The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

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The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

by Carson McCullers

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt | April 21, 2004 | Trade Paperback

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is rated 2.125 out of 5 by 8.
With the publication of her first novel, THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters'' inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers'' finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer''s mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book''s heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated -- and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.
Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability "to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness." She writes "with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming," said the NEW YORK TIMES. McCullers became an overnight literary sensation, but her novel has endured, just as timely and powerful today as when it was first published. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, endearing best.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.75 in

Published: April 21, 2004

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0618526412

ISBN - 13: 9780618526413

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Don't listen to the other reviews - this is an excellent, heartbreaking, profound and intelligent book, written with a strong sense of both loneliness and compassion. The novel centers around a young girl, a small-town diner owner, a black doctor and a socialist, who all have their own interactions with a lonely mute man. This is a powerful novel about isolation, friendship, and the ways in which we are all lonely, despite our efforts to interact with others. Yes, it is depressing, but it is never boring. McCullers writes with startling depth and humanity. Read it!
Date published: 2006-09-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ok The book is very depressing, but has its good points.
Date published: 2006-02-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Couldn't get into it I'm an avid reader and I have probably read hundreds and hundreds of books in my life but I could not get into this one. I tried. I failed. I fell asleep on it. My mind wandered. I got bored. I'd try again. I made it through the first few chapters by force and then gave up. I can't recommened it from my own perspective. Maybe others will like it. I found it very dull and tiresome.
Date published: 2006-01-09
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I snoozed but didn't lose! My goodness did this book put me to sleep! I like to read before going to be but this just put me to bed. I agree with everyone else the story is all over the place - i forget or can't figure out what is happening on one page! Pass this one over - actually if you have trouble sleeping this is a good aid!
Date published: 2005-08-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dreadful ! Poorly written, comparable to a grade nine essay. No checking back on facts, one minute the mute is drinking a beer, in the same scene he is now drinking a coffee slowly. I gave up during the third chapter.
Date published: 2005-08-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring I could barely get through the first quarter of the book. I had to force myself to read on to see if it would get better. It didn't. I'm surprised that this book is on Oprah's list. I usually love the books on Oprah's list, but this one was so uninteresting. Disappointed.
Date published: 2005-06-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Eh?!?! Never finished it tho.... I could put this book down! I was hard for me to even keep awake while reading this book. The story line goes from one character to another character then back to the first character and so on....It was really hard to understand what was happening. You can buy this book and then tell me cuz I am not finishing it.
Date published: 2005-04-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The Heart is a Lonely Hunter I just cannot finish this book. I found it too descriptive and not very interesting.
Date published: 2005-01-16

– More About This Product –

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

by Carson McCullers

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 368 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.75 in

Published: April 21, 2004

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0618526412

ISBN - 13: 9780618526413

Read from the Book

1 In the town there were two mutes, and they were always together. Early every morning they would come out from the house where they lived and walk arm in arm down the street to work. The two friends were very different. The one who always steered the way was an obese and dreamy Greek. In the summer he would come out wearing a yellow or green polo shirt stuffed sloppily into his trousers in front and hanging loose behind. When it was colder he wore over this a shapeless gray sweater. His face was round and oily, with half-closed eyelids and lips that curved in a gentle, stupid smile. The other mute was tall. His eyes had a quick, intelligent expression. He was always immaculate and very soberly dressed. Every morning the two friends walked silently together until they reached the main street of the town. Then when they came to a certain fruit and candy store they paused for a moment on the sidewalk outside. The Greek, Spiros Antonapoulos, worked for his cousin, who owned this fruit store. His job was to make candies and sweets, uncrate the fruits, and to keep the place clean. The thin mute, John Singer, nearly always put his hand on his friend''s arm and looked for a second into his face before leaving him. Then after this good-bye Singer crossed the street and walked on alone to the jewelry store where he worked as a silverware engraver. In the late afternoon the friends would meet again. Singer came back to the fruit store and waited until Antonapoulos was ready to go home.
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From the Publisher

With the publication of her first novel, THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters'' inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers'' finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer''s mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book''s heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated -- and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.
Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability "to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness." She writes "with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming," said the NEW YORK TIMES. McCullers became an overnight literary sensation, but her novel has endured, just as timely and powerful today as when it was first published. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, endearing best.

About the Author

Carson McCullers (1917-1967) was the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Member of the Wedding, Reflections in a Golden Eye, and Clock Without Hands. Born in Columbus, Georgia, on February 19, 1917, she became a promising pianist and enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York when she was seventeen, but lacking money for tuition, she never attended classes. Instead she studied writing at Columbia University, which ultimately led to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, the novel that made her an overnight literary sensation. On September 29, 1967, at age fifty, she died in Nyack, New York, where she is buried.

Editorial Reviews

?To me the most impressive aspect of THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is the astonishing humanity that enables a white writer, for the first time in Southern fiction, to handle Negro characters with as much ease and justice of those of her own race. This cannot be accounted for stylistically or politically; it seems to stem from an attitude toward life." -- Richard Wright "When one puts [this book] down, it is with . . . a feeling of having been nourished by the truth." --May Sarton "A remarkable book . . . [McCullers] writes with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming." The New York Times "Quite remarkable . . . McCullers leaves her characters hauntingly engraved in the reader''s memory." The Nation "To me the most impressive aspect of ''The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter'' is the astonishing humanity that enables a white writer, for the first time in Southern fiction, to handle Negro characters with as much ease and justice as those of her own race." -- Richard Wright New Republic "One cannot help remarking that this is an extraordinary novel to have been written by a young woman of twenty-two; but the more important fact is that it is an extraordinary novel in its own right, considerations of authorship apart." -- Saturday Review of Literature Saturday Review "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter has remarkable power, sweep and certainty . . . Her art suggests a Van Gogh painting peopled with Faulkner figures." The New York Times Book Review "Sensitively conceived and expertly told . .
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