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Le Coeur est un chasseur solitaire

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  69,288 Ratings  ·  4,422 Reviews
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is the début novel by the American author Carson McCullers. It is about a deaf man who does not speak named John Singer and the people he encounters in a 1930s mill town in the US state of Georgia.
Paperback, 465 pages
Published by Stock (first published June 28th 1940)
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Ca Tennessee Williams (I know there plays but still great Southern literature) Glass Menagerie, Suddenly Last Summer, Streetcar Named Desire).
Tennessee Williams (I know there plays but still great Southern literature) Glass Menagerie, Suddenly Last Summer, Streetcar Named Desire).
William Faulkner's Sound and the Fury or his short stories
Zora Neale Hurston's Moses and Their Eyes Were Watching God
Cormac McCarthy's Child of God
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by Berendt(less)
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Jun 26, 2008 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
I knew nothing about this book at all. Well, except for the title, I’d definitely heard the title before – but I would have bet money the book was written by a man and that it was bad romance novel, at least, that would have been my best guess. Instead, this is now perhaps one of my all-time favourite American novels. It can be compared without the least blush of embarrassment with Steinbeck at his best and Harper Lee out killing mocking birds – and there are many, many points of comparison betw ...more
Jul 02, 2012 Jenn(ifer) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the tin man
Recommended to Jenn(ifer) by: thank you, whoever you are

She went there, didn't she.

As I read this novel, I could tell McCullers was setting the stage for something truly horrible to happen. And horrible things did happen. But they were never as bad as I thought they would be. Until...

Oh yes, she waited until the very end to rip my heart from my chest, throw it on the floor, stomp on it with her pumps and then throw it into the ocean to be eaten by sharks.

How does someone write a book this rich and wise and honest at 23? How does a young girl write s
Paul Bryant
Dec 03, 2008 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels

It turns out that Miss McCullers did most of her great writing - most of her entire writing - before she was 30. Rock and roll! After 30 she was too busy having ghastly illnesses and marrying the same guy three or four times, and dodging invitations to a suicide pact from the guy she married all those times. So when she was 22 - I ask you! - she wrote this first novel which is a stone American classic. I had heretofore thought that absorbing a ton of influences and developing a uniq
Richard Derus
Mar 06, 2014 Richard Derus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4.99* of five

A near-perfect book, a joy of a read, and a heartfelt "thank you" to the goddesses of literature for it. My review has moved out of the purview of censors and moneygrubbers to my blog.

*10 out of 5 lonely, burning stars, light years apart, yet winking together in a shared cosmos.

THIS IS NOT A LOVE-STORY! Not in the romantic sense, in any case. Somehow the title had always made me think it was a soppy love story about unrequited romantic love.
There is love in the novel, but for the most part not of the romantic kind.
Rather, it is a cry into the existential darkness that surrounds humankind, and in many respects it is a deeply political, even philosophical novel, which reminded
Let's get this out of the way. Garima, Dolors and Aubrey's gorgeously written tributes to the spirit of this American classic have pretty much made the task of composing additional paeans unnecessary. So my review is only going to be a shoddily-disguised justification for upgrading an initial 4-star rating to a deserving 5-star one. No I didn't choose to accord that previously withheld star bowing to a monster named 'peer pressure'.

The actual worth of a work of literature can be measured by the
Artistically formed constellations hold the promise of beauty and solidarity but Loneliness is that single star I once spotted on a dark moonless night. It shows the right way, they said. That caused a profound sadness in me for reasons unknown. Now I know. A little.
What did he understand? Nothing. Where was he headed? Nowhere. What did he want? To know. What? A meaning. Why? A riddle.

There are definitions galore for life and each one of them carries the trace of bittersweet truth which is har
Sep 19, 2013 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By the time Mozart was 5, he was composing his own music and performing for royalty. John Stuart Mill had mastered Latin, Greek, Algebra and Euclidean Geometry by the time he was 8. Bobby Fischer won the US Chess Championship at the age of 14. When Orson Welles was 20, he directed his own adaptation of Macbeth as a WPA project with unemployed black performers in Harlem. Why I myself, if you’ll forgive me for crowing, memorized the batting averages of every member of the Cincinnati Reds’ starting ...more
For in a swift radiance of illumination he saw a glimpse of human struggle and of valor. Of the endless fluid passage of humanity through endless time. And of those who labor and of those who love.

The book started with an evocative melody. The light occasionally shone on faces and the soft breeze blew. The heart devoured a moment of relief. But only for a while. The darkness overflowed the characters and left me craving for things I do not know. Through the well-woven words, I explored abandon
Sing for the South, the Nation, the World Entire, for they know not what they do.

