The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

Hardcover | May 18, 1993

byCarson McCullers

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Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

When she was only twenty-three, Carson McCullers's first novel created a literary sensation. She was very special, one of America's superlative writers who conjures up a vision of existence as terrible as it is real, who takes us on shattering voyages into the depths of the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition. This novel is the work of a supreme artist, Carson McCullers's enduring masterpiece. The heroine is the strange young girl, Mick Kelly. The setting is a small Southern town, the cosmos universal and eternal. The characters are the damned, the voiceless, the rejected. Some fight their loneliness with violence and depravity, some with sex or drink, and some—like Mick—with a quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.

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From Our Editors

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter was published in the spring of 1940, and was immediately a literary sensation. Carson McCullers was only twenty-three years old, had lived in a small southern town for most of her life, and this was her first novel. But she had read widely in Dostoevsky, Gogol, Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Eugene O'Neill, and her ...

From the Publisher

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all timeWhen she was only twenty-three, Carson McCullers's first novel created a literary sensation. She was very special, one of America's superlative writers who conjures up a vision of existence as terrible as it is real, who takes us on shattering voyages into the dept...

From the Jacket

When she was only twenty-three, Carson McCullers's first novel created a literary sensation. She was very special, one of America's superlative writers who conjures up a vision of existence as terrible as it is real, who takes us on shattering voyages into the depths of the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition. This n...

Carson McCullers was born in Columbus, Georgia, on February 19, 1917. She died at age fifty in Nyack, New York, on September 29, 1967. A promising pianist, she had hoped to enroll at the Juilliard School of Music when she was seventeen, but when she arrived in New York, she attended writing classes at Columbia University instead. In De...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 7.65 × 5.07 × 1.15 inPublished:May 18, 1993Publisher:Random House Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0679424741

ISBN - 13:9780679424741

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Customer Reviews of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

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

Extra Content

From Our Editors

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter was published in the spring of 1940, and was immediately a literary sensation. Carson McCullers was only twenty-three years old, had lived in a small southern town for most of her life, and this was her first novel. But she had read widely in Dostoevsky, Gogol, Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Eugene O'Neill, and her knowledge and insight into her characters transcended her real experience. Mick Kelly, the adolescent at the center of this strange and brooding novel, is very much the girl McCullers had been in Georgia - passionately musical, and attracted to freaks and outcasts. Mick's spiritual kinship with John Singer, a deaf mute, and with other social misfits, provides a haunting look into the abyss encountered by human beings in their attempts at love. Years later, McCullers's friend Tennessee Williams wrote that she "owned the heart and the deep understanding of it, but in addition she had that 'tongue of angels' that gave her power to sing of it, to make of it an anthem".