Friday, October 14, 2011
Friday's Forgotten Books, October 14, 2011
Ed Gorman is the author of BAD MOON RISING among other novels and anthologies. You can find him here.
The Movie-goer by Walker Percy
This book won the National Book Award in 1962. It is a brilliant exploration of a young man searching for both a way and the inclination to live a meaningful existence. Binx Bolling has returned from the war, taken up a job as a stock broker, and spends most of his spare time seducing his secretaries and attending movies. The story takes place in a New Orleans that seems totally Southern and certainly far from the New Orleans we think of today.
A lot of the book examines a certain notion of exceptionalism and honor southerners had at that time. Binx is repeatedly reminded of this by his aunt and various other characters in the book. This is the sort of book you will think about long after you close it. What Binx does to alleviate the ennui he suffers may not be persuasive as a cure, but it requires him to put himself and his narcissism aside.
Steve Lewis/Curt J Evans