Book Reviews of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
Author: Carson McCullers
ISBN-13: 9780553269635
ISBN-10: 0553269631
Publication Date: 7/1/1983
Pages: 320
Rating:
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 72

3.7 stars, based on 72 ratings
Publisher: Bantam
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

65 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 78 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
"This book is huge. I approached it with skepticism. Half way through the book, I wasn't wowed. Then while I was telling somebody else about it, it dawned on me how deep the characters and the story had grown. It's a coming of age story for a whole town and one young girl. Every character is so natural through the story that a rich diversity of music, politics, philosophy, and religion is subtly and radically revealed.

Mick Kelly's experiences at her "prom" and the swimming hole, her relationships with her siblings, and obsession with music provide a parallel for the life of each other person. A deaf-mute as a focus to share a secret with each character was inspired. We're all individuals in the same boat. The abrupt last sentence of Part 2 is brilliant.

It's a simple story to enjoy with plenty to discover and digest throughout."
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 117 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Set in the backdrop of the Great Depression this book lets the reader "feel" how it might have been to be poor and from the South. The novel is rich with characters that McCullers breathes life into--by the end of the book you KNOW Mick Kelly, Mr. Singer, Dr. Copeland, Portia and the others. You feel the pain that is felt over injustice, hunger, racism, and poverty. Highly recommend.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
"....tells an unforgettable story of moral isolation in a small Georgia mill town in the 1930's. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant of various misfits yearning for escape from their lives."
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 381 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A book about an interesing bunch of misfits in a small town. Each character is so very well discribed. The book shows the isolation and lonliness these characters go through as they bond with each other as best they can in their small southern town. A very good read.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 117 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Set in the backdrop of the Great Depression this book lets the reader "feel" how it might have been to be poor and from the South. The novel is rich with characters that McCullers breathes life into--by the end of the book you KNOW Mick Kelly, Mr. Singer, Dr. Copeland, Portia and the others. You feel the pain that is felt over injustice, hunger, racism, and poverty. Highly recommend.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 200 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is a Southern Gothic classic, written when the author was only 23 years old. It is not a "fluffy" read, dealing with themes of poverty and loneliness, and treatment of some characters (such as the deaf and the mentally ill) would be questionable by modern standards, but the characters are well-drawn and make you think. Recommended.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 300 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Carson McCullers unforgettable tale of moral isolation in a small southern mill town in the 1930's. You'll see why she became an overnight literary success.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 117 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Set in the backdrop of the Great Depression this book lets the reader "feel" how it might have been to be poor and from the South. The novel is rich with characters that McCullers breathes life into--by the end of the book you KNOW Mick Kelly, Mr. Singer, Dr. Copeland, Portia and the others. You feel the pain that is felt over injustice, hunger, racism, and poverty. Highly recommend.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wow, what an amazing book. I have to admit I had difficulty getting into it (because I read it while traveling in Italy - - can you blame me for being distracted?!) but it was a very different book, and left me feeling extremely thoughtful.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I read reviews which call this book great, but I just don't see it. It's "literature" in all the bad senses of that word--trite, contrived, overwritten and, worst of all, boring.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 450 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A classic.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Recommended. Very interesting glimpse into small town Southern life, through differing characters, all seeking the same thing; an understanding with another person.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of my favotie books of all time - a must read for anyone who loves fiction.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is THE classic Southern novel. The characters are so real you ache for them.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An unforgettable story by a master storyteller. The title says it all. Timeless classic.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The book tells an unforgettable story of moral isolation in a small Georgia mill town in the 1930's.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of those books you have to read
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is very well written. It was not what I expected it to be and like most of the books in Oprahs book club it isn't really uplifting but I think it is worth reading.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Not my cup of tea. I'm not a fan of short stories and this seemed like several of them loosely linked together.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. It is extremely well written. And I think that it is amazing that Carson McCullers wrote it at such a young age. I am having a hard time parting with this one...but I know that passing it along is a good thing to do. Enjoy!
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A little depressing. It's not what you would call uplifting, at least not in my opinion but I did like it quite a bit and would definetly recommend it.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I also did not enjoy this book. I found it difficult to stay focused with the introduction of so many different characters. Definitely a "downer" too.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on
Helpful Score: 1
Featured in Oprah's Book Club
Very complex story -- depressing
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 40 more book reviews
The heart is a lonely hunter tells an unforgettable tale of moral isolation in a small southern mill town in the 1930's
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 3 more book reviews
An interesting study of separation between black and white American before the Civil Rights movement.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 6 more book reviews
Interesting observations and language for so young a writer.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on
I didn't like this book very much. the writing was good but the characters just didn't hold my interest. The town's beloved mute was a magnet for so many in the small town, but not for me. I kept expecting something to click between them and instead it all just fell apart. I wanted to like it, kept holding out hope, but there was none to be found.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 9 more book reviews
...a rich novel set in the 1950's in a southern mill town challenged me to understand different kinds of people living in moral isolation.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 9 more book reviews
This is another award winner that I just couldn't seem to finish. I hope you have more luck!
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 16 more book reviews
One of my all time favorites Written in the 1940's, Carson mcCullers tells the unforgettable tale of mral isolation in a small southern mill town in the 1930's.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 39 more book reviews
Great prose, an interesting snap shot of life in the Deep South in a mill town in the 1930's. Stories of class struggles civil rights issues, all wraped up in a compelling story.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on
I just finished this book and I was happy that I choose it. This bok reminded me of really gritty form of the book To Kill a Mockingbird. It seemed like the main charchters all were fighting against society and he ideas that they wanted to change
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 36 more book reviews
This book reminded me of a gritty To Kill a MockingBird" It's a story of 4 different people living trying to find there way in the racist south. This a definite must-read!
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 52 more book reviews
A heavy, but interesting novel.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 27 more book reviews
classic story in small southern town-good book club story
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 132 more book reviews
Read the book that:
Went straight to the bestseller list in 1940
Ranked Modern Librarys 17th of 100 best English novels of the 20th century
Time 100 best English novels (1923-2005)
Oprah 2004 selection


