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Complete Novels: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter / Reflections in a Golden…

por Carson McCullers

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
493636,848 (4.5)23
"In The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940), one of the most extraordinary debuts in modern American literature, an enigmatic deaf-mute draws out the confessions of an itinerant worker, a young girl, a doctor, and a widowed cafe proprietor. The disfiguring violence of desire is explored with shocking intensity in two shorter works, Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941), a tale of murder and madness at an army base, and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1943), a grotesquely imaginative exploration of love's outer boundaries. The Member of the Wedding (1946), thought by many to be her masterpiece, hauntingly depicts a young girl's fascination with her brother's wedding. In 12-year-old Frankie Addams, confused, easily wounded, yet determined to survive, McCullers created her most indelible protagonist. Clock Without Hands (1960), her final novel, was completed against great odds in the midst of tremendous physical suffering. Set against the background of court-ordered school integration, it contains some of McCullers' most forceful social criticism."--Jacket.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 6 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I rated each novel individually

'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter': 5 Stars

What a brilliantly sad novel, I'd read this once before in college, but I was still drawn in and captivated from the first lines. McCullers has created a real melancholy here, describing the four townspeople: a young girl, a shop-owner, a drifter and a black doctor, all drawn to the deaf-mute Singer with precision. Even reading it a second time I couldn't quite catch the subtle changes in narration when the novel shifted perspectives that identified the individuals for me before they were identified by name.

The center of the novel is the transference of each characters hopes and dreams onto Singer, pouring their hearts out to him while- with the slight exception of the shop-owner - never trying to see through to his heart.

'Reflections in a Golden Eye': 4 Stars

Very good, well-laid out - I especially liked her characterization of Alison Langdon and Captain Penderton. It was beautifully done, set up almost like a mystery, naming a crime and those involved so that the entire time one was reading it theories and revelations circled the brain. I might be docking points only because it was so brief (though I can't see it being any longer than it was)...

'The Ballad of the Sad Cafe': 2 Stars

There just wasn't much here, an interesting stock of characters with Miss Amelia and Cousin Lymon at the front. I just never got into this particular sad world that McCullers created. All I felt was irritation and frustration at their actions.

'The Member of the Wedding': 4 Stars

McCullers captured Frankie's, excuse me, F. Jasmine's restlessness and sadness in only a few pages, only a few gestures and her sullenness. Reading this made me remember how I felt at that age, 12 going on 13, how stagnant the world suddenly became, changing dynamics with friends and I especially sympathized with that reluctance to stop playacting and playing.

That seeking out of something to replace that, finding a 'we' to become, is a huge thing to encompass and McCullers for the most part accomplishes it. The story did drag a little bit in the middle but the ending was satisfying, and has one of my favorite closing lines in any book.

'Clock Without Hands': 4 Stars

McCuller's final novel, begun in the early 1950s and taking most of the decade to complete, is of its time and a passionate look at the turmoil in the South as the Civil Rights movement mounted and a harsh portrayal of the hypocrisy of the old order. It's also about death and how the knowledge of it can bring out the best and worst in individuals.

