Paperback ☆ The Moviegoer PDF Ú

Paperback ☆ The Moviegoer PDF Ú

The Moviegoer ✶ The Moviegoer Epub ✹ Author Walker Percy – The 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 Or The 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 uest that outrages his family endangers his fragile cousin Kate and sends him reeling through the chaos of New Orleans' French uarter Wry and wrenching rich in irony and romance The Moviegoer is a genuine American classic.

10 thoughts on “The Moviegoer

  1. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    “The fact is I am uite happy in a movieeven 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 New Orleans He has a boring job as a stock broker I forgive him which he is reasonably successful at He comes from old money He spends most of his spare time going to movies The problem is he is about to turn 30 and his family in particular his aunt feels he needs to start making something of his life Binx struggles with the BIG SEARCH that mythical concept that he will stumble across sometime in the triangle of travel between work movie theater and home He is much comfortable with the little things those moments of bliss not earned but just experienced “It is not a bad thing to settle for the Little Way not the big search for the big happiness but the sad little happiness of drinks and kisses a good little car and a warm deep thigh” Binx hires secretaries takes them to movies makes love to them and eventually they want something When that moment happens he knows he will be needing a new secretary soon The latest woman to fall into his nest of need is Sharon Kincaid and he is showing great restraint in working with her for two weeks without asking her out I have not asked her for a date nor spoken of anything other than business Yet the fact is that for two weeks I have thought of little else She seems uite indifferent so far; and she is not really beautiful She is a good sized girl at least five feet six and a hundred and thirty five pounds as big as a majorette and her face is a little too short and pert like one of those Renoir girls and her eyes a little too yellow Yet she has the most fearful soap clean good looks Her bottom is so beautiful that once as she crossed the room to the cooler I felt my eyes smart with tears of gratitude The fact is Binx can have his dalliances but his mate the girl that is like a split half of him is Kate Cutrer his cousin by marriage She has lost one fiance in a car accident and her mind though sharp has fractured and her fears are all consuming Her family is afraid she is destined for suicide but she reassures them that the thought of suicide is what allows her to enjoy life As if to emphasize her sallowness and thinness she has changed into shirt and jeans She is as frail as a ten year old except in her thighs Sometimes she speaks of her derrière sticks it out Beale Street style and gives it a slap and this makes me blush because it is a very good one marvelously ample and mysterious and nothing to joke about Binx has no set ideas of his own except for his constant desire to see movies He takes the suggestions of family and friends in stride and tries to please everyone When he gets offered a promotion his first thought is that he will lose his carefully cultivated life but it never occurs to him to turn it down When his aunt suggests he go to medical school again he agrees because he does not have a better idea of what he should be doing Now Walker Percy was heavily influenced by the writings of the Existentialist movement as he was composing this novel Even though he infuses an almost dream like uality and a passivity in the face of grinding monotony in the character Binx I did not come away with the gloomy feelings that other reviewers have felt from reading this book We only get to be with Binx for a week but I really feel that he will do what he has to do and he will be just fine as long as he continues to enjoy the movies have time for his books and occasional catch a glimpse of a nice pair of rounded calves I have always had huge expectations for myself and the war might have done this for Binx but for me it has just been pounding away at life I don't want to live large I don't seek big promotions or accolades any I want to read my books spend time with my family; and yes watch movies In no way shape or form have I given up on life but I have realized what is most important to me Happiness is the little things and the BIG SEARCH is over for me This is the second time I've read this novel and the second time was as good as the first with twenty plus years between readings Highly recommended PS This is the book that I took with me to read for jury selection I ended up being selected as the 12th juror I had one foot out the door when they called me back I decided to leave my juror paperwork tucked in the back of this book so someday when some shady book dealer like Dean Corso The Ninth Gateis pawing through my books it will flutter out and have to be read because book dealers are infinitely curiousIf you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  2. Chuck Lowry Chuck Lowry says:

    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 reality is difficult to grasp and difficult to retain Instead we might strive for a life of alert intelligent engagement with those around us It will involve pain as well as pleasure but it is an approach that gives us the possibility of authenticity Joy and sadness come by turns I know now Beauty and bravery make you sad and victory breaks your heart but life goes on and on we go The six or seven major characters just about the right number show us how many ways there are of dealing with the world and with one another We are not sure how the lives of Binx and Kate and the others end up but we see how the world affects them and they affect the world This is in a sense a very modern novel To give an example there is a scene in which Kate comes to Binx at 300 in the morning Binx has been warned by his aunt that this is a possibility so he is sitting in the bus stop in front of his house when Kate's taxi pulls up They discuss their lives and their possible marriage and as dawn approaches the disease comes upon Kate againOhhhh Kate groans Kate herself now I'm so afraidI knowWhat am I going to do?You mean right now?YesFirst we'll go to my car Then we'll drive to the French Market and get some coffee Then we'll go homeIs everything going to be all right?YesTell me Say itEverything is going to be all rightIn an older classical literature Everything is going to be all right would mean just that I'll see to it that the bills are paid and your power seeking brother won't kill your sons and the crops will come in every year Binx knows that he is unable to give this kind of assurance because life is not like that I think that what his Everything is going to be all right means is that things may go well things may not go well but Binx will face it all with Kate no matter the difficulties of standing with her In this case I am convinced Everything is going to be all right is the functional euivalent of I love you And in the contemporary world maybe that is the best we can do and maybe it is enough

