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Reflections in a Golden Eye

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,525 Ratings  ·  174 Reviews
Private Ellgee Williams was accidentally the witness to a strange scene between Captain Penderton and his wife which took place one evening in the living room of their home.

Private Williams was a young man who lived a secretive and solitary life. His eyes were a curious blend of amber and brown, and he moved silently, with the grace of a panther.

The captain's wife was vol
Paperback, 121 pages
Published 1953 by Bantam Books (first published 1940)
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Oct 15, 2014 Dolors rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those daring to look at their reflection in the mirror
Shelves: read-in-2014
An impending sense of dread interlaces the lives of five characters set on an army base in the American South of the 1930s. They are all prey of the remorse that goes along with secret liaisons, inner frustrations and repressed sexual preferences. With the rigidness of the secluded military system and the inherent loneliness in hermetic marriages imposed by social convention as a backdrop, resentments and obsessions will fester in contained aggressiveness and will inevitably escalate towards a v ...more
Jul 26, 2015 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015

I am humbled once again by the familiarity of Carson McCullers with pain, loneliness and alienation - the dark thread that ties together her novels and stories, the silent scream of despair that unites the patrons of a sad cafe with the unsuccesful hunters for love in a mill town, and now with the officers and their consorts on an army base somewhere in Georgia.

I am so immersed in my characters that their motives are my own. When I write about a thief, I become one; when I write about Captain P
Paul Bryant
Dec 28, 2015 Paul Bryant rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Carson’s biographer tells us that her family got an anonymous phone call just after this novel was published.

An alleged Ku Klux Klansman called to say that he and his friends were going to get her that night. She had been a “nigger lover” in her first book, he said, and now she had proven herself “a queer” as well. Carson’s indignant father waited all night on the front porch of their Starke Avenue home to greet the Klansman with a loaded shotgun and was disappointed when no one attempted to car
Sep 25, 2014 William1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, us, 20-ce
I love the way McCullers's work is overrun with the most vivid queens. Some closeted, like Lieutenant Penderton here, but others gay and carefree, like Anacleto, Mrs. Langdon's Filipino houseboy. This is a story of sexual derangement, of what happens when the love impulse is forced underground, in an age when it dare not speak its name. The novel is in its way almost unutterably sad. It makes us glad that we live in comparatively happier times. Despite the fact that McCullers has these moments o ...more
Jul 23, 2015 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-usa, 5-estrelas
O capitão Penderton, a mulher Leonora e o soldado Williams; o major Langdon, a mulher Alison e o criado Anacleto.
São seis personagens que vivem e convivem numa base militar

Carson McCullers
É uma escritora com um dom para criar personagens complexas e narrar, com uma escrita despretensiosa, as suas paixões, desgostos, desilusões,...
Personagens com desejos, personalidades e comportamentos invulgares que nos surpreendem e estranhamos, mas que não considero absurdos porque estão coerentes com quem s
Dec 30, 2012 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Reflections in a Golden Eye starts plainly enough, easing into the lives of a Captain, a Major, their wives and a strange, compulsive observer, a soldier portrayed part innocent child and part insidious interloper.

The story plays out calmly but at times is like a feverish dream full of nervous, fearful, desiring creatures - a mix of human and animal impressions adding to the overall surreal quality.

I am continually startled by the Carson McCullers work, and her intuitive handling of human frail
Duffy Pratt
Jul 06, 2012 Duffy Pratt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
Upon finishing this, I checked McCullers biography online to see whether she committed suicide. It turns out she didn't. Instead, she tried and failed, and somehow that is even more fitting.

I don't know if I've ever read anyone who has a both flatter and bleaker view of people. Her writing ranges from the very good to the spectacular. The people in her world are grotesques who would fit into other Southern Gothic writers books. They would be right at home in Flannery O'Connor or Faulker, for exa
A novella set in an army camp in the US south in the 50s or 60s. It concerns six characters (two officer couples, a servant and a conscript), each with an obsession with one of the others.

Unlike some of her books, race barely comes into it, but rank and sexuality do.

It's slow, painful, a little weird and beautiful. As with all her writing, there are literal and more metaphorical lyrical aspects to the writing (reflecting her musical training).
Batgrl (Book Data Kept Elsewhere)
Ebook, read online, via Open Library.

