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Three Novels: The Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Others Stories, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, and The Member of The Wedding

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46 review for Three Novels: The Ballad of the Sad Cafe and Others Stories, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, and The Member of The Wedding

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Wonderful stories. The Member of the Wedding was my favourite.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" is something of a masterpiece. Two of the remarkable aspects of this novella are that there is not an extraneous word in it and the syntax is perfect. In this sense alone it is a jewel. Then there is the story itself and the characters populating it. It is rather a simple tale, but a very remarkable simple tale. That being said, it possesses an enormous power for a short work. Once read, I find it impossible to forget. It lingers in the mind like a dream; not a night "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" is something of a masterpiece. Two of the remarkable aspects of this novella are that there is not an extraneous word in it and the syntax is perfect. In this sense alone it is a jewel. Then there is the story itself and the characters populating it. It is rather a simple tale, but a very remarkable simple tale. That being said, it possesses an enormous power for a short work. Once read, I find it impossible to forget. It lingers in the mind like a dream; not a nightmare, but a dream. "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" is a rather enigmatic tale. The story unfolds in layers, as each of the several principal characters gravitate around the central character of Mr. Singer; at the same time they are orbiting one another in a series of weird, strange and unsettling encounters, each except Singer emitting his or her own cry of the heart. It is those various cries and how they are communicated that are at the core of the novel. Since we are dealing here with communication and cries of the heart, the fact that the central character is a deaf mute is what elevates this novel to a special place. "The Member of the Wedding" is a deeply moving story of the young girl Frankie attempting to understand...what? Herself, her home town, the world, the universe? Frankie and Berenice and John Henry West are unforgettable characters. This novel is one of the most beautifully written works I have read. The author's ability to desribe the changes in a day during the movement of it's hours, and the changes of the seasons and atmospheres in a small Soutern town is astonishing. Her descriptions of the impact of these changes as the characters move through them is technically brilliant and, emotionally moves at various times from humorous to frightening to heartbreaking. I loved this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I only read the heart is a lonely hunter (there wasn't a way to select just that novel for some reason.) Ugh, and I hated it. So repetitive, so sledgehammer with her character descriptions. It's not that the book was depressing, it's that I felt that the same phrases were being used over and over again and she didn't know what to do with her characters once they had been created, so she did nothing at all. Portrait of the american south, sure. But a long slog of a read. I only read the heart is a lonely hunter (there wasn't a way to select just that novel for some reason.) Ugh, and I hated it. So repetitive, so sledgehammer with her character descriptions. It's not that the book was depressing, it's that I felt that the same phrases were being used over and over again and she didn't know what to do with her characters once they had been created, so she did nothing at all. Portrait of the american south, sure. But a long slog of a read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    I intended to read The Member of the Wedding when I picked this book up; but whether it was stress at work or my brain being stubborn, I did not get past part one. I did, however, read The Ballad of the Sad Cafe. I loved it; it was such a peculiar tale and so wonderfully told. Reading one out of many great short stories is not a huge feat, but it is a start and it was immensely gratifying. I will definitely revisit Carson McCullers at a later date.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dave Gourdoux

    Brilliant meditations on loneliness and the tragic absurdity of love. Read them in the order I believe she wrote them (Heart first, Wedding second, Cafe third) and you'll see her themes develop and the loves become more and more absurd and even grotesque - it's a testimony to her genius that even in light of this the relationships remain moving and tragic. Brilliant meditations on loneliness and the tragic absurdity of love. Read them in the order I believe she wrote them (Heart first, Wedding second, Cafe third) and you'll see her themes develop and the loves become more and more absurd and even grotesque - it's a testimony to her genius that even in light of this the relationships remain moving and tragic.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Margo Johnson

    I have read "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" and "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter". They are strange stories but offer insight into relationships, love, hero worship and so on. I think these books are worth a reread. I have read "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" and "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter". They are strange stories but offer insight into relationships, love, hero worship and so on. I think these books are worth a reread.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    To be fair, this just isn't my thing. I'm quite sure it's very well loved, just not by me. To be fair, this just isn't my thing. I'm quite sure it's very well loved, just not by me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jrejfek

    Short stories collection was fine. I think I really liked The Ballad of the Sad Cafe and The Member of the Wedding the most.

  9. 4 out of 5

    John

    The heart is a lonley hunter.....is probally one of my top ten!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  11. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dana C.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amber

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

  15. 4 out of 5

    mary catherine

  16. 5 out of 5

    Edward Johnson

  17. 5 out of 5

    jordan

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pro

    5/10/2007

  19. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tracy James

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Myrtle

  22. 4 out of 5

    Macmaguire

  23. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  24. 5 out of 5

    Irene

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elissa

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tabetha

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marcia

  29. 5 out of 5

    Girlatlas

  30. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

  31. 5 out of 5

    Chandramouli Mahadevan

  32. 5 out of 5

    Dana

  33. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

  34. 5 out of 5

    Jaime

  35. 4 out of 5

    Linda Jones

  36. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

  37. 5 out of 5

    Julie Nielsen

  38. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

  39. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

  40. 4 out of 5

    Towonda

  41. 4 out of 5

    Juli

  42. 5 out of 5

    Holly

  43. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  44. 5 out of 5

    Whoosthuy Almosthere

  45. 4 out of 5

    David Flory

  46. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

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