Friday, March 10, 2006

Weekend Recommendation - The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

I actually thought twice before recommending this book. Then I remembered a conversation with one of my good friends about this book. She did not like it that much. And I rave about it endlessly. She was particularly unimpressed by the lack of plot. And I agree with her.

"The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" is not about complex plotlines. That is not Carson McCullers style of writing. Her works are entrenched in the vivid dimensions of the characters. Understanding the psyche of these souls and maybe even empathizing with them to some degree, is what makes such a novel enjoyable. Miss McCullers style of writing, almost demands that you do.

For anyone who decides to venture into this novel, I have to put in a warning. For me, this has been the most heartwrenching novel I have ever read. I think I fell in love with this book right from its title. Due to some odd reason this title reminds of a line which I have read ages ago. The original line is in malayalam, which roughly translates to "Life - An oasis destroyed by memories". Hopefully when I get around to writing my first novel, I too will be able to come up with such a eloquent and insightful title.

The central character is John Singer, a deaf mute. The people around him tend to put their worries and questions at rest with him. They see him as a larger than life character who will be able to help through in their times of anguish. But he too is lonely and has his own set of worries.

The beauty of Singer's character lies in how he is able to help those people even though he is unable to listen or talk to them. Because the craving to have someone interesting to talk to or listen to is driven by our brain. But all our heart really needs is...someone.

My Rating: 5/5

1 comment:

Whinger said...

It's such a heartbreaking novel.