Sing for the man with the matted suit and pearl-rimmed tongue, the rustic know how and the fine edged intellectual gait, the words, the words, always the words. He walks with his heart bound in a lexicon and pinned upon his mouth, and where he walks he sees the terrible secret and cannot keep silent. Long ago he stripped from himself his measure of complacent comfort, and now he wanders in a naked anger, ever seekin
Sep 29, 2013 Dolors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who speak and have no time to listen
Shelves: read-in-2013
“Go, my songs, to the lonely and the unsatisfied,
Go also to the nerve-racked, go to the enslaved-by-convention,
Bear to them my contempt for their oppressors.
Go as a great wave of cool water,
Bear my contempt of oppressors.”

“Go”, commands Ezra Pound in his poem “Comission” .
And so I obey, and I go.
I go and listen to the mute choir of the lonesome and the restless, of the disinherited and the excluded, of the alienated and the embittered.
Isolated voices withering in despair, wrestling in inco
Duffy Pratt
Jun 15, 2011 Duffy Pratt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
I may come back and give this four stars, but for now I can't.

I first started this book maybe two years ago. I got about 100 pages into it and stopped. I didn't stop because I disliked it. Rather, it seemed at the time a natural result from the inertia and momentum of the book itself. Basically, I wasn't quite sure whether I had stopped or whether the book itself had simply stopped and I was just going along with it.

I picked it up again because I've always had a nagging feeling about it, and bec
Apr 29, 2012 Lawyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every one should read this book
Recommended to Lawyer by: O.B. Emerson, Professor Emeritus, Department of English, The University of Alabama
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCuller's Portrait of the Faces Behind the Masks

Thanks to a good friend, Jeff Keeten, now residing with Dorothy and Toto,too, in Kansas, I've learned I am only gently mad. It was a relief to discover that. Because my self-analysis has been that I'm excessively obsessive when it comes to the love of books. After having taken his recommendation to read A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books by Nicholas A. Basbanes, my so
Sep 17, 2014 Ted rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ted by: Garima

The book is finished. But not the story.

All the pain, all the loneliness – Jake Blount, Doctor Copeland, Mick – and Singer – Carson has tied it all into a tiny little package, so small, almost a seed – and placed it into the reader, where it will now stay, maybe grow … but certainly stay. And perhaps blossom in the reader as it did in the observer Biff, who looked into the abyss. As I have. I move the book from the “currently reading” to the “read” shelf … and place a copy on one other shelf …
Nov 14, 2013 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

Some people turn sad awfully young. No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way. They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer and, as I say, get sadder younger than anyone else in the world. I know, for I'm one of them.

That's a Ray Bradbury quote, from Dandelion Wine , but I feel it is an apt description of this very young author who seems to carry the whole weight of the world on her shoulders. How is it possible to have so intimate a knowledge of
Jul 10, 2009 Chloe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a darker To Kill A Mockingbird
Recommended to Chloe by: Charity
I find myself consistantly tongue-tied about this book. I've begun nearly four different reviews of this eminantly enjoyable read that have all petered away into nothingness as I try to put into words just what it was that gripped me about McCullers' opus. The first word I can think of is shock. Shock that I had heard next to nothing about this book until pulling it from my shelf. Shock that I have gone so long without it being assigned to me in a class or forced into my hands by a friend. Shock ...more
K.D. Absolutely
May 19, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Time 100; Modern Library 100; Oprah Book of the Month; E.G.
Shelves: 501, time-100, saddest
A credible friend here in GR told me that this novel is the saddest he had ever read. That’s the main reason why I read this. Well, it is the saddest and most depressing among the fiction ones that I’ve read too. Saddest among the ones I found earlier to be downright depressing: Good Morning, Midnight (1939) by Jean Rhys and The God of Small Things (1997) by Arundhati Roy. Well, I am still to read The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton and A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. Also, the holocaust-base ...more
Like most of McCullers stories, this is concerns lonely people living in the deep south. This one is set during WW2, told with strong musical currents (she had a place to study piano at the Julliard, and this shines through most of her work) and a radical passion against poverty and injustice.

The language is generally quite simple in terms of vocabulary and sentence length, yet the characters and events are all the more poetic and vivid for this apparent simplicity - a difficult literary trick
Sep 23, 2010 Mariel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the red queen
Recommended to Mariel by: I was hoping for the head of the queen
The ending of Carson McCuller's The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is one of the saddest I've ever read. In fact, I'd not hestitate to say it is one of the worst things that could ever happen to me, and I hope like hell it never does. I related too much to situations of concentrating on some small special thing to get through the day. Hearing music and stories in my head. The luxury of energy (and the heart left) to expend on such thoughts should not be taken for granted (even if it is just about some ...more
Franco  Santos
How can the dead be truly dead when they still live in the souls of those who are left behind?

¡Qué decir de este libro! Un clásico a la altura de To Kill a Mockingbird. De hecho, para mí, superior. A todos aquellos que disfrutaron el libro de Harper Lee les digo que The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter los va a dejar maravillados.

