Written By: Carson McCullers

Narrated By: Cherry Jones

Date: July 2004

Duration: 12 hours 29 minutes

Summary:

The beloved classic that turned Carson McCullers into an overnight literary sensation and one of the Modern Library's top 20 novels of the 20th century.

“A remarkable book…From the opening page, brilliant in its establishment of mood, character, and suspense, the book takes hold of the reader.”

In a Georgia Mill town during the 1930s, an enigmatic John Singer, draws out the haunted confessions of an itinerant worker, a doctor, a widowed café owner, and a young girl. Each yearns for escape from small town life, but the young girl, Mick Kelly, the book's heroine (loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music.

Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated—and, through Mick, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.

Genres:

  • Anonymous

    This book was the most boring thing I have ever read. There was no beginning, climax or end... it was just some monotone voice telling of pitiful people and what their thoughts are. There truly was no point or purpose. It was AWFUL... I did finish the book because the entire time I kept thinking "it MUST get better" and I'm disappointed to say, it didn't.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Heather

    I usually love all of Oprah's picks but this is one I've tried to read in paper and now listen to on audio and just can't get into this story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    I listened to this entire book waiting for four storylines to connect. They never did. While the stories seemed like good starts, they never got around to making any sense as to why they were all being told together. Just as one story started to hear up, the author moved on to another character and expected us to follow some imaginary reasoning as to why we made the jump to a different story. I should have believed the other reviews about this one being boring.

  • Y A W N

    Boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring. Get the picutre?

  • Anne

    Impressive dialog for a 24 year old author. The characters were quite tiresome, though. They really don't withstand the test of time.

  • wlh2040

    This did not grab my attention at all. I listened to it all the way through, and was delighted to begin something of interest when it was over.

  • Anonymous

    This book got very boring at times. The narrator was also a bit annoying. Listened to the whole thing - but was glad to move on to a new book when it was over.

  • Rita

    This book was so good I have listened to it twice. Mick is a very sympathetic character and I was pulling for her all the way.

  • KC

    The narrator of this book is fantastic. The story is quaintly dated but universal. My family was southern but I have lived most of my life in the north and the story made me re-encounter the ingrained and mindless racism of the south in a very visceral way. Although I'd like to believe that on the eve of the inauguration of our first black president this is a picture of the past, I wonder?

  • Gibert Kennedy

    A riveting story. The reader is superb. I'm sorry I waited so long to encounter it.

  • Anonymous

    I only made it to disk 6... while the narrator did a great job, I just never became that interested in the characters lives. I know it's a very popular book and has gotten great reviews- but it didn't capture my attention.

  • Judy S

    I forget how I chose this particular book, which is rather old, but I truly enjoyed it. The characters are well drawn and the narrator did a good job of invoking each of them. In fact, I rented the old movie of this story but couldn't even finish it. The characters in my mind, put there via this story, were far more interesting than the ones the movie portrayed. This book took me to that era and the realism of racism in the characters' lives. The intertwined group of "oddballs" depicted here - the deaf mute, a young girl, the black doctor, the mentally ill/alcoholic, and the reticent bar owner - were truly well drawn and shared a sense of their outsider status.

  • Anonymous

    I failed this book. The book did not fail me. The writing was on the mark. I enjoyed the phrasing and the well developed characters. Also, the narration was one of the best. In fact, the narration kept me hooked. But after a time, the depressing book became just so overly full of doom and gloom that I stopped. Even if this book is a classic, I just could not take it anymore. This book was just not what I enjoy in a read. I found myself continuing to listen simply because the book was a classic-there was no "what is going to happen next". Finally, I threw in the towe-did not finish it.

  • Diana

    The author uses the spaghetti method of writing. Three disjointed threads you need to get interested in. Then a fourth. And they don't come together until near the end and you don't much understand WHY they're there until then. W-A-A-AY too long and rambling. Author could have said what he did in a much shorter book. Author ties up all loose ends at the end of the book. The narrater does many voices, but Harper-Collins doesn't do audiobooks that well. Recommended read after A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. A Tree is on my A+ list, The Heart is not.

  • Diana

    The author uses the spaghetti method of writing. Three disjointed threads you need to get interested in. Then a fourth. And they don't come together until near the end and you don't much understand WHY they're there until then. W-A-A-AY too long and rambling. Author could have said what he did in a much shorter book. Author ties up all loose ends at the end of the book. The narrater does many voices, but Harper-Collins doesn't do audiobooks that well. Recommended read after A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. A Tree is on my A+ list, The Heart is not.

