Read Complete Novels: The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter / Reflections in a Golden Eye / The Ballad of the Sad Cafe / The Member of the Wedding / Clock Without Hands by Carson McCullers Carlos L. Dews Online


When The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter was published in 1940, Carson McCullers was instantly recognized as one of the most promising writers of her generation. The novels that followed established her as a master of Southern Gothic. "McCullers' gift," writes Joyce Carol Oates, "was to evoke, through an accumulation of images and musically repeated phrases, the singularity of exWhen The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter was published in 1940, Carson McCullers was instantly recognized as one of the most promising writers of her generation. The novels that followed established her as a master of Southern Gothic. "McCullers' gift," writes Joyce Carol Oates, "was to evoke, through an accumulation of images and musically repeated phrases, the singularity of experience, not to pass judgment on it." McCullers effortlessly conveyed the raw anguish of her characters and the weird beauty of their perceptions. Set in small Georgia towns that are at once precisely observed and mythically resonant, McCullers' novels explore the strange, sometimes grotesque inner lives of characters who are often marginal and misunderstood. Above all, McCullers possessed an unmatched ability to capture the bewilderment and fragile wonder of adolescence. In The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, an enigmatic deaf-mute draws out the haunted confessions of an itinerant worker, a young girl, a black doctor, and the widowed owner of a small-town café. Two shorter works, Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941) and The Ballad of the Sad Café (1943), use melodramatic scenarios and freakish characters to explore the disfiguring violence of desire. The Member of the Wedding (1946), on which the play and film were based, tells of a young girl's fascination with her brother's wedding and is perhaps McCullers' most moving and accomplished novel. In Clock Without Hands (1960), the story of a terminally ill druggist, McCullers produces some of her most forceful and indignant social criticism. Edited by Carlos Dews....

Title : Complete Novels: The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter / Reflections in a Golden Eye / The Ballad of the Sad Cafe / The Member of the Wedding / Clock Without Hands
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ISBN : 9781931082037
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 827 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Complete Novels: The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter / Reflections in a Golden Eye / The Ballad of the Sad Cafe / The Member of the Wedding / Clock Without Hands Reviews

  • Pamela
    2019-04-09 00:56

    Some 68 years have passed since the publication of "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter". At first I noticed the rather "old-style" writing where, for instance, in introducing a character every physical detail about that character is set forth directly, a style we seldom see in current fiction. I soon stopped noticing that though, and fell into the rhythm of this superb writer's attentive prose and her insightful and haunting depiction of the misfits and outcasts of the American South during the depression era. These characters---John Singer, a deaf mute and the central figure in this story, Mick Kelly, a 14 year old free-spirited girl enthralled with music and the songs in her head, Jack Blount, a drunken drifter who espouses an unpopular communistic philosophy, Dr. Copeland, a well-educated and outspoken black man living with the disappointment of his children's lesser ambitions, and Biff Brannon, who owns and tends the New York Cafe where all come to eat, drink and mingle (though seldom communicate)---could be any of us living and struggling with our modern demons here in the 21st century. This is a story the encapsulates the conditions of the Depression Era in American history, with all its despair, upheaval and uncertainty. Yet it transcends that period in its social commentary on civil rights, politics, religion, family relations, physical disabilities, pending wars, spousal abuse, co-dependency, aging, loneliness, and the need to love and be loved. These issues are timeless, as are the character traits of self-absorption and isolation which these individuals embody in ample quantities.This is not a sentimental story, nor is it particularly uplifting in its realistic perspective. It does not end on a happy note, or even a conclusive one. I found it a thoroughly satisfying read, but I know many might not. "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" is an insightful, revealing, and unapologetic look at the innermost workings of disparate characters living as we all do, day-to-day. It is a reflection of life as it often is, with little adornment and much complexity.

  • Randy Tatel
    2019-04-23 02:52

    faulkner is a windbag...give me mccullers any, no, every day...

