Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Top Ten Favourite Book - Number 7

From the back cover of this book, "When she was only twenty-three this, Carson McCullers' first novel, created a literary sensation. She is 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." Wordy, eh? Well, don't let that somewhat heavy description scare you away as ths book below is well worth reading and ranks in my Top Ten favourites.

Carson McCullers lived from 1917 - 1967 and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter was her first novel, written when she was just 23. Reading through the wikipedia page on her, she didn't write a great many novels and I must say this is the only one I've read. But, having said that, this was a truly great novel.

It tells the story of a young girl named Mick who lives in the South. Her life revolves around her family, their new tenant, the deaf jeweller, Mr Singer and the varied other people that impact on her life. Many of these people come into her life via Mr Singer; the black doctor, Mr Copeland, who tries to bring culture and knowledge to his race. There is the restaurant owner who stands behind his counter watching life go by. There is the wanderer, the drunken radical who befriends Mr Singer and Mick.

It's a deep, wonderfully written story, that touches the heart as it tells of Mick's growing up, the incidents that affect her life. I rank it with others of the type, including A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. This one also tells the story of a young girl's coming of age, dealing with the trials and tribulations of her poor family. She is desperate for an education, in a similar vein as Mick's yearning to be a concert pianist, but unable to even take lessons due to her families poverty. These are great stories that anyone would enjoy. I chose. While they deal with tragedy, they also deal with love and happiness. I chose The Heart is a Lonely Hunter as one of my Top Ten's, partly because it is also such an excellent movie.

I actually saw the movie first, many years ago and was struck by the touching story. Alan Arkin is excellent as Mr Singer, portraying the deaf mute to perfection. The movie is centered more around Mr Singer, with Mick playing a major role as well.

It was a movie that I wanted to share with somebody and I had looked for it for a long time on video so that I could get Jo to watch it with me. The story is so excellent and well told. Of course, I didn't tell Jo the ending, which I won't tell you either; suffice it to say she gave me a smack on the shoulder as there were tears shed. Still, I know she thought it was excellent too. :0)

As I mentioned, Alan Arkin is so good, probably his best role ever. And Sandra Locke, Clint Eastwood's ex wife, is also excellent as Mick. This was Sandra Locke's first role, a real winner.

I heartily recommend both the movie and the book. You will ultimately be satisfied with either and I'm sure feel the same way I did.



  1. Hm maybe I`ll try that one next. Right now I`m reading "The labyrinth" By Kate Mosse. It takes forever since I never have the time to sit down because of the baby.

  2. Luckily I don't have to deal with that anymore, well, except for an old dog that wants to get up and down from the couch constantly. lol.

    It's definitely worth a read. I haven't read The Labrynth. Are you enjoying?

  3. It is an excellent book. Very well written. The author has done her research well - both on history, religion and an old French language called Occitan. It shifts between modern France, 2005 - and medieval France 1209, so it is not a book you can put down for a week or so - then you have to start all over again... Or maybe that’s just me.. After all I read it in English so maybe it is too much information on one time for my brain! ;D But I just got it on CD - so I’ll start over again now. What I love about the story is that she uses historical facts so you can basically google everything and find pictures of how it looks. FX “Carcassonne” or “Château Comtal”. I’ve just read a couple of chapters so I don’t know what I’ll think after having read all 700 pages.. But so far so good! The last book I did finish was "The historian" by Elisabeth Kostova, which also switches between present time and past time - and was kind of a Dracula inspired novel. I really enjoyed that one. Maybe because I’m so fascinated with how different people have used the vampire myth in their own way - how they use historical facts.

  4. I've had The Historian sitting on my book shelf for a couple of years now. Maybe I'll dust it off and give it a go. I also like how different authors use the vampire myth, although other than Charlaine Harris and Laurell Hamilton, I haven't read too many vampire stories of late.


Related Posts with Thumbnails