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Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

When I read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers it didn't strike me as good or bad so much as extremely depressing.  The book is mainly about John Singer, a deaf man who can't speak and lives in a mill town in 1930s Georgia.  It opens with his best and only friend being sent away to an asylum and gives the reader a window into life in a small town in the deep south as Singer struggles to make a new life alone.

While I would certainly say that the depressing tone of the book is its most notable feature, I would still admit that it is quite good.  McCullers makes the downtrodden, lost, scared, and depressed members of this town feel very real.  I have complained in the past about bizarre characters that I found it impossible to relate to.  For some reason the bizarre acts of the characters in this book didn't bother me at all.  Their actions may not be logical, but it's clear that they are coping with their circumstances loneliness in the only way that they can think to.  They're driven by a desperation that has little consideration for reason.

A good read that I'd recommend, but certainly not a happy one.


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