  • Melissa
    2019-04-27 07:03

    On the first page, this book promises to deliver a murder, which by itself would be a good enough reason to keep reading. I kept reading, though, for the characters. Using an omniscient narrator, McCullers enters the heads of her five main characters--a Captain and a Major in the army, both of their wives, and a Private--all of whom are somehow broken. McCullers handles them all with stunning sympathy and love. This book delivers intrigue, sex, naked horseback riding, a fey little Filipino manservant, and yes, a murder, all within the confines of an army barracks, and all while making you care about these people as much as the author does.

  • Kate
    2019-04-21 03:13

    After reading this interview with Suzanne Vega totally feel the need to read this book, and I'm really glad that I did, as McCullers attention to detail is amazing. She's such a great writer and I'm honored to add this book to my permanent collection.

  • Mary Mendenhall
    2019-04-16 01:06

    I read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter....for some reason I could only look it up her collection. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is an excellent read, so I may read more of her stuff.

  • Martin Hernandez
    2019-04-12 05:12

    Siguiendo mi exploración de los autores estadounidenses publicados por la Library of America, me decidí por esta autora, desconocida para mí hasta que leí una reseña en la Revista Algarabía, y debo decir que quedé muy agradecido con la revista (por darme la oportunidad de este tipo de "descubrimientos") y la editorial (por poner en mis manos todas sus novelas en un solo tomo). Aquí están mis reseñas (por separado, para cada novela):The Heart Is a Lonely HunterReflections in a Golden EyeThe Member of the WeddingClock Without Hands

  • R.K. Cowles
    2019-04-19 23:58

    4 1/2 stars

  • Myles
    2019-04-12 05:15

    I rated each novel individuallyThe Heart is a Lonely Hunter: 5 StarsWhat a brilliantly sad novel, I've read this once before in college but I was still drawn in and captivated from the first lines. McCullers has created a real melancholy here, drawing the four townspeople, a young girl, a shop-owner, a drifter and a black doctor, rawn to the deaf-mute Singer with precision. Even reading it a second time I couldn't quite catch the subtle changes in narration when the novel shifted perspectives that identified the individuals for me before they were identified by name.The center of the novel is the transference of each characters hopes and dreams onto Singer, pouring their hearts out to him while- with the slight exception of the shop-owner - never trying to see through to his heart. Reflections in a Golden Eye: 4 StarsVery good, well-laid out - I especially liked her characterization of Alison Langdon and Captain Penderton. It was beautifully done, set up almost like a mystery, naming a crime and those involved so that the entire time one was reading it theories and revelations circled the brain. I might be docking points only because it was so brief (though I can't see it being any longer than it was)...The Ballad of the Sad Cafe: 2 StarsThere just wasn't much here, an interesting stock of characters with Miss Amelia and Cousin Lymon at the front, I just never got into this particular sad world that McCullers created. All I felt was irritation and frustration at their actions.The Member of the Wedding: 4 StarsMcCullers captured Frankie's, excuse me, F. Jasmine's restlessness and sadness in only a few pages, only a few gestures and her sullenness. Reading this made me remember how I felt at that age, 12 going on 13, how stagnant the world suddenly became, changing dynamics with friends and I especially sympathized with that reluctance to stop playacting and playing.That seeking out of something to replace that, finding a 'we' to become, is a huge thing to encompass and McCullers for the most part accomplishes it. The story did drag a little bit in the middle but the ending was satisfying, and has one of my favorite closing lines in any book.Clock Without Hands: 4 StarsMcCuller's final novel, begun in the early 1950s and taking most of the decade to complete, is of its time and a passionate look at the turmoil in the South as the Civil Rights movement mounted and a harsh portrayal of the hypocrisy of the old order. It's also about death and how the knowledge of it can bring out the best and worst in individuals.Overall, McCullers is worthy of all the praise she's received. There are ups and downs in her writing of course but as a single entity these novels are so insightful and absorbing that I can't give this collection anything less then full marks.

