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Reflections in a Golden Eye
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Reflections in a Golden Eye

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  2,017 ratings  ·  134 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
...more
Paperback, 121 pages
Published 1953 by Bantam Books (first published 1941)
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Dolors
Oct 15, 2014 Dolors rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
William
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
Melanie
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
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Batgrl (Not Trusting GR With My Reviews/Shelves Now)
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
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Duffy Pratt
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
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Cecily
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).
Joseph Nicolello
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
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
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Chortle
Aug 05, 2011 Chortle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Evan
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
El
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
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matt

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.
Mike
An excellent book (McCullers was exceptionally gifted) that teaches you the perils of deception and cutting off your nipples.
Jay
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
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Liam
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
Blue
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
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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
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Joy
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.
Sigh!!
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
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Mel
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
Sunny Shore
I love Carson McCuller's writing. This was not one of her best, altho I enjoyed it anyway. I think if she had written it as a short story, it would have been more successful than its status as novella of 123 pages. You were caught in the middle of not knowing enough about the characters and maybe knowing too much. She could've done a couple of days in the life of these characters and it would've been a perfect story.
Ashley
A quietly disturbing and very readable Southern Gothic novella. Almost all of the characters have something strange, twisted, or not quite right on or underneath their surface. Things move along, festering, until all the unspoken tensions among the characters have dissipated through violence, fate, or some combination of both. Classic McCullers!
Graceann
I was not terribly impressed with this one - the characters weren't developed very well, and the story was not terribly interesting. I was glad that it was a short book so that I could complete it and get on to other, more interesting things.
Yossibarzilai
Muy entretenido aunque creo que he elegido mal para iniciarme con la autora. Aunque engañoso a propósito, lo que supone una pequeña trampa, resulta siendo del todo previsible. Es gótico sureño light y sin cafeína.
W.B.
I love dysfunctional people. Especially if they spend a lot of time in bed. You can paint there and enjoy yr delicate sensations of the world. I like Southern writers.
Christopher Sutch
A very short novel about six very strange people. This is a detailed character study of some psychologically eccentric people in a stressful situation on an Army base. There is nothing outstanding about the novel; it certainly doesn't live up to the promise of McCullers's first novel, _The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter_. But it is interesting enough for me to keep reading to see what would happen next. It is also steeped in Freudian psychology, which makes this a fairly interesting historical case st ...more
Debbie
Wow! Liked this one even more than The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, which I loved. This book, a novella of under 130 pages, tells the stingingly cynical storey of two military couples living on base in the '50's and how their unhappy lives explode when a mysterious soldier touches their lives. Living a lie is a story as old as time but the author does it up to perfection. McCullers' writing is Hemingwayesque in it's sparcity which only leaves room for the characters, their relationships and each of ...more
Raphaël
Une autre relecture inspirée par la mort d'Elisabeth Taylor... Cette fois lu en anglais, avec parfois un peu de difficulté mais toujours autant de plaisir. Une histoire tragique dont on sait d'emblée qu'elle se passe dans un fort militaire du Sud profond, où un meurtre a été commis et dont les "acteurs sont deux officiers, un soldat, deux femmes, un Philippin et un cheval" (sic).

C'est un livre un peu à part, où on reste à la surface de l'histoire comme le suggère le titre, où les personnages, et
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Adam
I inherited this book from a professor who was unloading his books he had kept in storage for years--this one, among a bunch of old Baldwin paperbacks and urban theory. In turns out to be a real find. This is my first introduction to Carson McCullers, and I’m eager to read more. “Reflections in a Golden Eye” is eerie in its indifferent narration, queer characters, and inevitable plot.

Early on, the reader learns how the book must end, and anticipation builds with each strange scene, played out p
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Yves Gounin
Merveilleux film, merveilleux livre.
Ce qui frappe, c'est la totale fidélité du film au livre.
Certes, chez John Huston l'histoire est contemporaine alors que Carson McCullers la situe au début du siècle dans une garnison militaire. Mais l'époque est sans importance : ce huis clos étouffant - qui pourtant se déroule pour l'essentiel en extérieur - pourrait se dérouler n'importe où, n'importe quand.
Personne n'était mieux placée que Liz Taylor pour jouer Leonora Penderton, l'épouse libérée du capita
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Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
3.5 Stars

Carson McCullers never ceases to amaze me with her Gothic Southern literary tales, but this one disturbed me to the core with its darkness. Truly well written as her other works are, I was emotionally drained at the end. The Colonel's beating of his wife's horse did me in. The cast of characters are small but haunt me still.

An Army Post in peacetime is a dull place. Things happen, but then they happen over and over again. The general plan of a fort in itself adds to the monotony - the
...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
More about Carson McCullers...
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter The Member of the Wedding The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories Collected Stories Clock without Hands

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