Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Author: Carson McCullers

First line: In this town there were two mutes, and they were always together

Why you should read this book: In a small town in the deep south, sometime before America’s entry in World War II, John Singer, a deaf-mute, is separated from his best friend and finds himself the object of love and curiosity from town that imbues his confused silence with pithy understanding and imparts to him the secrets of its heart. The characters who attach themselves to him, financially impoverished but spiritually brimming over with dreams and passion, are all outcasts in their own way, and yet set firmly in their own roles within the community. This intense novel weaves a tapestry of fine threads, pulled taut, to create a complete, complex picture of men and women moving through an exterior world they cannot control while carrying almost unbearably heavy inner worlds along with them.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: You expect everyone to live happily ever after.