Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

The Heart is a Lonely HunterThe Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is literature. For people who don't like literature, it's a book where nothing happens, where navel-gazing characters interact without changing anything about one another. No challenges are overcome, no lessons are learned, no problems are solved.

For people who like literature, it's a fascinating dissection of loneliness, the futility of human communication, the divisions caused by poverty, race, disability, and non-conformity.

For me, it's a little bit in between. While I was reading, I found the characters' voices interesting. Their philosophy was so different from my own, that it was like a window into an alien mind. When I wasn't reading, I had no reason to pick up the book. There were no dangling plots to tie up, no intrigues to follow, and no underpinning story arch. The ending is extremely anti-climactic, with characters ending up almost exactly where they started. No one's life is improved. While there is tragedy, there is no catharsis.

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