  3. Duane Duane says:

    This review contains spoilersNew 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 moviesa 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 them they understand one another and their destinies are seemingly meant to be entwinedI loved this book I loved these characters not because they were perfect but because they were not I could relate to them I think most people can And I think that is why this book is loved by so many It makes you think about why you are where you are why you are doing what you are doing and what you ultimately want out of life And by the way the writing is simply outstanding The Moviegoer is deserving of being called an American Classic It’s on both Time Magazine's and Modern Library's top 100 novels of the 20th century1962 National Book Award winner

  4. Fabian Fabian says:

    Shitty shitty book With no plot worse no climax whatsoever Justpretty megabaffling

  5. Rachel Rachel says:

    I couldn't get through this book Percy writes a detailed and interesting setting and a meandering narratormain characterBut 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 Get a life

  6. Lawyer Lawyer says:

    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 Stoller If 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 himselfNot in the mood for a little Camus? No Jean Paul Sartre? Well The Moviegoer probably won't be your cup of tea either It's existentialism Southern style starring Binx Bolling a member of the well bred Bolling clan from Felicianas Parish you know Audobon's Happy Land where America's best known ornithologist killed his specimens in order to paint them and for some reason was dismissed than once by well bred families whose daughters he was tutoring or something or otherIt's not that Binx hasn't had significant events occur in his life that made him wonder what's it all about After all his father committed suicide Then there was that nasty little police action in Korea during which he and his suad got caught in a tangle of barbed wire while being surrounded by Red Chinese troops blowing those bugles It's all a bit disturbing After his excursion to the Orient Binx heads home to New Orleans where the family has now settled Strong willed Aunt Emily who has served as his guardian sends Binx off to college sure that he has a purpose filled life ahead of him However Binx the classic fraternity man drifts through college without obtaining a single honorBinx settles into professional life as a small time stockbroker in New Orleans Although he is welcome to live in the family home in The Garden District he kicks over the old family traces and rents an apartment in the Gentilly district filled with Arts and Crafts bungalows and raised cottages Our anti hero is much happier sitting in a darkened theater content to while away his time watching the flickering images on the screen He studies the movements and gestures of Gregory Peck and has Akim Tamaroff down to a tee Catching William Holden strolling through the French uarter is a highlight of one particular day in his lifeBinx tells us“The fact is I am uite happy in a movie even a bad movie Other people so I have read treasure memorable moments in their lives the time one climbed the Parthenon at sunrise the summer night one met a lonely girl in Central Park and achieved with her a sweet and natural relationship as they say in books I too once met a girl in Central Park but it is not much to remember What 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 Welles in the doorway in The Third Man”In addition to movies Binx finds brief moments of solace in sex Being a stockbroker reuires a secretary He has a string of them all named either Linda or Marcia Acting Gregory Peckerish Binx is uite adept at bedding his secretaries who have the essential interchangeable body parts along with their interchangeable names However brief moments of happiness only turn into a general malaise Binx is on some indefinable Search for some indefinable purpose After all if one is not on to something one is in despair Kierkegaard had a few things to say about thatThe action in The Moviegoer takes place during one week of Mardi Gras when the entire city takes on an identity of its own giving the novel a background of the absurd During that week Aunt Emily will attempt to persuade Binx about to turn thirty to consider going to medical school She will pay all expenses He will have the studio behind the house with total privacy to pursue what she offers as a purpose filled lifeIs this the end of Binx's Search? There is the complication of cousin Kate Binx's female counterpart to whom he proposes marriage She too is on her own Search having lost her college love in a car wreck years ago lost in despair and depression with a predilection for a hand full of Nembutal While half heartedly wooing Kate Binx is pursuing his latest secretary Sharon All in all Binx is a bit of a cad seeking the momentary pleasure as opposed to a lasting pleasure filled lifeThe Moviegoer is a bitter pill to swallow However it is a masterpiece of loneliness that each of us has experienced at some point in our lives Brilliantly written this is a novel that deserved the National Book Award given in 1962 Percy has earned his slots on The Modern Library List of 100 Novels and Time Magazine's Greatest 100Now that's done Ah yes Peggy Lee I think I'll break out the booze and have a ball It's rather early Perhaps I should make that a Bloody Mary One for me One for you Save this one for a rainy day Monday Don't they always get you down?

