The Moviegoer

The Moviegoer

Walker Percy / Jun 24, 2021

The Moviegoer Winner of the National Book AwardThe 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 Mo

  • Title: The Moviegoer
  • Author: Walker Percy
  • ISBN: 9780375701962
  • Page: 137
  • Format: Paperback
  • Winner of the 1961 National Book AwardThe 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 heWinner of the 1961 National Book AwardThe 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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      Published :2021-03-27T06:55:48+00:00

    About "Walker Percy"

      • Walker Percy

        Walker Percy 1916 1990 was one of the most prominent American writers of the twentieth century Born in Birmingham, Alabama, he was the oldest of three brothers in an established Southern family that contained both a Civil War hero and a US senator Acclaimed for his poetic style and moving depictions of the alienation of modern American culture, Percy was the bestselling author of six fiction titles including the classic novel The Moviegoer 1961 , winner of the National Book Award and fifteen works of nonfiction In 2005, Time magazine named The Moviegoer one of the best English language books published since 1923.


    1. “The fact is I am quite happy in a movie,even a bad movieWhat I remember is the time John Wayne killed three men with a carbine as he was falling to the dusty street in Stagecoach, and the time the kitten found Orson Wells in the doorway in the Third Man.”Binx Bolling is floating through life. He survived the Korean War and was fortunate enough to come back with a good wound, a shoulder wound, that allowed him to leave the conflict with honor. He lives in Gentilly, a middle class suburb of N [...]

    2. This is my favorite novel of all time. It is the story of Binx Bolling, a successful, socially prominent New Orleans stockbroker from an old and wealthy family, and how he faces his life in the week of Carnival leading up to his thirtieth birthday on Ash Wednesday. Binx is an avid and successful skirtchaser, but he really loves his stepcousin Kate, a manic depressive. The book tells us that a life spent seeking happiness is almost doomed to failure, that happiness, both as a concept and as a rea [...]

    3. **This review contains spoilers**New Orleans, 1960's. Jack "Binx" Bolling is 30, comes from a well off background, makes his money as a stock broker, and likes girls, and oh yes, he likes going to movies.a lot. But Binx is not happy, he is stuck, going without direction, without purpose; problem is, he doesn't know where to go, what to do next. His distant cousin, Kate Cutrer, he can relate to. She is also stuck, mainly because she suffers severe psychological issues. There is a connection with [...]

    4. I couldn't get through this book. Percy writes a detailed and interesting setting, and a meandering narrator/main character.But really, I think the same way about this as I do books like Emma-- As in, why do I care if rich idiots are sad about their affluent lifestyle that is free of any socio-economic or actual danger? Oh, poor rich white middle-aged depressed man, who makes a lot of money, is breathlessly racist and sexist, and spends all his time manuvering to get his secretaries into bed. Ge [...]

    5. 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 book review supplement. Aside from short essays on book-related topics (think pithier versions of chapters in Anne Fadiman’s Ex Libris), he invites readers to submit their own five most recent selections from which he divines the next one that should go on the list. It’s a fun exercise for someo [...]

    6. The Moviegoer: Walker Percy's Novel of "If That's All There Is"Is that all there is, is that all there isIf that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancingLet's break out the booze and have a ballIf that's all there is--Jerry Leiber & Mike StollerIf Walker Percy's The Moviegoer ever hits the screen, I'm sure Peggy Lee singing "Is That All There Is" will be on the soundtrack. And, if Binx Bolling is there to see it, I wonder if he'll recognize himself.Not in the mood for a little Camu [...]

    7. I come away from "The Moviegoer" with very mixed feelings. Walker Percy was a beautiful writer, and I found myself reading several passages more than once just to enjoy the language, but I think I may be too old, even at 35, to truly appreciate and connect with a novel driven almost completely by existential feelings. It's not that I never personally feel existential dread -- I do, far more often than I'd like -- but, for the most part, I got the reading of these types of novels out of my system [...]

    8. Southern ExistentialismNew Orleans is both intimately related to the South and yet in a real sense cut adrift not only from the South but the rest of Louisiana. A proper enough American city and yet within the next few hours the tourist is apt to see more nuns and naked women than he ever saw before.Walker PercyI love this Percy quote because he so aptly captures the essence of this city below sea level, affectionately known as The Big Easy. Walker Percy was awarded the National Book Award for t [...]

