Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Book 25 1/3 - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Yes, the title of this blog is Book 25 1/3 because I only managed to get through a third of this book. The book is Carson McCullers' book The Heart is a Lonely Hunter first published in 1940. The book cover describes it as:
Carson McCullers was all of twenty-three when she published her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. She became an overnight literary sensation, and soon such authors as Tennessee Williams were calling her "the greatest prose writer that the South [has] produced." Available now for the first time in trade paperback, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter tells an unforgettable tale of moral isolation in a small southern mill town in the 1930s.
Richard Wright was astonished by McCullers's ability "to rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness." Hers is humanity that touches all who come to her work, whether for the first time or, as so many do, time and time again. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, most enduring.
I originally picked this book up many, many years ago and it has moved with me back and forth across the country and I finally picked it up and started reading it. Unfortunately, after I started reading it, it just didn't grab me and pull me in. Perhaps I've become jaded in my reading by the more recently published works that are all plot and movement. This is more of a character study and not a lot of action. I know I should read such classics as this, but I've made up my mind that I'm not going to read something just because "I should". I've also decided that I'm not going to continue reading something if it doesn't grab me within the first 100 pages or so AND if when I read the last chapter I don't have the desire to find out how the book got there.
I'm sure this is a great book for somebody, but when I have a gagillion books on my shelf that I want to read, I'm not going to continue spinning my wheels on one that just doesn't grab me.