Youve heard the phrase, Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. ?

This story, with a To Kill a Mockingbird flavor, illustrates that quote. It features four characters as their lives intersect with that of a deaf mute man. Not that I think he was a fool, but by providing a silent, sympathetic companionship, he became to each whatever they thought he was. Through his patient quietude, he unintentionally gained the confidence of a fascist drunk, an idealistic black physician, an unfulfilled café owner and a 14 year old tomboy with lofty aspirations. Through him we experience the poverty, hope, and frustrations of the mid-century poor south.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 201 more book reviews
Frankly, I didn't particularly like The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. From what I've read elsewhere, it's a classic of American literature, but it didn't work for me.

I found it to be a disorganized presentation of several barely related stories, all of which were bleak, dull, or both.

I felt a small attachment to only one character - Mick - over the loss of her music at the end. Truth be told, though, none of the characters discussed seemed particularly real to me, and their struggles weren't all that important.

None of McCullers's characters grows much in any way during these pages. They just soldier on, suffering through their lives - we follow 6 or 8 of them for a year - and learn essentially nothing.

On a technical level I have to appreciate what McCullers did, though. As a rule I dislike excessive use of writing in the vernacular of the characters. When an accent or speech pattern gets to the point of inhibiting comprehension, I get frustrated. In this case the author walked a fine line. The southern speech was understandable, but because she wrote it in the vernacular it could never be called great English prose. Despite that her writing was pretty good. I give her credit for striking that balance.

I just wish the story had something in it for me. I didn't learn anything new about the human condition or about these people. I can't even tell you how the title is related to the contents.

In a week or two I'll have forgotten it all, and I won't be sorry.

Don't let my dislike stop you from reading this, though. There are a lot of things in the world that others love but which just aren't for me. This may be another in that category. A lot of reviews strongly support that theory.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 113 more book reviews
I have loved this book forever and reread when Oprah put it on her list. A classic read.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 3 more book reviews
It had a good plot and the politics of it made you think but for the most part it was a yawn.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 10 more book reviews
Very good book.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 11 more book reviews
The quintissential Southern book.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 10 more book reviews
Great book, especially if you like books of the Depression Era. Following several different lives during the story with one commonality, a deaf-mute friend. But the deaf-mute friend probably has the most exciting story with a most unexpected turn of events.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 44 more book reviews
I really liked "The Member of the Wedding", another by this author. She has a way of capturing the minds of teenage girls.

Taking place in a declining mill town, the lives of several characters that intersect, but aren't sure how to make true connections with each other. I was told last night by an English professor friend of mine, that this is a very common plot for novels set in the 1920s. It burst my bubble a little bit, but I'm still very impressed by the book, especially given it was written by a 23 year old.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 29 more book reviews
A book about isolation in the midst of family and friends.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 107 more book reviews
A timeless classic regarded as one of the 20th century's great literary masterpeices.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 46 more book reviews
I remember the movie from the 60's with Alan Arkin - and the book is just as moving and better (as they all seem to be). It is a great read - very interesting - set in the 30's in small town, with the hard lives and the simple joys.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 193 more book reviews
I thought the book to depressing, esp the ending to have more than two stars.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 2 more book reviews
Was not a favorite of mine. I found it difficult to get through because it was so depressing.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 5 more book reviews
Classic, very sad, story filled with haunting characters.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 158 more book reviews
wonderful story
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 40 more book reviews
Very well written - interesting characters and situations.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 10 more book reviews
Dark, but great.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 6 more book reviews
wonderful classic
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 15 more book reviews
If you like Toni Morrison's writing style, you'll like this book. The story meanders, the characters are never introduced; they just show up. I guess this is literature on someone's scale.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 6 more book reviews
I found this book to just meander without much page turning direction. When I was done I still wasn't sure what it was about.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on
fantastic!
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on
I was not all that impressed with this book.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 4 more book reviews
One of teh better books I have read in while. I enjoyed the style of writing - I really felt for the characters and was sad when the book was ending...
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 41 more book reviews
Compelling; keeps your attention.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 6 more book reviews
I liked very much!
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 87 more book reviews
Herokine is the strange young girl in a Southern town, Characters are the damned, the voiceless, the rejected. Way they fight lonineless.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 44 more book reviews
could not get into the book
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 16 more book reviews
There was not enough action for my taste.
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 6 more book reviews
An Oprah Book Club selection & a classic
reviewed The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on + 59 more book reviews
I read this one some time ago. If I remember right it is a good book. I like Oprah Book Club books.