Overall, McCullers is worthy of all the praise she's received. There are ups and downs in her writing of course but as a single entity these novels are so insightful and absorbing that I can't give this collection anything less then full marks. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
"The heart is a lonely hunter", "Reflections in a golden eye", "The ballad of the sad café", "The member of the wedding", "Clock without hands"
  IICANA | Apr 28, 2016 |
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter:
This is a novel full of lonely people, missed chances, broken dreams and bitter ends. Yet the author keeps us all at arm's length from her characters, who are very well drawn, but who do not draw us into their lives. This detachment is essential, because otherwise the sadness would be awfully hard to take. I believe we are meant to engage our minds, as the characters themselves do so extensively, to assess what's happening in their lives, without getting emotionally involved. This means, of course, as so many readers have pointed out, that it is difficult to "like" or "care about" any of the characters. As each of the main characters is isolated from society, we find ourselves isolated from them. John Singer is deaf, and communicates minimally with those around him. Mick Kelly is an adolescent who closely guards her inner life, and engages only as necessary with the outside world. Biff Brannon is utterly conflicted and confused, unable to connect with his wife, or himself. Jake Blount is lost, unstable, frequently drunk, convinced that Marxism is "the answer", but unable to apply that conviction even to bring about a coherent dialog with another like-minded individual. Even Dr. Copeland, who devotes his life to selflessly providing medical care for his people, fails to love and connect with his own children. Something about this reading experience reminds me of the way I felt when reading Russian novels for the first time in my teenage years--fascinated in a Spock-like, almost clinical way by the lives I did not recognize or sympathize with. Now, my human half wants to chide them out of their existential funk by urging them to look around at the beauty that's out there...to love something regardless of whether you get loved in return...to make life happen instead of waiting for it to happen to you. So, no...I did not have a lot of sympathy for McCullers' characters, although I will admit to a hope that Mick Kelly persists in her dreams, clings to her music, and never lets herself lose access to that "inner room". I was entranced with the wonderful writing, the fugue-like structure of the novel, and the not-quite fulfilled promise of genius.
Review written January 2015 ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Jun 3, 2015 |
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter:
This is a novel full of lonely people, missed chances, broken dreams and bitter ends. Yet the author keeps us all at arm's length from her characters, who are very well drawn, but who do not draw us into their lives. This detachment is essential, because otherwise the sadness would be awfully hard to take. I believe we are meant to engage our minds, as the characters themselves do so extensively, to assess what's happening in their lives, without getting emotionally involved. This means, of course, as so many readers have pointed out, that it is difficult to "like" or "care about" any of the characters. As each of the main characters is isolated from society, we find ourselves isolated from them. John Singer is deaf, and communicates minimally with those around him. Mick Kelly is an adolescent who closely guards her inner life, and engages only as necessary with the outside world. Biff Brannon is utterly conflicted and confused, unable to connect with his wife, or himself. Jake Blount is lost, unstable, frequently drunk, convinced that Marxism is "the answer", but unable to apply that conviction even to bring about a coherent dialog with another like-minded individual. Even Dr. Copeland, who devotes his life to selflessly providing medical care for his people, fails to love and connect with his own children. Something about this reading experience reminds me of the way I felt when reading Russian novels for the first time in my teenage years--fascinated in a Spock-like, almost clinical way by the lives I did not recognize or sympathize with. Now, my human half wants to chide them out of their existential funk by urging them to look around at the beauty that's out there...to love something regardless of whether you get loved in return...to make life happen instead of waiting for it to happen to you. So, no...I did not have a lot of sympathy for McCullers' characters, although I will admit to a hope that Mick Kelly persists in her dreams, clings to her music, and never lets herself lose access to that "inner room". I was entranced with the wonderful writing, the fugue-like structure of the novel, and the not-quite fulfilled promise of genius.
Review written January 2015 ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Mar 29, 2015 |
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - A book about dignity. I can't believe she wrote this when she was 23. It has a wise old salt sort of insight into human nature about it. Very sad, but somehow affirming for all that. (Read early 2005) ( )
  jddunn | Nov 14, 2010 |
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"In The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940), one of the most extraordinary debuts in modern American literature, an enigmatic deaf-mute draws out the confessions of an itinerant worker, a young girl, a doctor, and a widowed cafe proprietor. The disfiguring violence of desire is explored with shocking intensity in two shorter works, Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941), a tale of murder and madness at an army base, and The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1943), a grotesquely imaginative exploration of love's outer boundaries. The Member of the Wedding (1946), thought by many to be her masterpiece, hauntingly depicts a young girl's fascination with her brother's wedding. In 12-year-old Frankie Addams, confused, easily wounded, yet determined to survive, McCullers created her most indelible protagonist. Clock Without Hands (1960), her final novel, was completed against great odds in the midst of tremendous physical suffering. Set against the background of court-ordered school integration, it contains some of McCullers' most forceful social criticism."--Jacket.

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