The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
 
 
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.

Used - Good | See details
Sold by hippo_books.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
 
   
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter [Paperback]

Carson McCullers
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (483 customer reviews)


Available from these sellers.


Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on the current pick, "Landline" by Rainbow Rowell.

Book Description

September 8, 2000
With the publication of her first novel, THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters' inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers' finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1940. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer's mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book's heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated -- and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.
Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability "to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness." She writes "with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming," said the NEW YORK TIMES. McCullers became an overnight literary sensation, but her novel has endured, just as timely and powerful today as when it was first published. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, endearing best.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"When one puts [this book] down, it is with . . . a feeling of having been nourished by the truth." --May Sarton

“To me the most impressive aspect of THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is the astonishing humanity that enables a white writer, for the first time in Southern fiction, to handle Negro characters with as much ease and justice of those of her own race. This cannot be accounted for stylistically or politically; it seems to stem from an attitude toward life.” -- Richard Wright

From the Inside Flap

When she was only twenty-three, Carson  McCullers's first novel created a literary sensation. She  was 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. This novel is  the work of a supreme artist, Carson McCullers's  enduring masterpiece. The heroine is the strange  young girl, Mick Kelly. The setting is a small  Southern town, the cosmos universal and eternal.  The characters are the damned, the voiceless, the  rejected. Some fight their loneliness with  violence and depravity, Some with sex or drink, and some  -- like Mick -- with a quiet, intensely personal  search for beauty. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; New edition edition (September 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618084746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618084746
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (483 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,095,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This 1940 novel by Carson McCullers is set in a small southern town. It's about five different people and their relationships to each other. There is surface structure inasmuch as the chapters move back and forth, focusing on one character and then another and moving the action forward. But there's an appealing off-center feeling to it all, as this study in what it means to be a human being reflects the human condition without having to tie it all up in a neat little package.
Driving the story is John Singer, a deaf mute. When his friend Sprios, a fellow deaf mute, goes insane, John Singer attracts other alienated people, who pour their hearts out to him, believing that he understands everything. There's Jake, who drinks hard, requires constant stimulation of his senses to feel alive, and views the world though a communist philosophy. There's Dr. Copeland, a black physician, who so wants to improve the condition of his race, that he has driven his wife and children away because they never fit the picture of the way he wanted them to be. There's Mick, the adolescent girl, introspective and intuitive, who dreams of a future filled with music and travel. And then there is Biff, the owner of the Café, who collects old newspapers and tries to make sense out of what is going on around him. Everyone feels that the deaf-mute has some sort of magical presence. But yet, he too, proves to be very human.
The town itself is important to the story, and Ms. McCullers' makes use of the rhythms of the seasons and of music to bring the reader right there. The coming-of-age of the adolescent made me sad and the realities of racism caused me to cringe in horror. The alienation is deeply frustrating. This is exemplified by one very moving scene where two men debate how to handle injustices.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
103 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book April 24, 2004
Format:Paperback
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter is one of the best novels I've read in a while. I loved the way Carson McCullers develops the characters in this book. Loneliness and racial injustice are two timeless themes in this novel that McCullers presents so well. McCullers was a white woman writing about how black people were mistreated and felt oppressed in 1940. She was an author truly ahead of her time in that way.
