This review is less academic and far more personal. Having been born in Louisiana, having lived most my life in the U.S, having corresponded w/the author before he died, and now having lived five years in Nicaragua, Percy's novel has become even more compelling. The malaise that Binx and Kate experience definitely has nothing to do w/people who spend all their day finding food for themselves and their children. What I would hope, one day, to find in the customer reviews of those who have read The Moviegoer is that it has changed their lives: motivated them to look at the entire world around them -- and begin to change it for the better, even in little steps, as Binx does in his movement away from superficiality and the emptiness of acquiring "things." He moves away from money and commercialism to compassion and being able to take care of people. He moves from lust to love, from intellectualizing to a desire for genuine spirituality. That doesn't mean belonging to a church; it means belonging to the human race: all of it, in its various forms, no matter how different they seem. Percy was clearly interested in the inner growth of self, but he also cared about the world each "self" inhabits. One of his opinions was that the problem of hatred between whites and blacks in the U.S. may eventually lead to the country's downfall. Percy's ultimate message, through Binx, is the necessity for love ... however subtle that message may seem to be conveyed in the circuitous route Binx follows in his search. As it is for Binx, it is the challenge of every indidivual to conduct his own search: to begin solving problems not adding to them, to acquire humanity not its products. Nor can a reader expect the search to be "spelled out." Doing that destroys the integrity of the process, the engagement that is essential to continual exploration -- not simply to find things but to understand what and how life means.