I was reading an essay which led me to wikipedia, and then, well as soon as I found this online I thought I'd just read a little, and then a little more - and then 30 pages into it I figured I should just give in and admit I'm reading the book. Which is odd, because originally I'd set out to read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

The setting is an army base in peacetime Georgia (US). For a quick version - the wikipedia page. There's a love triangle, but there's al
I know that everybody likes The Heart is a Lonely Hunter but this small strange book is the proof of her writing chops, this book has everything. A uptight army higher up with repressed gay desires who put a cat in the mailbox, a stupid wife who don't even bother to hide her affair with her husband's army coworker who in turn has a mentally unbalanced wife cut off her nipples with garden shears An houseboy who couldn't be in the closet even if he wanted to. What a crew! this book is a look into ...more
Abimelech Abimelech
With enough recognition, credibility, one finds illimitable instances of bands' 'B-Sides' and 'Bootleg Tapes' amd all of that. They're often twice the price and half the quality. Well, what the hell was our friend Carson going to do in a hundred pages after publishing a masterpiece in her early twenties, married to some psychopathic loser, physical decay forthcoming? The same thing I would have done: Get fucking hammered with Capote, Williams, dash off a forgettable piece, make another cool mill ...more
Reflexos num olho dourado foi um livro que ganhei de um passatempo no ano passado. Era totalmente desconhecido para mim. Não conhecia a autora, nem nunca tinha ouvido falar dela e também nunca me tinha cruzado com o livro em causa.

Sem grandes expectativas, parto para a leitura. Agora que o terminei, ainda bem que não estava à espera de um grande livro.
Este é um daqueles livros do qual nada ou quase nada assimilei. Tenho a certeza que daqui a uns tempo não me vou lembrar de nada do que se passou
Amanda L
Subtle and intricate unrequited ties among characters without going soap-opera-y-dramatic. Each character is wholly integral to the story and is outstandingly conveyed in excerpts that are punctuated by other character illustrations. Yet each character serves as a beacon for another or a few others to elucidate their contrasting natures. How this woman can understand so much of the nuances of human psychology is utterly astounding.

Addresses masculinity and femininity and the blurred line disting
Aug 05, 2011 Chortle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Over the age of 20, LGBT, artsy
Controversial. Reflections in a Golden Eye was made into a 1967 movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando directed by John Huston. I'm glad I knew this before I read the book because while reading the book I was picturing Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando in their respective roles. The trailer is viewable on youtube, although the trailer may seem far more melodramatic than the movie. I really expect that the book is far superior to the movie because the book probably has a lighter touch ...more
I'm not sure that there's anything in this book as bizarre as how I read it; getting about 95 percent in as of late 2011 then stopping, taking it with me on visits to the doctor through 2012 and reading a couple of the final ten pages each time I sat in the waiting room over the last year and a half. Invariably the doc would have the History Channel going on the overhead TV and there'd be something related to Hitler and Stalin and the Battle of Kursk or something and I'd have to put the book dow ...more
Dec 08, 2010 El rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and The Member of the Wedding. I love McCullers's minimalist writing style.

I did not love Reflections in a Golden Eye.

It seems like a good story - a true love-triangle. (Or love-square? Maybe love-trapezoid.) Taking place on an Army base in the American South we have Captain Penderton and his wife, Leonora, and Major Langdon, his sickly wife, Alison, and their houseboy, Anacleto. Then there's Private Williams who once saw Leonora nekkid and has become a bit o
João Roque
Jan 05, 2015 João Roque rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gays, narrativa
Como muitos outros livros, também “Reflexos num olho dourado”, de Carson McCullers, foi adaptado ao cinema, neste caso por um excelente realizador, John Huston e por uma dupla de actores de peso – Marlon Brando e Elizabeth Taylor. Recordo-me de ter visto o filme, há muitos anos e de ter gostado muito.
Só agora tive oportunidade de ler o livro e quase sempre quando leio um livro e vejo o filme adaptado gosto mais do livro, o que é natural.
Mas, neste caso, isso não aconteceu; ou eu já não me record

Overdone allegories, humid Freudian symbolism, rather drab narrative. McCullers was a great writer, but I think of this book as an oddity, like she's working out a certain variety of psychic kicks, more than anything else.
Aug 06, 2015 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In his introduction to this, Carson McCullers's second book, Tennessee Williams says about critics' reactions to her first book, the sublime "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter", "...the tenderness of the book disarmed them. The depth and nobility of its compassion were so palpable that at least for the time being the charge of decadence had to be held in check."
When "Reflections in a Golden Eye" was published in 1941 there was nothing to keep those offended critics at bay. A book dealing with repress
Oct 13, 2015 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, reviews
“Look!...A peacock of a sort of ghastly green. With one immense golden eye. And in it these reflections of something tiny and –... grotesque.”