All the characters are so memorable in this book. Biff Brannon is a compassionate cafe owner. He helps anyone in need by giving them either food, money or a job. Brannon becomes a widower when his wife dies suddenly of a tumor. Mick Kelly is a lonely but intelligent 12 year old girl from a poor family with a passion for music. Doctor Copeland is a black physician. He becomes a crusader for racial justice when his son goes to jail. McCullers explains the basic principles of Karl Marx's economic theory in the novel by putting in a lecture by Copeland in the novel to show how society is divided between the rich and poor people. I knew nothing about Karl Marx's ideas, so I thought this part of the novel was very interesting. Another memorable character is John Singer. He is a man who does not have the ability to speak. However, he becomes the person all the characters eventually confide all their problems to. Singer communicates with his long time room mate and only deaf friend by using sign language. The relationship and love between these two deaf friends is one of the best things about this novel.
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter is one of the best books Oprah has ever chosen for her book club. The themes of loneliness and racial injustice are timeless and universal. The characters are very memorable too. I loved reading this book.
Was this review helpful to you?
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insight into the lonely heart May 31, 2004
Format:Hardcover
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. Highly recommended.
Only 23 when she wrote The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers captures the restless energy of adolescence and the loneliness and isolation of those who choose not to fit into their world-Mick Kelly, an artistic teenager whose titles and graffiti reveal a darker side to her personality; Jake Blount, an itinerant socialist; Benedict Mady Copeland, a consumptive black physician; and Biff Brannon, owner of the New York Café. Linking this disparate group of outsiders is the ironically named John Singer, a man who cannot talk (or sing). They are drawn to him, as lonely people are to someone they believe will listen and understand. They never step out of themselves to discover that Singer listens, but he doesn't understand, nor do they realise that he, too, is lonely and isolated-or why.
Just as these four impose their concept of Singer upon him, he has his own idol-his companion of 10 years, Spiros Antonapoulos. While Singer's lonely friends project upon him the character of a wise, knowing, understanding man, Singer in turn imposes a similar personality on Antonapoulos. His life revolves around his rare visits to the asylum to which Antonapoulos is eventually taken. As the reader's awareness of Antonapoulos as a childish, greedy, and lazy man grows, so grows Singer's faith in him as gentle and wise. As a fellow mute, Antonapoulos is all Singer has, so he both idealises and idolises him-in the same way that Mick, Blount, Copeland, and, to a lesser extent, Brannon idealise and idolise Singer.
Rarely do any of the four interact, except when Blount and Dr. Copeland engage in a circular argument about how best to help their peoples-victims of capitalism in Blount's case, blacks in Dr. Copeland's.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Perspective and depth beyond the above average 23 year old
One of the things that struck me about this novel was the depth of perspective and projection that Carson writes with. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Tony Caprice
4.0 out of 5 stars McCullers
She was an alcoholic and had mental disease, and yet at 21 she wrote this book. There are rough spots (her use of black dialogue) but in general it was worth the read.
Published 11 days ago by tripletsgran
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant look at 30s rural America
This novel published in 1940, gives a clear-eyed picture of life in the rural south during the Great Depression. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Carol Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it
A new author for me .... wonderful writing ..... excellent ... and I have read her other novels too as a consequence of reading this and she was r rated by Ernest Hemingway as one... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Morais
5.0 out of 5 stars American Literature rarely rises to this level
I have put off reading this book most of my life -- simply because the list I WANT to read is huge and I just kept putting this one off. What a mistake. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gruvdog
1.0 out of 5 stars Pseudo political treatise
I am a reader of and student of the classics and found this shallow, depressing sham of a novel to be a poor excuse for giving a pseudo political treatise. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Darlene Riley
2.0 out of 5 stars I know its a classic, but I found it boring anf pointless. It is...
I know its a classic, but I found it boring anf pointless. It is beautifully written. I got 3/4 of the way through
Published 1 month ago by jolea brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Characters, lovely and memorable story.
What a treat.
Enjoyed reading slowly. Authentic setting and characterization.
McCullers gives a truly psychological depth to her characters.
Very moving, endearing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Eric A. Hanson
4.0 out of 5 stars High School Sophmore
This was mandatory reading for my history class in school. We had good discussions about. Very controversial discussions that is.
Published 2 months ago by Vern
1.0 out of 5 stars what was the point?
There were some very interesting characters that certainly drew me in, but to what?
I read much of the book wondering, "Where is this book going! Read more
Published 2 months ago by J Bouldin
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 



Look for Similar Items by Category