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Clock Without Hands Paperback – September 15, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (September 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395929733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395929735
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Carson McCullers (1917-1967) was the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Member of the Wedding, Reflections in a Golden Eye, and Clock Without Hands. Born in Columbus, Georgia, on February 19, 1917, she became a promising pianist and enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York when she was seventeen, but lacking money for tuition, she never attended classes. Instead she studied writing at Columbia University, which ultimately led to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, the novel that made her an overnight literary sensation. On September 29, 1967, at age fifty, she died in Nyack, New York, where she is buried.

More About the Author

Carson McCullers (1917-1967) was the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Member of the Wedding, Reflections in a Golden Eye, and Clock Without Hands. Born in Columbus, Georgia, on February 19, 1917, she became a promising pianist and enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York when she was seventeen, but lacking money for tuition, she never attended classes. Instead she studied writing at Columbia University, which ultimately led to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, the novel that made her an overnight literary sensation. On September 29, 1967, at age fifty, she died in Nyack, New York, where she is buried.

Customer Reviews

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Her art is precise, dense, beautiful.
A. T. A. Oliveira
So often the white mans conscience is appeased in this type of story by having the good white man defending the poor oppressed black.
An admirer of Saul
If you enjoy a true masterpiece in literature - this is a must read.
Cynthia J. K.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Linda Linguvic HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
Written in 1953, this book explores the racial tensions in a small southern town. The winds of integration are in the air and the Old South is dying. The story is told through several characters. There's a pharmacist dying of leukemia who struggles with the diagnosis. There's a elderly judge who's a former congressman who really believes that the confederate money hoarded in his attic will some day bring him riches. There's the judge's grandson who sees changes coming. And then there's a young blue-eyed Negro who tries to be accepted.
Carson McCullers is a master of setting the stage for this disturbing tale which is certainly not comfortable to read. Each of the characters is exaggerated but that is her intent. She lays out the conflict with surgical precision and creates a world that doesn't exist any more. It's a brutal world and all the sugar coated Southern niceties just don't help. There's violence in the air. I felt it coming throughout and hoped it wouldn't happen. But the conclusion is inevitable.
Fine book. Fine writing. Recommended.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 1998
Format: Paperback
Not as well known as "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter", this is a beautiful story about small town politics and emotions in the South. McCullers has a talent for describing the dark side of humanity, what drives us and why. Emotions run high in this book where conservative judge, African-American piano player, local pharmacist, and others are connected to one another by unusual ties. It is a difficult book to find, highly recommended.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Wolverinie@aol.com on November 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Geez...what can I say about this book? Well...I could start by saying that is was an excellent novel. Being 16 years old and all, this book really explained to me how some of the old southerners thought. They still had pride in the "old south" and it fascinated me that the old judge wanted Confederate money to be made redeemable into US dollars. I just could believe it. It portrayed racist, economic, and political issues in a very believable way. It was, all in all, emotional and it really had every emotion contained within it. At times it was funny. At times is was serious. Sometimes it was happy. Sometimes it was sad. It really gets you going once you read the first 10 pages. I liked it very much and do recommend it to everyone -- regardless of age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sally tarbox on February 5, 2014
Format: Paperback
Utterly beautiful and heart-rending work, set in the Deep South, where segregation is still a way of life. The novel opens and closes with pharmacist JT Malone discovering he is terminally ill:
"He would examine a green-leaved elm tree with morbid attention as he picked a flake of sooty bark. The lamp post, the wall, the tree would exist when he was dead and the thought was loathsome to Malone...he was unable to acknowledge the reality of approaching death, and the conflict led to a sense of ubiquitous unreality."
His tale is punctuated by those of three other men: his friend, Judge Clane, an elderly conservative, struggling with the side-effects of a stroke and his son's suicide, and yearning to return to the days of slavery; Clane's teenage grandson, Jester, with very different ideas of equality. And Sherman, the blue-eyed Negro youth, whom Clane inexplicably takes into his house as a sort of secretary...
McCullers draws each of the characters so that they are completely believable - I loved the prickly relationship between the two youths; Sherman's efforts to look important and put down the privileged Jester:
"What other music do you like? Personally I adore music, passionately, I mean. Last winter I learned the 'Winter Wind' etude. "
"I bet you didn't", Sherman said, unwilling to share his musical laurels with another.
"Do you think I would sit here and tell you a lie about the 'Winter Wind' etude?" said Jester who never lied under any circumstances.
"How would I know?" answered Sherman, who was one of the world's worst liars.
Brilliant portrayal of teenagers talking, put me in mind of JD Salinger. But also of the bumptious, self-important Judge and of the meek pharmacist wondering if this life was all there was. Fantastic.
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Format: Paperback
In "Clock without hands", Carson McCullers' last novel, we find her at the peak of her game. Her writing, which has always been so beautiful, reaches a higher level in a story of loss, death and sadness. It is a book about the dying process of a man, of a establishment and of feelings buried inside minds linked to the past.

Early in the novel, J. T. Malone, owner of a drugstore, learns he has leukemia. During the whole story, he is in denial, going to different doctors only to hear the same diagnosis. He lives in a southerner small town, where most people long for the lost pre-Civil War past, where African-Americans didn't have many rights were slaves. The voice of the town is Judge Clane who resist the integration.

Jester is the Judge orphaned grandson, whose father committed suicide and the mother dying giving the birth. Sexually confused and with no clue what to do with his futures, the young man wanders around in hope to find answers. Living in the same town is Sherman Pew - a blue-eyed African-American orphan with no idea who his parents are. These four people's lives are bounded. Ties that bring together and may also tear apart.

McCullers's dives into these people inner, present and past lives that make connections explaining their bounds in the present. Her prose, as has always been in novels such as "The heart is a lonely hunter" and "The member of the wedding", is at the same time melancholic and gritty. These people are dead or about to die, living in the past's glories. The only one able to awake before it is too late seems to be Jester, but, then again, he is confused with his own identity, in search of past that was denied him.

McCullers had a difficult life, with problems both physical and emotional.
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