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"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."
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.
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.
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.
"....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."
Anonymous 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
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.
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.