Book Review: The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Can some please explain to me why everyone and their mom loves this book? I just don’t get it. Like, really, I just don’t get it. 

This book felt unspecial and frankly boring. Honestly, I’m glad I read it, so I can say that I read it. But overall, I’m underwhelmed and unimpressed. 

Some back story: When I was younger, I used to go to a camp called Great Books Summer Program. It’s truly one of the best experiences of my life thus far, and it’s where I met some of my closest and best friends. Hello, Eve and Ben! Anyway, one summer I had a literature elective class called  Southern Gothic Women Writers. In this class, I read the first chapter of this book. I enjoyed it. Anyways, fast forward to this summer, and I’m looking for something to read because I’m getting bored of Pride and Prejudice. This where The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter comes in. I saw it while browsing on the Libby app one night, and immediately I rented it. I didn’t even stop to read the synopsis. 

So, I’m reading the book, and about ⅓ through the book I think to myself  “What the heck is happening in the book? Where is this going?”.  I’ll tell you the answer – no where. I mean, the book does have a resolution for all of the characters it follows, but this book was a slow meandering ride to nowhere. Still, as I read, I thought to myself, “Since I started reading the book without reading the synopsis, I want to finish the book without having read the synopsis. I’m too far in. I just have to commit.” This book is why I have a fear of commitment. I committed to finishing this book, and it was a lowkey waste of time. It’s better than watching YouTube but not better than watching an interesting documentary.

Yes, the protagonists are loney. Yes, many of them have traits that contribute to their loneliness in 1920s Deep South. Yes, there is some nice prose in here. But that is not enough to carry the book.

Final thoughts: I’m glad I read this book. I’m also glad I didn’t buy the book. Thank God for libraries! There are some books you read to be a part of the conversation – this is one of them. I’ll be able to take part in the conversations because I’m so cultured. 

A deepy “meh” book.

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