    9. I'm a sucker for books that employ existential musings in a way that feels genuine and unforced; thus, I greatly enjoyed The Moviegoer. It's an ambitious novel for one so slim--it skims many weighty topics, from hedonism (and his better-dressed twin, capitalism), to religion's place in America, to the nature of responsibility (and that of her incubus, apathy), to mental health and paranoia. There is even a nice riff on Salinger where Percy replaces Holden's "phonies" with those who are "dead" in [...]

    10. Let me preface this by saying that I'm quite sure that nothing in this review will come close to equalling the great one Jeffrey Keeten did, which I am purposely not rereading until after I write this, as it will intimidate the heck out of me. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

    11. Nothing like a boring book to put a damper on reading. I can't remember the exact day that I started this book, but it feels like forever ago. For a 200-some page book, it felt like a 1000 page book, and just dragged on for a long time. The main character Binx Bolling (who names their kid Binx?), is a well-to-do business man, who enjoys chasing women, seeing movies, and can't seem to find a purpose to his life. In the book, there's about five interesting events, six entertaining converstations, [...]

    12. In the running for the 1962 National Book Award -Joseph Heller for Catch 22Richard Yates for Revolutionary RoadJ.D. Salinger for Franny & ZooeySomehow, Walker Percy's The Moviegoer won. So, I read it.I guess it kind of redeems itself towards the end, but for much of the first 100 pages or so, it was filled with sickening Southern witticisms and references to by-gone nonsense. Too much about the "malaise" and the "genie-soul" - which means what exactly?And, what kind of grandiose shit is this [...]

    13. I don't know what I was expecting, a nostalgic trip through the golden hours of cinema history, something along the lines of Truffaut or of the more recent Oscar laureateThe Artist? I didn't even pay attention to the year of publication (1961) or the setting (New Orleans). Mostly the impulse to pick it up came from a review full of great movie posters, and I was looking for something to validate my own obsession with the silver screen magic ( I had periods when I watched 2-3 movies per day). Th [...]

    14. When I was a junior in high school, my favorite English teacher told us about Walker Percy. He lived across Lake Pontchartrain, she said, and she made him sound like a reclusive eccentric. He had a new book out, she told us, called Lancelot and highly recommended his Love in the Ruins. We didn't read him in class, but I heard enough about him to be intrigued and I read him on my own. Though my teacher had introduced me to him, I felt like he was my own discovery.I don't remember the first time I [...]

    15. Binx Bolling.He's the most boring man aliveHe finds all he needs in a movie theater.Driving cars gives him a feeling of malaise.He carries war scars, he doesn't share.He awakes 'in the grip of everydayness' it's the enemy, with no escape.He doesn't always go to the movies, but when does he goes as a moviegoer. He is the most boring man alive.

    16. John "Binx" Bolling will soon be turning 30. An ex-Korean war soldier, he is adrift. A lost soul searching for signs where to go, what to do with his life, or even what his existence means. He works in the office as a stockbroker sharing his office with his secretary, Sharon who he is secretly in love with. When he goes home, he busies himself reading his books (Arabia Deserta, Charterhouse of Pharma, The Prophet, etc) and seeing movies (The Ox-Bow Incident, It Happened One Night, Young Philadel [...]

    17. The Sacramental Kiss of a Bloody FingerBinx Bolling marries Kate Cutrer, even though a bystander, much less the Cutrer family, would not have suspected these two were in love. The Moviegoer is the strange story of one week of Binx’s life, on the eve of his thirtieth birthday, which happens to fall on Ash Wednesday. Binx is searching for something in life, but for what he is not too sure. He is just a normal guy living in Gentilly, a New Orleans suburb, with a normal stockbroker job in a fine o [...]

    18. I wasn't sure how much I would like this book when I started, but by the final page I loved it so much I'm going to have to put it on my re-read shelf. This book contains a lot in it's 240 pages: family love and responsibility, class systems in the south, subtle racism, feelings of despair and elation, and the search for meaning in one's life. There is also a lot of wisdom and AHA moments for the reader, written in elegant prose.Two of my favorite sentences:"Life goes on and on we go.""Ours is t [...]