Reflections in a Golden Eye is short, sharp, and memorable. Set in the claustrophobic, curiously timeless world of a peacetime army post, it tells the story of a murder whose participants are “two officers, a soldier, two women, a Filipino, and a horse.” This much we are told in the first paragraph...and Carson McCullers is pleasingly direct in her informa
Jun 30, 2015 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Carson McCuller's style of writing isn't what usually appeals to me but it works. She often goes into long descriptions of things or settings or people; sometimes engages in authorial intrusion and uses more adverbs than I would like to see but again, it all works and reads with a pleasing flow. She also tells you what someone's emotion or emotions are and again, it works for her.

On the other hand, there are many paragraphs that consist of six or seven very simple declaratory sentences that coul
This is a very touching and quietly profound novella. The plot involves the relationships of a small central cast, set in a peacetime army post. Two neighbouring senior officers, Captain Penderton and Major Langdon, live affluently, childless, with their wives: Leonara Penderton and Alice Langdon. A quiet private, Elgee Williams, is commissioned by the Captain to clear a space of woodland in front of his house and becomes obsessed with the Captain's free-spirited, child-like and often-nude wife. ...more
Jun 17, 2012 Blue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Reflections in bus stops, busses, malls, and movie theaters in Nashville. I thanks Carson McCullers for this little gem, which enriched my life for a brief moment in the vast desert of car parking lots and needless and scary commercial enterprises. I thought often about what she would think of the South now.

I read the last part of Reflections in the movie theater as I was being blasted with some preview stuff about upcoming films. Guns, space, bombs, armies, things blowing up, murders, bl
Gregory Baird
Compelling drama, but oddly cold

With its short page count, "Reflections in a Golden Eye" is more of a novella than a novel. What is disappointing about it is that it takes about fifty pages (the majority of the novella) to get involved in the characters and the plot. It starts intriguingly enough, with the promise of a murder involving the central characters ("two officers, a soldier, two women, a Filipino, and a horse."), but McCullers' prose is so cold and distant that it makes the plot inac
Nov 26, 2015 Kaan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Genelde kadın yazarların çoğunun problemlenin hep kadınlara yazmaları olduğunu düşünürüm. Carson McCullers ise tam aksine olabildiğince cinsiyetsiz (ya da ortada diyelim) bir anlatım tarzına sahip bu kitabında. Betimlemeler ve ruhi durumlarının anlatılışı çok duru ama anı anlatmakta çok da başarılı. Hikaye kurgusu da güzel. Şimdi "Yalnız bir Avcıdır Yürek"i okumak lazım...
♪ Kim
Oct 04, 2015 ♪ Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star
There is a fort in the South where a few years ago a murder was committed. The participants of this tragedy were: two officers, a soldier, two women, a Filipino, and a horse.

Sounds bizarre, no? This is a strange, disturbing story about a group of obsessive and extremely unhappy people. They live essentially on top of each other, on a military base where there’s no way to escape scrutiny or to keep secrets from their neighbors. Tensions build. The distant, almost clinical feel to the account lull
Mary Dykas
If you are looking for the genius that wrote The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, she isn't here. This is heavy, weird and an unsatisfying story of obession, anger, insanity and sex.

Christine Somers
Feb 03, 2015 Christine Somers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-gothic
Life itself, death and sex are the three fundaments of existence that Carson McCullers explores through her expertly drawn five characters.
Jun 22, 2009 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really 'dark' story (typical Carson McCullers), but it is
so well written, I had to rate it well.
The story is set on an army base in the 1930s. It's about two officers
and their wives who live in next door housing, another single soldier,
and a Philipino house servant. It's all about loneliness in marriage.
Quote 1: But in spite of his knowledge of many separate facts, the Captain never in his life had had an idea in his head.
Quote 2: They sensed an element in her personality that th
Dec 17, 2010 Mel rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-the-library
I got this book for .50 cents at the thrift store. The edition I read has a picture of Elizabeth Taylor on the cover since she starred in the motion picture version of this and a horribly written introduction by Tennessee Williams. I enjoyed this book though. It was a fast entertaining read and was campy and trashy and politically incorrect. It was a lot like watching an old movie. An old movie filled with alchoholism, sexual innuedos, weird violence, stalkers, and horse back riding. The kind of ...more
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Carson McCullers (February 19, 1917 – September 29, 1967) was an American writer. She 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 McCul
More about Carson McCullers...

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“You mean,' Captain Penderton said, 'that any fulfilment obtained at the expense of normalcy is wrong, and should not be allowed to bring happiness. In short, it is better, because it is morally honourable, for the square peg to keep scraping around the round hole rather than to discover and use the unorthodox square that would fit?'…'I don't agree” 1 likes
“The Captain swallowed his capsules and lay down in the dark with pleasant anticipation. This quantity of the drug gave him a unique and voluptuous sensation; it was as though a great dark bird alighted on his chest, looked at him once with fierce, golden eyes, and stealthily enfolded him in his dark wings.” 1 likes
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