Friday, July 01, 2022


 (from 2011)

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.

I was a great Walker Percy fan once upon a time. Some of his work has fantastical or science fiction elements: The Thanatos Syndrome and Love in the Ruins being two.


TracyK said...

I enjoyed the Moviegoer when I read it last year, and that was the first book by Walker Percy I had read. Glen passed several books by Percy on to me, and I plan to read them all.

Margot Kinberg said...

This does sound like an interesting exploration of a certain sort of coming of age, Patti. I think we do go through those periods of self-exploration, and this sounds like a solid picture of that.

George said...

I need to reread THE MOVIEGOER. Walker Percy is an underrated writer for sure!