Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers


"The two mutes had no other friends, and except when they worked they were alone together."

I usually consider myself a fairly decisive person. The kind that reads a book and can quickly determine its worth to me. This book presented a challenge in that regard. In fact, I changed my score three times. The writing is in of itself beautifully fashioned and it is hard to contemplate the author was a young woman of twenty three. One wonders however, how much of the author can be found in the character of Mike.
The deaf-mute protagonist, John Singer acts as a magnet for a diverse group of characters, each with their sad tale to tell. I found reading this book particularly hard going, every hint at a moment of joy is tempered by sadness and ultimately violence. Depression era novels seem really trying of late, oh yes, I get that they should be. It just seems that constant bad news on the television, lay offs, unemployment and other nasties, add a sense of immediacy that may not have been there in rosier times.
By far a more serious read than some of the other pulp fiction items that have traversed my bookshelf, this is, after all, an intriguing novel. It would be really interesting to hear other's thoughts on the text. The introduction in my edition certainly proffered an alternate slant on the reading that I hadn't previously noticed. Yes, this book has book club written all over it.
5 out of 5 mutes that go out with a bang. 

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