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The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

Blurb

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter is about a mute man named John Singer. Singer lives in a small town in a Southern state in America. Singer is an incredibly lonely man but there is something about him that draws people to confide in him.

These people include a young girl named Mick who is anxious to grow up, a frustrated black doctor, an angry drunk and the owner of the local café.


Our Review

I first read The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter after downloading a sample on my kindle a few years ago. I can remember thinking it had a promising start but after a while I forgot about it. Recently I was browsing in a book shop and came across it again so I bought it.

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter is about a mute man named John Singer. Singer lives in a small town in a Southern state in America. Singer is an incredibly lonely man but there is something about him that draws people to confide in him.

These people include a young girl named Mick who is anxious to grow up, a frustrated black doctor, an angry drunk and the owner of the local café.

The book begins with a description of the friendship between Singer and another mute named Antonapoulos. The men were complete opposites of each other in almost every way. The Greek was obese and dreamy whereas Singer was thin and quite a practical man.

They lived together and had no other friends. The only contact they had with other people was in their places of work.

One day the Greek becomes ill and everything in Singer’s life changes.

Singer has not always been a mute but chose to stop speaking out of embarrassment and shame caused by other people’s reactions to his speech. Since then he has only spoken using his hands and otherwise hands out a card to people when he first meets them explaining that he is mute and that it would help if people speak slowly so he can lip read.

Singer was never sure if Antonapoulos was able to follow and understand their conversations when they were together but once he had gone Singer found he had no one to share his thoughts with despite the number of people who wanted to share their thoughts with him.

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter is a beautifully written book. It is a book where nothing really happens but that lack of direction is nothing. The only thing that matters are the characters and they are all thoroughly outlined and equally intriguing.

Bill is the owner of the local café. He likes to observe people and ruminate on a variety of things. Bill is consumed with a longing he is ashamed of.

Blount is an alcoholic consumed with injustices and worker’s rights, a man obsessed with the work of Karl Marx.

Doctor Copeland is a man concerned with race relations in his little town and the many injustices he has seen. He and Blount have similar beliefs in common but they are unable to speak each other’s language and are unable to bridge that gap.

Mick was my favourite character. She was a bit of an outsider both in her home and her school. She is desperate to grow up and become famous but she is not quite sure how she wants to get there. She feels a lot of responsibility for her younger siblings and helps out wherever she can. Mick loves music and the way it makes her feel.

Each of them finds something different in Singer’s silence, something that validates their opinions and the person they believe themselves to be. They are not the only ones who feel this way about him, each person he comes into contact with finds comfort with him.

“The rumours about the mute were rich and varied. The Jews said he was a Jew. The merchants along the main street claimed he has received a large legacy and was a very rich man. It was whispered in one browbeaten textile union that the mute was an organizer for the C. I. O. A lone Turk who had roamed into the town years ago and who languished with his family behind the little store where they sold linens claimed passionately to his wife that the mute was Turkish. He said that when he spoke his language the mute understood. And as he claimed this his voice grew warm and he forgot to squabble with his children and he was full of plans and activity. One old man from the country said that the mute had come from somewhere near his home and that the man’s father had the first tobacco crop in all the country. All these things were said about him.”

I can see why The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter is so frequently described as a modern classic.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 4.1/5

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