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Download The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Audiobook, by Carson McCullers Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (37,389 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carson McCullers Narrator: Cherry Jones Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2004 ISBN: 9780060782627
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Carson McCullers was all of twenty-three when she published her first novel, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter—and it made her a literary sensation. With its profound sense of moral isolation and its compassionate glimpses into its characters’ inner lives, the novel is considered McCullers’ finest work, an enduring masterpiece first published in 1940. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer’s mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book’s heroine (and 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 Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.

Richard Wright praised Carson McCullers for her ability to “rise above the pressures of her environment and embrace white and black humanity in one sweep of apprehension and tenderness.” Hers is a humanity that touches all who come to her work, whether for the first time or, as so many do, time and time again. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is Carson McCullers at her most compassionate, most enduring best.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “When one puts [this book] down, it is with…a feeling of having been nourished by the truth.”

    May Sarton

  • “To me the most impressive aspect of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is the astonishing humanity that enables a white writer, for the first time in Southern fiction, to handle Negro characters with as much ease and justice as those of her own race.”

    Richard Wright

  • The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is a miracle of compassion, pity, and irony. Form and matter are perfectly blended in the novel.”

    Virginia Quarterly Review

  • “One cannot help remarking that this is an extraordinary novel to have been written by a young woman of twenty-two; but the more important fact is that it is an extraordinary novel in its own right, considerations of authorship apart.”

    Saturday Review of Literature

  • “Sensitively conceived and expertly told…Its quality as writing and the intensity of its theme combine to make it one of the outstanding novels of recent years.”

    New Orleans Times-Picayune

  • One ofModern Library‘s 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century
  • AnOprah’s Book Club Selection in 2004
  • ANew York Times Bestseller
  • One of Time Magazine's Best 100 English-Language Novels from 1923–2005
  • Audio Publisher’s Association “Audie” Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kama | 2/17/2014

    " I can see why this has become a classic. Incredibly prescient and ruminative political tract (thinly veiled as a story about actual people). I couldn't help but wonder if Ayn Rand was one of her literary influences, despite their opposite political views. However -- and as with Ayn Rand -- CMC could've used an editor here and there... It was kind of all over the place and rambled. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 2/4/2014

    " My new favorite. Such a beautifully written book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 BC | 1/24/2014

    " What did I think? After finishing the book, I looked at the book and thought WHAT? It was a strange book. Makes me wonder what the movie is like. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rhod | 1/15/2014

    " A story to touch your heart on many levels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victoria Slotto | 12/15/2013

    " McCullers has a gift for character development and description. True to the genre of literary fiction, the plot is character-driven, although somewhat of a downer. For me, the value of this novel lies in superb writing and I recommend it to anyone who relishes beautifully penned work, especially writers who are looking to hone their own skills. Be aware: it is not a feel-good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Seth Courrégé | 12/5/2013

    " A lovely, yet depressing book about several very different yet interconnected characters, all touched by one selfless, mute man. A must-read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb howe | 12/2/2013

    " I think this is one of my all-time favorite books ever. And that's saying something 'cause I read a lot of good books. I just find myself in these characters over and over again. It's worth re-reading every few years. It'll still be a story of you and the people you know. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trish | 12/2/2013

    " I read Ballad of the Sad Cafe for a class once and liked it. I've been meaning to read this book for ages and now that I have.. Well, it's a great book. Not because the author wrote it when she was twenty-three, although that is amazing. Atmospherically it reminds me a little of (the later-written) Kent Haruf's Plainsong/Eventide, which I loved. It's depressing and there are a few rants by the character where my eyes glazed over. Closer to 3.5 stars though, it's not a reread book for me and most of my four star+ are. Just.. It's a great book, has great characters and not so great characters (I loved the doctor and the girl) but it just doesn't quite fall into love category for me. Exactly what I was hoping to read regardless though (trying to read more literary stuff again). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 MaryAnn Smith | 11/20/2013

    " Written in 1940, it tells the story of a mute who lived in a small southern town and how he touched the lives of a diverse group of people. His quiet listening and acceptance of others made him well loved. The characters growth and introspection was also told with convincing beautiful writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebekkila | 8/12/2013

    " All the characters in the book were so damaged. i found it depressing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 7/26/2013

    " A bit depressing but very interesting characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janelle | 4/26/2013

    " I can see why it's one I have heard of before. It does bring up a lot of questions on the different types of companionship and the effect/depth they have. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tony | 4/9/2013

    " This has been a favorite of mine since high school. I've read it a few times since then. Simple, and beautifully written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hauke Haien | 4/5/2013

    " Haunting, beautiful, painfully real. In my opinion the most underrated work of American fiction, by a large margin. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 AliceinWonderland | 3/24/2013

    " I don't understand the hype??? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kersten | 11/3/2012

    " Started out very interesting but after 60 pages Ihave no idea what the story is. I just can't get into it. decided to go on to better (hopefully!) books! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tylerhuff | 8/28/2012

    " i have never read a book so poorly written with as much charecter jumping as this. the depressing charecters, tiring dialog, and forgettable moments put it near the top of my "Must Burn" list "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hanna | 6/6/2012

    " Beautiful and immensely sad at the same time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennah | 5/21/2012

    " Great demonstration of the different types of love. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erica | 4/26/2012

    " So good. It broke my heart. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cwbest | 6/30/2011

    " A story about man's struggle against social isolation. I really enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Esther | 6/21/2011

    " An amazing ending, I totally agree with it. The characters are superb, in an odd twisting way, everyone should be exposed to the truths within this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Baxter | 6/18/2011

    " Oh yeah, my type of novel - bleak, despairing, and ultimately hopeful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 6/14/2011

    " CM was a certifiable genius if she wrote this at such a young age. I read this
    for an English class in college(I think). Date read is a guess. The movie's
    pretty good too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 6/14/2011

    " the impossibility of knowing another person. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sandie | 6/13/2011

    " I got nothing our of this book. I feel like I must have missed soemthing after reading everyone else's rave reviews. I will try to re-read it in a few months "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 6/9/2011

    " Restrained,astute, beautiful. Wise beyond her years and years ahead of her time. "

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About the Author
Author Carson McCullersCarson McCullers (1917-1967) was the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Member of the Wedding, Reflections in a Golden Eye, and Clock Without Hands. Born in Columbus, Georgia, on February 19, 1917, she became a promising pianist and enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York when she was seventeen, but lacking money for tuition, she never attended classes. Instead she studied writing at Columbia University, which ultimately led to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, the novel that made her an overnight literary sensation. On September 29, 1967, at age fifty, she died in Nyack, New York, where she is buried.
About the Narrator

Cherry Jones is an Earphones Award-winning audiobook narrator who has won an AudioFile Earphones Award and twice been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, in 2001 and 2005. She is also well known as a premiere theater actress and winner of a Tony Award. She has acted in numerous television shows, and her film roles include Erin Brockovich, The Perfect Storm, and M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs.