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Extended Audio Sample The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (9,639 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Walker Percy Narrator: Christopher Hurt Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2008 ISBN: 9781455170449
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A winner of the National Book Award, The Moviegoer established Walker Percy as an insightful and grimly humorous storyteller. It is the tale of Binx Bolling, a small-time stockbroker who lives quietly in suburban New Orleans, pursuing an interest in the movies, affairs with his secretaries, and living out his days. But soon he finds himself on a “search” for something more important, some spiritual truth to anchor him.

Binx’s life floats casually along until one fateful Mardi Gras week, when a bizarre series of events leads him to his unlikely salvation. In his half brother Lonnie, who is confined to a wheelchair and soon to die, and his stepcousin Kate, whose predicament is even more ominous, Binx begins to find the sort of “certified reality” that had eluded him everywhere but at the movies.

Wry and wrenching, rich in irony and romance, The Moviegoer is a genuine American classic.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Mr. Percy is a breathtakingly brilliant writer.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Clothed in originality, intelligence, and a fierce regard for man's fate…Percy has a rare talent for making his people look and sound as though they were being seen and heard for the first time by anyone.”

    Time

  • “A brilliant novel...Percy touches the rim of so many human mysteries.”

    Harper's

  • “In a gentle Southern accent narrator Christopher Hurt delivers the story with a slow, lazy lilt which suits the text and evokes a pervading spiritual emptiness.” 

    AudioFile

  • Winner of the 1962 National Book Award for Fiction
  • One of Modern Library's 100 Best English-Language Novels of the Twentieth Century
  • One of Time Magazine's Best 100 English-Language Novels from 1923–2005
  • A Wall Street Journal Pick for 5 Best Novels of Despair

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stefanie | 2/18/2014

    " This must touted novel, winner of prizes and accolades eluded me. The shortness of the book did not make it any easier to get through. I guess you had to be there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Benjamin Sloan | 2/7/2014

    " Reads like it's old. I guess because it is. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charlie Flannelly | 2/3/2014

    " This was a very boring book, and I couldn't connect to the characters at all, but every now and then someone would say something absolutely brilliant and knock my socks off. So I'm giving it a star more than it probably deserves for those occasional flashes of thought-provocation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Werebot | 1/24/2014

    " This is a book for neurotic, depressed romantics. It's sad and bittersweet and oddly hopeful for an existentialist novel. Also, it makes hooking up with your cousin seem cool, which was a relief for me personally. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 1/22/2014

    " Chapter 1 Part 2 : "There was a time when this was the last book on earth I'd have chosen to read. Until recent years, I read only "fundamental" books, that is, key books on key subjects, such as War and Peace, the novel of novels; a Study of History, the solution of the problem of time; Schroedinger's What is life?, Einstein's The Universe as I See It, and such. During those years I stood outside the universe and sought to understand it. I lived in my room as an Anyone living Anywhere and read fundamental books and only for diversion took walks around the neighborhood and saw an occasional movie. Certainly it did not matter to me where I was when I read such a book as the Expanding Universe. The greatest success of this enterprise, which I call my vertical search, came one night when I sat in a hotel room in Birmingham and read a book called The Chemistry of Life. When I finished it, it seemed to me that the main goals of my search were reached or were in principle reachable, whereupon I went out and saw a movie called It Happened One Night which was itself very good. A memorable night. The only difficulty was that though the universe had been disposed of, I myself was left over. There I lay in my hotel room with my search over yet still obliged to draw one breath and then the next. But now I have undertaken a different kind of search, a horizontal search. As a consequence, what takes place in my room is less important. What is important is what I shall find when I leave my room and wander in the neighborhood. Before, I wandered as a diversion. Now I wander seriously and sit and read as a diversion." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jo Ann Hall | 1/22/2014

    " I recognized myself in this book. I am an indefatigable student of human nature: A Moviegoer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brent Cooper | 1/12/2014

    " I viewed this as a "Catcher in the Rye" for those entering adulthood (20 going on 30) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annie | 12/28/2013

    " Gorgeous writing. Feel the need to read Kierkegaard now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gregory Rothbard | 12/26/2013

    " Great book although at times too philosophical. (Review TO Come) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe Salas | 12/12/2013

    " adam made me read this book. it seemed soaked with a similar annoying smugness as that horrid thing, Confederacy of Dunces, but i ended up somehow liking this one anyway "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 t-rex | 12/9/2013

    " Shelved for now. I'll be returning to this. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Iris | 11/24/2013

    " I found the book to be rather boring. I like to care or be interested in them, I found these characters to be flat and one dimentional. I don't understand how this book is so highly rated. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karen Pearson | 10/26/2013

    " I just couldn't get interested in the story or the characters and after two tries stopped at page 50. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karin | 1/25/2013

    " This is an beautifully written book--and a quick read too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claudia Vaughn | 1/17/2013

    " One of those books where people wander around doing a lot of thinking. Not bad if you like that sort of thing (which I do). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gwynne | 8/18/2012

    " Getting my comps books under way, and good ol' Walker Percy is on the list. Any folks have other books to recommend that have a penchant for the metaphorical and/or real ghostliness? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nerissa | 4/20/2012

    " This novel is a beautiful and poetic description of New Orleans in the early '60s. The protagonists aren't likable, but they are realistic as depressed young adults trying to find their place in a society that is shifting away from the traditional Southern roles that they grew up with. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gina | 4/9/2012

    " upon first read - insufferable navel gazing "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Auntjenny | 2/14/2012

    " Not my cup of tea... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew Barlow | 6/12/2011

    " This is a story about Binx Bolling being awakened out of the dullness of his life to the possibility a search for the real meaning of life. Kind of slow. Didn't thrill me. I expected more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denali | 5/25/2011

    " I'm not sure I fully understood this book but I did enjoy it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacob | 5/16/2011

    " Honestly, after reading "Lost in the Cosmos," I was underwhelmed with this book. It dealt with the same themes and arrived at the same conclusion, but overall, I just could not get into this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 5/14/2011

    " A little confusing with the regional references, but increasingly surprising as it went. Got better and better. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kosh | 5/2/2011

    " not too much to really say about this one, had a hard time connecting with it. I was disappointed b/c I was expecting more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 4/27/2011

    " How odd can this be? About New Orleans and a ?searcher? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Max | 4/17/2011

    " I thought this was a really interesting novel and it made me think a lot about the malaise and whether or not I understand the horizontal search myself. Overall I think it's about finding where you fit in in terms of who you are and what other people thrust upon you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ke | 4/10/2011

    " I was surprised how the story fit a movie's three act structure. The main character also had an arc. But the narrator never reveals too much about the movies.

    Many of the female characters were multi-dimensional. And the younger brother was likable. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brandon | 3/28/2011

    " After a hearty recommendation, just couldn't get into this one. Southerners are really into Southern literature. I'm really not. I thought Camus wrote his existential/absurdist novels in a much tighter way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 3/11/2011

    " This was a very boring book, and I couldn't connect to the characters at all, but every now and then someone would say something absolutely brilliant and knock my socks off. So I'm giving it a star more than it probably deserves for those occasional flashes of thought-provocation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 2/28/2011

    " I LOVE LOVE LOVED this book. Walker's lost characters are unforgettable: they crawl under your skin, stay there, and affect you for the rest of your life. "

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