Customer Reviews for

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

Average Rating 4
( 162 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(69)

4 Star

(38)

3 Star

(21)

2 Star

(19)

1 Star

(15)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Beautiful work of art.

I read this book sophomore year in high school for my English honors class, and at first I was skeptical, but the characters grew on me, with complex, developed personalities, and although it has a depressing touch, I fell utterly in love with this book, and Singer. Thi...
I read this book sophomore year in high school for my English honors class, and at first I was skeptical, but the characters grew on me, with complex, developed personalities, and although it has a depressing touch, I fell utterly in love with this book, and Singer. This book made me cry, laugh and think about life in a different perspective. I recommend this book to teens and adults. You won't regret it.

posted by 9268302 on December 23, 2011

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Highly Recommended - Must Read

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers is the 2013 selection for the Big Read project that is sponsored by the NEA to encourage reading in communities throughout the US. In an interview, the author, McCullers, stated that the form for this book is inspired by ...
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers is the 2013 selection for the Big Read project that is sponsored by the NEA to encourage reading in communities throughout the US. In an interview, the author, McCullers, stated that the form for this book is inspired by a musical form,the fugue. A fugue contains a single motif or several motifs that are repeated over and over again throughout the piece. In the novel, the motif is loneliness which is acted out by the central character John Singer who is deaf and mute. The other main characters, Biff, Mick, Dr. Copeland, and Jake struggle with their individual form of loneliness and seek out Mr. Singer who, ironically, is the only person with whom they can communicate and the only person who also understands them. Set in an unnamed Georgia Mill town, the novel opens up a door to another time and place where attitudes towards people with disabilities, different religions, different ethnicities,and surprising political views are dramatically different from today. Published more than 70 years ago, this book is worth taking a look at in 2013.

posted by eliza_c on February 15, 2013

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    SAD, INTERESTING, NOT GREAT.

    I read tons of "pulp" novels, and I've started adding some classics to my wish list, largely to see if the books I abhorred in high school would be more enjoyable if they were not assigned reading. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter was no better now.<BR/>As a character study it is superb; the main characters are deep, believable, and unique. I understood the characters, or at least why they didn't understand themselves. Each chapter with Mr. Singer made me smile with anticipation while I waited for something magical to happen to make the characters happy.<BR/>That was the problem with the book. Each chapter barely moves the story forward, and in the end nothing happens. There is so much potential for characters to talk and understand and change, but it never happens and the potential hangs over the entire book like a cloud. The book simply ends. No character is better off than they were in the beginning, no character's life path is appreciably changed from those of their next door neighbors. In short, with the exception of Mr. Singer, there was no reason to write about these characters in terms of their participation in events that are worth writing about. <BR/>The book was not a labor to get through, but I was largely unsatisfied with the resolution. I don't need a happy ending, but atleast give me a sense that the previous 200 pages somewhat affected that ending.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2008

    Nothing happens....and Everything Happens

    I usually fly through most reads, but this is one novel that took me some time to get through. It was a book that I could easily put down, and yet felt compelled over and over again to pick up again the next day. It seemed little really happened in the book--and yet, EVERYTHING happened. It's difficult to explain. What did I take away from it? We are all looking for that one person, one connection that completely understands us. We yearn for that someone who can see into our souls and understand all those things we can't always even put into words. Four of the main characters each thought they found that person in Mr. Singer. And Mr. Singer thought he found that in his friend, the Greek. And yet they all deluded themselves. No matter how much we reach out to others, the human condition is at its deepest level, a lonely one. Most importantly, I can only touch the surface of what I took away from this story. Much like Mick, who would pound her fists in frustration at what she felt in her heart but could never express, this is a book that calls for understanding on a very different level.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    First published in 1940

    This is a reprint of a book, first published in 1940. I too, had to read this book in high school. I liked it very much, but even 30 years ago, it seemed dated...oh my gosh.....after thinking about HS being 30 years ago, I feel dated also. GEECH! If you are interested in reading this book ( if you like nice, clean, classical reads) I recommend you save your money and get it from the library or second hand shop. This is rather costly for a book published 85 years ago.

    AD

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2007

    Beautifully written!

    This was one of my summer reading books for my sophomore year Honors English class. I also found that the picture of McCullers on the front cover stared me down until I picked it up. When I first began reading, I found the book a little bit difficult to get into. However, in chapter two, the introduction of some new characters grabbed my attention, and held it from then on. McCullers spins a captivating tale of five social outcasts and their struggle against isolation. Each character is searching for someone that will accept and understand them. One thing I liked about this novel was that all of the characters are easily understood, and I was able to relate them to myself or someone I know. McCullers accomplished this through the use of different viewpoints. This book provided an interesting view of the South, covering a wide range of aspects of life in that time, from racial and non-racial prejudices, to the daily struggles of an average family to make ends meet, to the trials and tribulations of growing up. McCullers intertwines all of this beautifully into a melancholy tale, teaching readers about human emotion. She carefully develops characters and their conflicts, which in turn support the themes that shape this story. I recommend this piece of literature to all readers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2007

    The Search for a Purpose

    The emptiness, the longing, the loneliness, is portrayed by Carson McCullers through her novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Introducing characters like Mick, Singer, Blount, and Doctor Copeland, she dives into the everyday lives of each, revealing the innermost secrets of their hearts. Rather than giving stories of happenings, she illustrates the struggles and battles of the minds of individuals that draw the readers to connect with the characters. For me, I found pleasure in befriending these characters and getting to know them, finding similarities in which I could relate to. These unique characters are dramatized sketches of humans in reality these feelings of frustration and an unknown probing of the heart do exist commonly among us. It comforted me that these problems were shared by others too, and that I was definitely not alone in my stand. McCullers shows the needs for purpose in life, and portrays the anticipation and excitement of holding a deep passion inside, something to live and die for. As I read this book, without reason, this feeling of renewed freshness aroused within me, and I gained encouragement in my loneliness to continue to strive for something. Even though some of the characters met unfortunate outcomes, McCullers used them to bring me a different kind of hope and strength.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2007

    Great!!

    I read this book for summer reading in my sophmore year of highschool. This was a book that I did not think I would like, but from page one until the end, I was hooked. The cover itself looks very intimidating, but when I picked it up and read the back I thought 'This looks interesting'. One of the last things a kid wants to do is read a long summer reading book, but this one was worth it. Reading for long periods of time, without even realizing the hours that have gone by is just part of this heart felt story. I felt that I could relate to some of the characters in the novel as well. Being a teen girl helped me relate to a lot of the problems that Mick struggled with throughout the story. Also, my little brother happens to be deaf 'but not muted' and often reads lips which helped me understand Singer's character too. When McCullers talks about the intricate designs that Singer makes with his hands, it reminds me of my little brother talking in sign language to his friends at school. In addition, reading about Carson McCullers's life after finishing the book made me more interested in what went on. Carson McCullers has many connections in the novel to her depressing and tragic life, which made me even more interested. The characters, themes, setting, and conflict assisted in supporting and evolving this deep, touching story. I recommend this book to everyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2007

    brilliant

    it's really great. is a bit slow, but it makes up for it in the writing. simple.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2007

    The Heart is a Lonely Hunter-really, it is

    When I first started reading this book, I didn¿t think I would like it very much. Usually, I don¿t like to read books that are based on events that happened in the past. I also don¿t usually like southern based books, but I thought I would give it a try. I actually ended up really liking it. I was educated on ways of the south by reading about the different character¿s lives. I ended up growing with each of the characters as well. I could relate to almost every one of them. It was interesting reading about a time in which there was racial problem and the ways they healed themselves through music. The ending was depressing, but it teaches you about human emotion.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2014

    an historians delight

    Not only an exploration of how people of all ages races and and background are truly only going thru life looking for love (not just sex). and a connection to the world. This is a glimpse into what life was like in the depression years before WWII.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2006

    Very moving

    The author paints such a touching portrait in this novel. Each character is so isolated in one way or another, and yet the author really adds such a level of complexity to each and every one. A very, very touching novel. The only reason I gave it four and not five stars is because I felt a little let down at the ending, as though I wanted more...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2006

    The heart is a lonely hunter

    The book kept me very interested and was very enjoyable to read. I was disappointed about the ending but it seemed to wrap up the whole story. The story was very depressing but also in a way that showed things that happen around us everyday that we dont realize that we should. Its an eye opener!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2004

    Symbolism heavy but recommended

    This is a great story with great characters, but perhaps the author is too determined to make everyone lonely and desperate, to keep the lonely hunter symbolism consistent, and ultimately tiringly consistent, so the novel doesn't end for me as strongly as it begins. Nevertheless, it deserves to be read. The writing is too beautiful and too smart. And another novel that deserves to be read that I can recommend is A SECRET WORD by Jennifer Paddock, which does build and build and ultimately ends stronger than it began, and it's smart and beautifully written as well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2004

    A 'mind read', story is psychological, not action oriented

    I have read thousands of books, almost all of the great classics as well as modern conventional reads and I can say there is classic value in this one. If you are looking for action, there are tragedies and dramas, but the focus is not on the obvious action but the psychological dramas going on within the characters.The book focuses not only on each individual's pain and lonliness but their attempts to connect to some meaning through the catalyst of one focal character: the highly intelligent deaf mute. It was as if each character's lonlely heart searched for this meaning, the title is most fitting. The plot slowed and the pain deepened as the story progressed, that is the only reason I did not give five stars. The timbre of the book reminds me of the Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway), Crime and Punishment (Doestoevsky), and is somewhat similar in mood to To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee). The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is definitely a classic and is eternally useful as long human nature and circumstance creates pain and lonliness.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2003

    Gripping Story

    The novel depicts emotionally the details of hardships the four or five main characters of the novel face in their lives. The story is very intriguing, and the author is able to draw the reader into the characters' emotions. The reader is left empathizing with the characters of the novel. The novel is able to reach into the heart of compassion of the reader and leaves one wondering about the complexities of these people's lives - especially Singer, the main character, who the 'misfits' confide in. What is it about Singer that makes these misfits of society confide in him? It's fascinating, sad and tragic without being maudlin. Although the novel ends, there is no ending.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2002

    Can you believe a 20 year old woman wrote this?

    After reading this novel, I find it incredible that a 20 year old woman wrote it. McCullers explores a variety of social topics, including racism, Marxism, gender, sexuality, prejudice, and other problems of the human mind and soul. I live in McCullers' hometown, Columbus, Georgia, and to think that she developed this novel here in 1930's Georgia is, as I said, incredible. Yes, the novel gets wordy at times with the complex issues addressed, but the book examines the human spirit at its most vulnerable. This is a book you will not soon forget, because its unanswered questions will haunt you long after the final page.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2000

    Tone Helps Readers Relate to the Characters

    In the book 'The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter' by Carson McCullers, there are five main characters. (Depending on who the reader book is, the main character may be different.) Five characters take major roles throughout the book. John Singer is a deaf-mute who has lost his friend to an asylum and is never the same. Mick Kelly is a tom-boy who has a passion for music and watches her younger brother, Bubber, during most of her free time. Bill Brannon is the owner of a small cafe that stayed open all night, and is the place to be for most drunks. Dr. Benedict is a black man who comes to terms with his son-in-law, and his own son after frightening them with his strictness. A drunk named Jake Blount ends up having visions and has a communistic streak. <P> The book is a bit confusing in the beginning, because in every section a new character is introduced. As the book goes on it is easier to follow all of the characters own stories and experiences. The tone of this book is sorrowful, and causes the reader to feel the emotions along with the characters. Through third person omniscient point of view the somber tone helps readers relate to the characters in a sympathetic way. The theme is one of overcoming hardships through pain and suffering. Problems may make life seem that nothing could be worse, but that just means that there is everything to gain; in 'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter', the struggle and hardship of the characters is what makes a stronger person emerge and realize how much more precious life actually is.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2