Books, classics, Fiction, Reviews

Book Review: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

I remember clearly why I picked Carson McCullurs. I think I read about her in an article and there were some comparisons made of her writing with of D.H. Lawrence. That would raise anyone’s curiosity along with their eyebrows, I bet.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter was the first novel of Carson McCullers at the age of twenty-three. And the fact fascinates me, how can one with so steadiness and rich in words can write a novel like this? The novel focus on the theme of moral isolationism. I knew nothing about the book at all when I started reading it. The book starts with a deaf-mute character as its center, John Singer, set in a Georgia mill town in 1930s. The persona of Singer is represented in a noble manner. Always ready to listen and understand those who are needed of listening and understanding. I don’t like to make comparisons but the character of Singer is as liberal as Atticus Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Singer is followed by other personalities in the book, such as, Doctor Copeland, Jake Blount, Biff Brannon and Mick Kelly. All of them, when appearing for the first time, give a surrealistic sensation. Biff, a bar owner, aesthetic spirit, and Jake, a hard-drinker, both are struggling against alienation. Mc Cullers has done a wonderful job on portraying the disposition of Doctor Copeland, and his family. A highly educated black physician with a vision for lifting his people and combating racial injustice. This family is an evidence that McCullers was ahead of her time on casting a character like Copeland. 

Out of all the dramatis personae, I guess Mick Kelly is based on the author herself. The character does represents some semi-autobiographical structure, which is either constructed of author’s life or her imagination of her own. How she would or might have like to see herself.

McCullers in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter shows how a plot can be advanced just with the characters and no major plot. Her words are genuine, and addictive. One cannot read Carson McCullers fast or slow. Her words develop a pace for the reader to go on with, themselves. If a reader is able to adapt to the that, for which I am sure he will if he arrive far as reading 50 pages.

Due to being no major sense of a plot, I cannot give it more than:

4 out of 5!

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7 thoughts on “Book Review: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers”

  1. One of my all time favourites. I bought it over 20 years ago because I liked the title and fell in love. It also got me into Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor. I feel a reread is overdue 🙂

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  2. Another novel that translated into a classic movie. If you ever get a chance to see “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” keep your eye on Best Supporting Actor Chuck McCann–who spent years doing kids’ TV shows and commercials in the New York media market. It was astounding to see what he could do as an actor, when he got the chance.

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