Welcome friends! I have started this entry in the global technosphere because I have been in love with books since the age of 2. Among the busy business of being a new teacher, this is my outlet for sharing thoughts on a love of reading a wide variety of books. My inspiration can be summed up with a yearbook quote from a teacher written when I was 8: "To the only girl at recess I see reading a book. Good for you!"
My blog title is quoted from a classmate who asked me this once. Believe it or not, I've also heard it as a teacher :D

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter- Carson McCullers

Purchase:  Amazon | Chapters

Published:  1940
Pages:  359
ISBN:  9780618526413
Genre:  Modern Classics

Started:  Oct. 29, 2011
Finished:  Nov. 13, 2011  (16 days)

Where Found:  Chapters-Indigo
Why Read:  On my TBR list

Summary:  Set in the small-town American South during the Depression, a lonely deaf-mute man named John Singer stays at a boarding house where his encounters with a whip-smart tomboy, a sickly black physician and his estranged children, a widowed restaurant owner and a drunken intellect lead to unforeseen changes influenced by his penchant for listening.


Like Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, childhood and coming-of-age in the Depression-era American South is fently rendered in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter through 12-year-old Mick Kelly, an awkward, lanky young girl who you simply ache for as she seeks the Keatsian truth and beauty of the world while stuck in a poor, small town with troubles of its own.

If Mick is the mind of this novel, John Singer is the heart.  A lonely deaf mute separated from his only friend by circumstance, he becomes the go-to listener of the town, unintentionally and even sometimes regretfully as his own problems are never brought to bear (not that anyone offers the same comfort he provides in return) as no one seems to know how to listen to him or, sadly, even tries to.

I saw the movie before reading the book and although it was touching, very well acted by Alan Arkin and Sondra Locke, the book has layers of character development, both painful and wonderful, not seen in the movie.  On the other hand, the relationship between Mick and John Singer is given a strength and depth in the movie that fails to launch in the book.  Their friendship via her love of music and her determination for him to experience it in his own way is a determining factor in the movie's development but is mostly left undescribed and imagined in the book. 

I would recommend the movie as a companion to the book.  I'm not sure how I would have taken the movie if I had read the book first but I'm glad I came away from both feeling fulfilled by its story and its harsh, emotional edge.

Rank:  (A)- Excellent, Highly Recommend


  1. I read this one with my book club. It was an excellent read but they don't do well with depressing stories so they didn't take anything away from it. I, on the other hand, loved it. Haven't seen the movie.

  2. This is in my TBR pile, I have been wanting to read it for ages. Thanks for thoughtful review. I will have to move it closer to the top :)

  3. It's time for me to read this one again. I loved the movie, too.

  4. This has been on my wish list for a while. Thanks for the encouraging review.

  5. I bought this book a few years ago intending to read it, but it's still on my shelf. I'll have to make a better effort to get it read. Thanks for reminding me!

  6. This one just broke my heart, but I loved it. I was just destroyed when I finished it though.