  • Kate Savage
    2019-04-13 00:55

    "He waited for the black, terrible anger as though for some beast out of the night. But it did not come to him. His bowels seemed weighted with lead, and he walked slowly and lingered against fences and the cold, wet walls of buildings by the way. Descent into the depths until at last there was no further chasm below. He touched the solid bottom of despair and there took ease."-The Heart is a Lonely HunterRead The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, and if you also fall in love with these characters -- the brilliant little imp-tomboys and the enraged, intelligent black men -- then sit longer with these lesser-known works of McCullers. Her stories may be despairing, but the characters that she animates are complex and wonderful. A joy to find an American book from the 40s with great instincts and ideas on gender, race, class, without being a self-consciously 'political work.'

  • Barbara Dzikowski
    2019-04-04 05:13

    Carson McCullers is a literary genius, and THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is a masterpiece. I haven't been so deeply moved by a novel in many a moon, and I'm so glad that I discovered this work in this particular period of life. In THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, McCullers' ability to get inside each of her characters' minds and motives is nothing short of amazing. Her characters are flawed, yet their humanity shines through on every page, as does their abiding sense of loneliness. A deep, troubling, stirring piece of literature. THE BALLAD OF THE SAD CAFE was very well-written but lacked the poignancy and relate-ability of THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, whose characters were drawn with detailed, realistic strokes, not the unsympathetic caricatures of THE BALLAD OF THE SAD CAFE.I can't wait to read the other novels in this book.

  • Alice
    2019-04-08 07:00

    Carson McCullers works have always touched something in me, something deep. Maybe old wounds. The way she writes her characters, their anguish, the way they live their lives, the view of the world we see through their eyes is familiar. Her stories take place in small Georgia towns, far from my own experience in a Queens suburb, yet McCullers' novels explore the lives of those who don't feel peace, don't feel at home, don't belong. We live everywhere.I first saw the film 'Member of the Wedding" as a child of twelve, the same age as Frankie Addams, before reading the book years later and felt the pain of her loneliness, her longing to belong, It is a beautifully written story.

  • Marialyce
    2019-03-31 07:14

    It is hard to say how this book affected me. I think its tone of desperation for the people living during this time was the main current for the author. While her writing was able to depict characters and settings well, the overwhelming theme was one that offered little hope for the situations of racism, aloneness, and boredom. To be stuck in this reality that one had no ability to change one's life and that the only way out was through death was depressing. Perhaps the currents of that time following the depression and pre World War 2 produced this morose feeling for the author and her writing.

  • Barksdale Penick
    2019-04-14 06:53

    This novella is set in a small town in Mississippi, before air conditioning and other modern conveniences. The lead characters are quirky to the point of being unrealistic. The lead character is a mannish woman who is a shrewd business operator who shows her vulnerable side to an unlikely companion. I found the centrsl characters overdrawn, but the setting realisitc and the bit players believable. The plot and structure seemed artificial to me, at times, so I cannot give the book more than a three rating. A pleasant enough read, but not powerful art.

  • D.
    2019-04-18 23:05

    Reading The February House (and watching the weird movie of Reflections in a Golden Eye) motivated me to finally read McCullers. Quite a talented writer and amazingly perceptive for someone so young. Finished Heart..., which I really enjoyed, but definitely more character than plot driven. Going to switch to nonfiction now then come back to read Reflections.... Update: Reflections was great, Sad Cafe even better.

  • Becky
    2019-03-29 04:08

    "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" is one of the best short stories I've ever read. Beautifully written; Carson provides deep insight into the heart-breaking fragility of human nature. Another Southern writer that's not afraid to look straight into the eyes of depression without flinching. "Clock Without Hands" bends towards Camus' existentialism, but ends in nihilistic despair. "The Member of the Wedding" is the female equivalent of "Catcher in the Rye."

  • Heather Anderson
    2019-04-02 00:12

    I love her writing, and finally with this edition I got to read all her novels. My favorite is Reflections in a Golden Eye. I love reading old books like this, especially when she uses words like "hobbledehoy". She is a very descriptive writer and a good storyteller...She died young (50s). Like Jimi Hendrix, I wish she could have had time to do more. But the five works here are amazing in themselves, and this compilation, with a timeline of the author's life at the end, is a treasure.