Este libro trata sobre sus personajes, sobre lo que son, lo que sufren, lo que viven, lo que pierden e intentan dar. Los ignorados, los escuchados, los que pelean batallas int
May 20, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-novels
Carson McCullers was only 22/23 when she wrote this; an amazing feat and a truly great novel. The plot centres around John Singer a man who is deaf and mute. Singer initially lives with his friend Spiros Antanopoulos. Their companionship comes to an end when Spiros's mental health deteriorates and he is admitted to an asylum. Singer then takes a room in the Kelly hpusehold. Here a group of people gravitate around him.
Mick Kelly, the daughter of the household has musical aspirations and feels ou
Aug 27, 2015 Elyse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this years ago -before being a member on Goodreads. (Just forgot to post any comments)--Thanks to 'Steve' for the inspiration of memory!

"The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" one those books that leaves a lasting tattoo on your heart forever!

Not only does it take place during the Great Depression -during times of racial injustice --
not only do we 'see-feel-touch-experience' loneliness through a character so profound deeper than most have ever been written--
--but it was 'THIS' novel where I lear
James Barker
The extra large quotes on the back of books can be strange. Like the words of Jonathan Bate, for instance, regarding 'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.' 'I cannot think of any novel that I take more pleasure in re-reading,' he says. And yet I cannot disagree more. I mean, I adored this book. Like everything McCullers wrote it is charged with individuality and a non-cloying empathy that spotlights the soul in all its ragged glory. But it really pained me to read it. Such loneliness and misunderstandi ...more
Jan 26, 2015 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, top10
A novel of misfits and dreamers: the drunk with his impressive rage; a doctor with a strangled voice & failing lungs; a gangly girl chasing a fragment of a song to hunt the full Symphony and the proprietor of The New York Cafe, his compassion for the crippled and his deep desire to understand the heart of his patrons.

At the centre of the tale is the deaf mute John Singer. The four misfits visit Singer and communicate their dreams, desires & woes. They are certain that Singer, in his sile
Stephen M
Music selection

No, I was never much of a dancer, but I know enough to know you gotta move, your idiot body around. And you can’t, can’t settle down until the idiot in your blood settles down. And you know your heart but it’s an idiot heart.

I hate to take on the topic of writing, given that I have only been ‘writing’ (if weeks of self-loathing followed by 4 hour sessions of obsessive scribbling could be called writing) for the past year and a half. And the only defense I can muster is that desp
Nov 23, 2015 Edward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Introduction & Notes
Further Reading

--The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Jul 06, 2014 William1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, us, 20-ce
This is a novel of the American South in the decade or so preceding the Civil Rights Movement. The central character is a deaf mute of almost saintly demeanor, Singer. His story constitutes the narrative spine along which the stories of his fellow characters are strung. These include Mink Kelley, who is dealing with late Depression Era America from the point of view of a 13 year old girl; Dr. Copeland, the unnamed town's "negro" doctor, who knows that civil rights for his people is in the offing ...more
This is an odd little book. For such an established classic, it doesn't seem to have much in the way of grand pronouncements about humanity, technical innovations, an unusually eloquent voice, or even a particularly interesting plot. I was reminded of John Steinbeck, not just because both him and Mrs. McCullers are both middlebrow mid-century American writers who chronicle the common people with an earnestness that sometimes descends into hand-wringing, but also just because of the sound of her ...more
Sep 16, 2014 Zoeytron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zoeytron by: Louisa
He arrived seemingly from nowhere, taking a room in the Kelly family boarding house. It would be fair to say that John Singer is a man who marches to the beat of a different drum. He is a deaf mute who, paradoxically, becomes a sounding board for broken individuals who seek him out to tell him of their hopes and dreams. With listening ears that cannot hear, Singer's calm and understanding gaze provides solace to those who are outraged at social injustices, wrongs that need to be righted. He bear ...more
Camille Stein
Dec 27, 2014 Camille Stein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Dondequiera que uno mire, hay mezquindad y corrupción. Esta habitación, esta botella de vino de uvas, estas frutas de la cesta, son todos productos de ganancias y pérdidas. Nadie puede vivir sin prestar su aceptación pasiva a la mezquindad. Alguien tiene que agotarse por completo por cada bocado que comemos y cada pedazo de tela que llevamos puesto… y nadie parece darse cuenta. Todo el mundo está ciego, mudo, obtuso…, estúpido y mezquino.

Pero ¿qué ocurre con un hombre que sabe? Ve cómo los h
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Carson McCullers was an American who wrote fiction, often described as Southern Gothic, that explores the spiritual isolation of misfits and outcasts of the South.

From 1935 to 1937 she divided her time, as her studies and health dictated, between Columbus and New York and in September 1937 she married an ex-soldier and aspiring writer, Reeves McCullers. They began their married life in Charlotte,
More about Carson McCullers...

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“Next to music, beer was best.” 1248 likes
“Maybe when people longed for a thing that bad the longing made them trust in anything that might give it to them.” 344 likes
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