incredible urge to defecate.

I really liked this odd novel. Not necessarily perfectly easy reading but it seemed quite real. Very well-written. Complex, yet a simple 200+ pages. I wonder if Kate and Binx will be happy. . . I hope so, but I doubt it. I appreciate the National Book Award and the designation of this as a modern classic; Southern literature style. ( )
  jhowell | Feb 25, 2017 |
The prose of this book is particular and wonderful. Beyond that, I've found it very boring. Nothing much happens, and I'm afraid that may be the point. This malaise may be ennui by another name, and the narrator seems like a stepford smiler on the verge of snapping à la American Psycho.

Hm. I know this is a social commentary, but it doesn't quite hit right for me. Maybe it's because it's a critique of wishy-washiness of a society that is at its heart corrupt because of its inaction -- and because of this, because the narrator is deeply a member of this societal norm, he just doesn't do anything.

I think that's the essence of what I don't like. I hate books full of characters who don't do anything.

But it still may take me a while to process this novel. ( )
  beckyrenner | Dec 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (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

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Legacy Library: Walker Percy

Walker Percy has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

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