  • Emily
    2019-04-17 23:09

    My mom turned me on to Carson McCullers and I have to say that she is in my top five these days. Maybe it's just the southern connection, but I absolutely love her writing. They are not cheerful stories by any means, but they run deep and stay with you for a while. My favorites were Clock Without Hands, The Member of the Wedding, and, of course, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. My least favorite was Reflections in a Golden Eye.

  • Lloyd Fassett
    2019-04-01 23:10

    1/31/16 David Benioff listed "Wedding" as one of his 10 favorite books of all time. he wrote;"McCullers is one of those rare writers who remembers what childhood is like. Not incidents, which anyone can recall, but states of mind, which are so difficult to recreate. My wife and I named our first child, Frankie, in honor of the novel’s heroine."

  • Joan
    2019-04-04 01:17

    One of my absolute favourite books. I read it years ago, then read a biography of Carson McCullers which made her sound like a self-centred person. So I read 'A Member of the Wedding' to see why I liked it so much first time round - and I loved it all over again. Just goes to prove the author is NOT the book

  • Dina
    2019-04-03 01:18

    So, I really appreciated The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and Member of the Wedding. As a naturalist novel, I thought Reflections of a Golden Eye was interesting, but rather disturbing. And Ballad of the Sad Cafe was just bizarre. All of the texts I read were well written and interesting to analyze as a student, but would I ever read them again on purpose? Maybe the first two.

  • Justin
    2019-04-05 23:58

    I had heard of "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter", after finally reading it, I found it simply amazing. The rest of her works in this collection were quite amazing also. Wonderful writing on the human experiences of finding yourself, loneliness, connecting with others, and ultimately dealing with our own mortality.

  • Judy Vanderhule
    2019-04-02 01:00

    I picked this because I like to read books considered "Classics". This is the kind of book you need to talk about with someone else because there are so many layers of characterization. You just want to put on your "pyschoanalyst's hat". It is a compelling story and well told.

  • Darryl
    2019-04-05 03:01

    The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter: read (5 stars)Reflections in a Golden Eye: read (3-1/2 stars)The Ballad of the Sad Cafe: read (4-1/2 stars)The Member of the Wedding: read (4 stars)Clock Without Hands: read (4 stars)

  • Sarah Koehler
    2019-04-17 22:56

    I've read all the books in this collection -- see my individual reviews for more accurate comments. Overall, McCullers isn't my favorite, but it's good southern gothic literature if you're into that kind of thing...

  • Kathleen
    2019-04-07 05:13

    Now that I've finished it, I like it. I can understand why it's a classic and should be widely read. However, like with chocolate, "it's not good til it's gone". It was a tough one for me. I slept soundly on more than one occasion but I'm glad I stuck with it-totally worth the effort.

  • J. Dunn
    2019-04-17 23:20

    The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - A book about dignity. I can't believe she wrote this when she was 23. It has a wise old salt sort of insight into human nature about it. Very sad, but somehow affirming for all that. (Read early 2005)

  • Laurie
    2019-04-04 01:00

    For some reason, I had never read this book before. Although written in 1940, it's themes are very relevant today. She delicately tackles race and disability. She's a wonderful writer and the story is compelling. It's definitely worth reading if you never have.

  • Diana
    2019-04-17 04:53

    I don't have the whole collection, only The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter which is excellent. I found it particularly timely given the race questions surrounding Obama's electability. How far we've come and how far we have yet to go.

  • ABC
    2019-04-19 02:14

    Oh My Goodness, do I love Carson McCullers. I really really really do. Everything she has done is gold. Full of sadness and beauty and truth and heartache and ugliness and the whole wonderful terrible world.

  • Stephanie
    2019-04-14 02:56

    The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is heartbreaking and luminous. McCullers' writing is exquisite, and this collection reflects many different facets of her genius. I've only made it through the first three stories so far, but McCullers is definitely among my favorite writers.