    19. Is the war over yet?Jack Bolling is a soldier who comes from a long line of soldiers. Jack served in Korea, his dad died in World War II, other relatives served in World War I, some in the Civil War. The fiercest warrior of them all is Jack’s Aunt Emily. She’s single womanly upholding Southern Tradition and all she has to work with is Jack. Sadly Jack is still fighting his war in his mind and heart even as he successfully makes money, chases women and of course prowls movie theaters. He’s [...]

    20. I heard somewhere that actors and actresses almost always end up seeing psychiatrists. They are forced to empty themselves and fill themselves up with the fictional life details and personality of their character to such an immersive depth that they themselves have to believe that is who they are to pull it off. But the catch is, once they do this trick several times it becomes harder and harder to go back to the way things were. How would one accomplish this? Would one, by method, begin playing [...]

    21. Ever since finishing Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer I’ve been struggling to write some kind of review. Not even a good review, just something which expresses what I think about the book. What is so difficult about this book? The Moviegoer has been called an existential novel and it won the prestigious National Book Award for 1962 beating out other better known contenders for that year such as, Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and J.D. Salinger’s Franny and ZooeyAs an existential novel, The Moviego [...]

    22. Before I read 'the Moviegoer' my only real exposure to Walker Percy was reading A Confederacy of Dunces (a novel not written by Percy, but one which he discovered, published and wrote the forward to) and through his friendship with Shelby Foote. Anyway, fifty pages into 'the Moviegoer', I was ready to declare my undying love for Walker Percy. 'The Moviegoer' reminded me of a southern Catholic Graham Greene + F. Scott Fitzgerald + William Gaddis. With Greene's Catholic ambiguity and Fitzgerald's [...]

    23. The ending is one of the best I've ever read, and there are splendid passages here and there but Binx Bolling is just an annoying, myopic, self-obsessed, rueful little twerp

    24. So many writers distrust words, so many artists distrust images and ideas, that they turn the stuff of their material against itself. As the protagonist of The Moviegoer says, ‘the only sign is that all signs in the world make no difference.’ Not that one should look to Binx Boller as a profound philosopher, of course, for he is a plaything of the author, a character made of words, albeit one who recognises that much thought, vocalisation and action is a responsive twitch. The characters her [...]

    25. O carte bine scrisă, la care, din păcate, nu m-am putut conecta.Mi-a plăcut personajul principal, John (Binx) Bolling, dar de la distanţă. Raţional, am apreciat sensibilitatea lui aparte, care îl făcea să simtă alienarea celorlalţi (şi să reacţioneze la ea cu înţelegere şi compasiune), starea lor de morţi vii (fără trăiri intense şi fără idealuri), care îl făcea să se simtă speriat la culme de lehamite (apatie) şi de-a dreptul sufocat de cotidian. S-ar spune că un a [...]

    26. Okay so here's the deal, it's puzzling to me that this book appears on so many Top 100 Novels lists. I'll forever remember it (or rather, easily forget it) as "That book about rich white people in New Orleans who don't have any real problems." I guess it didn't help that I read this after coming off the harrowing "Native Son" and "The Grapes of Wrath", two epic journeys of oppressed peoples who wrestle with genuine life-and-death problems. The main problem for the protagonist in "The Moviegoer" [...]

    27. This novel proved to be different than expected in spite of the reviews I'd read prior to picking up the book. It is so introspective and has very little to do objectively with the world of film. But it has a lot to do with movies. One quote near the end seemed to sum up that conundrum for me. As Binx describes a man met on the bus returning to New Orleans, the man he has labeled "the romantic", "He is a moviegoer, though of course he does not go to movies."For me, this summed up Binx and his pl [...]

    28. Liked but preferred The Last Gentleman. He actually made reference to where I live which is remarkable because when this was written it was just a dot on the map.

    29. Binx Bolling, è colpa mia o è colpa del tuo autore?Io sono una di quelle a cui basta poco per essere convinta della scelta. E in questo caso il pacchetto era piuttosto invitante: un titolo accattivante e con rimandi alla mia persona talmente evidenti che non li potevo ignorare, un'offerta praticamente gratuita, visto che il libro era della biblioteca, e un depliant accattivante: rimandi allo Straniero di Camus, una certa Ricerca che il protagonista compie, un senso di alienazione, la sua passi [...]

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