  • Elsie

    Cherry Jones does an incredible job reading this profoundly deep book. Great development of characters who are mistreated and misunderstood in a 1930s timeframe. I am amazed Carson McCuller had such insight at the tender age of 23.

  • Mariah Burton Nelson

    Due in part to the FABULOUS interpretation by reader Cherry Jones, this book has become one of my all-time favorites. I was TOTALLY absorbed in the story and the characters, and a week later they live on in my mind and heart. If you have not read this before, or even if you have, but have not heard this reader read it, listen to this tape. Fascinating, poignant story, beautifully told.

  • Laura

    It was a slow start, but well worth the wait. Very rich characters. The narrator is excellent. The only problem is that I REALLY want to know what happens to Mick in the future!

  • Angela Jones

    Awesome! A heart wrencing thought provoking novel. I loved the narrator, she was spectacular giving every character their own voice. I felt like I had been transferred back in history. Even thru all the violence and turmoil of the time this novel was writen you could hear the heart and goodness in every perosn.

  • Anonymous

    I stopped at Disk 5...and I still have no idea what this book is even about. I stayed with it that long thinking that it had to get better, but it did not.

  • Christina Espinoza

    This story is so real and tragic. I loved it but it took a while. Just like in real life I liked some of the characters and disliked others.

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful book - although almost too real. A variety of lonely, searching, people each ascribing unrealistic characteristics the people in their worlds. Misunderstanding each other and demonstrating how each of us can misunderstand others words, actions and intentions.

  • Constance Goodman

    I had to give up on this book after disc number 2. Listening to those two discs was a long painful journey. The characters and the reading became mind numbing. It was difficult to follow the plot or get into the characters.

  • Anonymous

    Difficulty starting....difficulty following....gave up after the first 4 CD's. I think I will go back to the murder-mysteries, suspense thrillers, and romances. They definitely had me more intrigued than this book. I tried to give it a chance ... it was probably one of the worst books I ever attempted to listen to.

  • Anonymous

    I wasn't sure about this book when first I chose it. Soon after the reader started I knew I would enjoy it. It does take you on "a shattering voyage into the depths of the spiritual isolation". I tend to lean towards works that stir the soul a little, not to anger, but to retrospection. I also felt it was very well read by the reader.

  • Anonymous

    The unabridged version is very long and not too exciting. As a historic narrative, it is quite good, but the pace of the book just isn't quick enough for it to be very intersting.

  • Mary Alice Chambers

    I found the characters very believable and found myself worrying over what would eventually happen to Mick, George and Dr. Copeland. What I found most distressing was Mr. Singer's belief that his "friend" actually cared for him. My impression was that Antonopolus (sic) felt only indifference towards Mr. Singer or anyone else; he was totally absorbed in himself. And Carson McCullers! It is amazing such a young author had a deep understanding of humanity. I highly recommend this book!

  • Angelika Teal

    Despite the slow beginning the story about a small town in the South in the 1930s draws the listener in with the intensity of the characters. The excellent reader brings the four main characters to life: Mr. Singer , the mute; Nick Kelly, the young girl; Mr. Blunt, the union man and communist; and the black doctor Mr. Copeland, who wants to bring change to the fate of his people. The listener gets a real good idea what life was about in that era. It is a book for those who want to learn and know about life in the depression and pre world war II America. It is not a book for those who need action and a fast pace. A sad, but gripping storyline.

  • Ruth Patton

    Although I became quite attached to the characters, I cannot say that this book lived up to some of its other reviews. Qutie disappointed with the ending.

  • Rosette

    One of those works on the collegiate required reading list that I'm finally getting to. It takes careful listening to follow in the beginning, but the depth of the characters draws you in and powers the story. Can't wait to receive the next set of discs. This is a character driven story, won't hold the attention of those who require action.

  • David Gardner

    This is a wonderful book in the tradition of the great Southern Novelists. It is the story of the lives of several families living in a small anonymous southern town in the late 30s. The characters are richly developed and their stories are delicately woven together. The reader is an excellent actress who brings the dialog to life with her wonderful ability to portray the different characters with her voice. Major themes include the early struggle for Civil Rights, coming of age, poverty, social justice and individual responsibility. A richly detailed portrait of the south as it struggled to find its identify in the modern era. Highly recommended!

Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

by Carson McCullers

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Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
This title is due for release on July 6, 2004.

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