The Moviegoer

Front Cover
Vintage International, 1998 - Fiction - 241 pages
23 Reviews
Winner of the 1961 National Book Award

The dazzling novel that established Walker Percy as one of the major voices in Southern literature is now available for the first time in Vintage paperback.

The Moviegoer is Binx Bolling, a young New Orleans stockbroker who surveys the world with the detached gaze of a Bourbon Street dandy even as he yearns for a spiritual redemption he cannot bring himself to believe in. On the eve of his thirtieth birthday, he occupies himself dallying with his secretaries and going to movies, which provide him with the "treasurable moments" absent from his real life. But one fateful Mardi Gras, Binx embarks on a hare-brained quest that outrages his family, endangers his fragile cousin Kate, and sends him reeling through the chaos of New Orleans' French Quarter. Wry and wrenching, rich in irony and romance, The Moviegoer is a genuine American classic.
  

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Review: The Moviegoer

User Review  - Steve - Goodreads

All hail the Biblioracle, for his powers are immense. I realize that many of you will not be acquainted with this prophet of proper book choices. He writes a column for the Chicago Tribune's weekly ... Read full review

Review: The Moviegoer

User Review  - Jim - Goodreads

Immediately after the novel's dedication is this quote from Soren Kierkegaard, which pretty much says it all: "...the specific character of despair is precisely this: it is unaware of being despair ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)

Walker Percy, born in Alabama, raised in Mississippi, and a former resident of Louisiana, was a member of a prominent Southern family who lost his parents at an early age and grew up as the foster son of his father's cousin. Percy graduated from the University of North Carolina and received his M.D. from Columbia, but was a nonpracticing physician who devoted much of his life to his writing. Percy's witty and provocative first novel, The Moviegoer (1961), won the 1962 National Book Award, but Charles Poore considers The Last Gentleman (1966) "an even better book." Love in the Ruins (1971) marks a sharp change in method and subject from the first two novels. A doomsday story set "at the end of the Auto Age," it exposes many foibles and abuses in contemporary life through sharp satire and extravagant fantasy. Whereas Love in the Ruins is funny, Percy's next novel, Lancelot (1977) is the rather bleak and pessimistic story of a deranged man who blows up his home when he finds proof of his wife's infidelities and then tells his story in an asylum for the mentally disturbed. Its apocalyptic vision is expressed in a more positive and affirmative way in The Second Coming (1980), which takes its title from the fact that it resurrects the character of Will Barret from The Last Gentleman and locates him, a quarter-century older, finding love and meaning in a cave.

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