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The Moviegoer (1961)

by Walker Percy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,249872,155 (3.65)1 / 109
In this National Book Award­-winning novel, a young man, torn between the forces of tradition and change, searches for meaning in postwar America. On the cusp of his thirtieth birthday, Binx Bolling is a lost soul. A stockbroker and member of an established New Orleans family, Binx's one escape is the movie theater that transports him from the falseness of his life. With Mardi Gras in full swing, Binx, along with his cousin Kate, sets out to find his true purpose amid the excesses of the carnival that surrounds him.   Buoyant yet powerful, The Moviegoer is a poignant indictment of modern values, and an unforgettable story of a week that will change two lives forever. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Walker Percy including rare photos from the author's estate.… (more)
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» See also 109 mentions

English (85)  German (2)  All languages (87)
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
A fabulous little book. The alienation of the main character is is very interesting, but in particular I felt that the solution to Kate's depression was what resonated with me the most. It was a feeling I had experienced in the past, while in a deep depression I just wished desperately that there was someone who would look out for me and tell me what to do. Tell me what I would do under normal circumstances and push me along to do it. It was an interesting thing to come across in this book. It is also one of the few books that has made me laugh out loud. ( )
  jsqsh | Aug 29, 2021 |
Jez rec, couldn't stick with it - felt very dated ( )
  wordloversf | Aug 14, 2021 |
I have wanted to read this book for a long time and I'm glad I finally got around to it. The language is wonderful, the descriptions bring you right into New Orleans, and I found the protagonist to be an interestingly flawed character. I ended up giving the book 4 stars instead of 5 not for any real flaw in the execution but because I need just a bit more plot for the books I enjoy the most. While I was intrigued by the journey and things do happen and change over the course of the book, that isn't the real point of the book. Well worth the reading time, a strong 4 star book. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
Until my recent reading of The Moviegoer, I was a virgin to the Walker Percy experience. I came to this book because of years of glorious reviews and comments, his reputation of being a writer with a serious philosophical bent, and his 1962 National Book Award. I knew of Percy’s Southern origins, his agnostic upbringing, and about having lost his father to suicide when Walker was barely a teenager. Later I learned that just two years later, he was orphaned by his mother’s fatal car accident, one that Walker always believed was a suicide as well. Percy was a literary groundbreaker, a major influence on his fellow Southern writers with his estranged characters that were detached from much in their lives. With his early life, that disconnect isn’t hard to source.

Now that I’ve read the book, I recognize the talent, found the characters interesting, was fascinated by their motivations that circled and sometimes slammed into each other, or simply headed away in different directions. All that said, I found myself detached from much of the book—possibly, it was the right book, just at the wrong time. Because of my age and life situation, I’m hip to the fact that books such as this won’t be able to wait on a shelf in my den, waiting for just the right time to read again—I’ve lost that life possibility. I would put on my “So Many Books, Too Little Time” T-shirt, if I only had one. [My trivia for this exact moment, that quote is surprisingly attributed to Frank Zappa.]

Anyway, a widely acclaimed literary classic it is, but I’m moving on to my next book. ( )
  jphamilton | Dec 12, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (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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... 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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In this National Book Award­-winning novel, a young man, torn between the forces of tradition and change, searches for meaning in postwar America. On the cusp of his thirtieth birthday, Binx Bolling is a lost soul. A stockbroker and member of an established New Orleans family, Binx's one escape is the movie theater that transports him from the falseness of his life. With Mardi Gras in full swing, Binx, along with his cousin Kate, sets out to find his true purpose amid the excesses of the carnival that surrounds him.   Buoyant yet powerful, The Moviegoer is a poignant indictment of modern values, and an unforgettable story of a week that will change two lives forever. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Walker Percy including rare photos from the author's estate.

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Average: (3.65)
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1 31
1.5 6
2 66
2.5 26
3 219
3.5 63
4 264
4.5 41
5 190

 

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