Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Weekly (well, sorta) Book Review #4
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson Mccullers is a literary masterpiece, no matter how many people in my North American Literature class loathed it.
The novel begins in a small town in the thirties with a character by the name of Singer. Eventually, the reader comes to realize that everything about this character is ironic, including his name, as he cannot hear or say a word. Singer's specialty is allowing people to talk to him. Four characters in particular poor out their souls to his unspeaking body. Because he reads lips, each character gets the impression that Singer understands them better than anyone ever before. However, Singer sometimes reveals that his true understanding is very minimal. Some 400 pages later, the conclusion is that everyone is lonely and needs someone to talk to.
For me, such a book was very important for my understanding of how people work. Each character, including Singer brings something to the table that feels completely normal and real. For me, this novel taught me more than any textbook ever can. Listening is an art that involves putting your own thoughts second. For a few minutes, a true listener has to become like Singer is, silent.
My review for such a book has to be a good one, however, be warned. This book is definitely not for everyone. I think I was one of the only people in my NAL class to enjoy it. It is slow to begin with, and feels extremely long. Although, I assure you that the characters that are explained the most are the ones that should be. Each of them is very interesting and well-developed.
I give this novel 10/10, however, for most it would be closer to 6. You see, this book hit me hard in a respect that I've been thinking about for months. For many people, this book is full of explanations that are completely worthless to the "main story". But I implore you to read the book and tell me what you think. I enjoyed it...