  7. Perry Perry says:

    Existentialism Down South Ma'am New 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 a few hours the tourist is apt to see nuns and naked women than he ever saw before Walker PercyIn this Percy uote 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 this 1961 novel his first novel centered on Binx Bolling a detached and depressive thirty year old stockbroker in 1960 New Orleans and his uest for purpose and redemption through movies and literature until finally he makes life altering discoveries in life during the week of Mardi Gras In it Percy explores ideas of cultural and spiritual alienation with a light lyrical tone while drawing on elements of Dante by paralleling his life to that of the Divine Comedy's narratorBinx's aunt asks him to watch over his suicidal female cousin during the Mardi Gras season Binx describes his life in terms of the aesthetic religious and ethical in his search for meaning and spiritual redemption He constantly daydreams cannot maintain sexual relationships and finds meaning and urgency in movies and books than in his own humdrum life He reflects on race and class as he wanders the streets of the French uarter and travels along the Mississippi Gulf Coast reflecting on the people and things he encounters as he provides numerous elegant descriptions of Southern landscapes and an enlightened Southerner's perspective on escaping for the most part the legacy of the Old South What is the nature of the search? you ask Really it is very simple; at least for a fellow like me So simple that it is easily overlooked The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life

  8. Steve Steve says:

    All hail the Biblioracle for his powers are immense I realize that many of you will not be acuainted 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 someone like the Biblioracle aka author John Warner whose mother ran a bookstore in his youth always ready with suggestions Anyway I submitted my own list cheating just a little by including only the ones I really liked and waited to see what the man with the oracular gift would suggest Turns out his recommendation Skippy Dies was one I’d already read and loved confirming his wisdom and reach When I explained this in a mail he graciously conjured up another one for me To give him a little to go on I mentioned that I'd recently been smitten by Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose This rather long winded introduction explains how his choice for me Walker Percy’s classic The Moviegoer now shows up on your screenI can see why he chose it after I mentioned Stegner The writing is very good there’s an enticing complexity to the characters and it has a strong sense of place John Bickerson “Binx” Bolling is on the cusp of 30 He returned home as a wounded war vet and settled into a relatively successful job as a stockbroker in New Orleans His passions in life are movies had you guessed? sporty cars uirky family members and the nicely curved back sides of his young secretaries But is it enough? His personal “Search” for suggests that it’s notFrom other reviews I’ve read it’s clear I’m not the only one to have picked up on a certain existential uneasiness here In fact I’d say the best thing about the book is trying to get a read on what exactly Binx is seeking out with his search Percy was vague He must have wanted us to speculate Though there were tangible elements to it a possible change in career in line with his aptitude for medical research for one or a good mate to share his life with for another the bulk of his searching was abstract Lines like this hint at a moral or spiritual dimensionMy mother's family think I have lost my faith and they pray for me to recover it My father's family think that the world makes sense without God and that anyone but an idiot knows what the good life is and anyone but a scoundrel can lead itBut it seems to go deeper still into a psyche that’s in conflict with the escapist movies that he enjoys the carnal pleasures that temporarily soothe his soul and the easy charm he plies for surface connections On the other side of the ledger lies a pretty profound Weltschmerz When he says “all the friendly and likeable people seem dead to me; only the haters seem alive” his crisis seems real In common shorthand I guess you could say it’s a search for meaning – a way to reconcile his world weary thoughts with what well functioning folks intuit to be the good life It was a theme with heft to spare Had that been all there was it might have seemed a tad ponderous Percy may have sensed that knowing to provide lighter fare as sides Occasional humor helped the cause And like many from the South his language was rich and entertaining Consider too that while it’s a cliché to refer to a place as another character has it ever not applied to NOLA? Speaking of characters there was a wealth of good ones beyond Binx and New Orleans One was his aunt a woman of rare insight and suasion Another was his aunt’s step daughter Kate who was Binx’s kindred spirit and maybe even a love interest She’d had some bad luck though and the thread she was hanging from was looking pretty thin Such plot as there was had Binx and Kate drivingIf you’re at all curious about well written character driven Southern existentialism you should give this compact little prize winner a try The Biblioracle knew to recommend it to me and I’m grateful that he did Four very solid stars

  9. LeAnne: GeezerMom LeAnne: GeezerMom says:

    EDIT today this statue of Walker was placed near the river where we kayak It is also the annual weekend of his memorial literary fest in St Francisville I feel lucky to live where we do Novelist Walker Percy appears in Covington's Bogue Falaya ParkhttpwwwnolacomnorthshoreindexBeautiful sentiments by the sculptor he was actually friends with Percyhttpstammanyfamilyblogspotcom20ORIGINAL POSTWalker Percy lived about six miles from my house so it was obviously a joy to have read this book set in our neck of the woods It's been too many years since I read this to comment on details but I've got a warning and a betcha never knew this piece of triviaFirst I would warn new readers that the book is a time capsule In order to truly appreciate it one has to consider how women and minorities were treated half a century ago well or in Hollywood like last year Patting a woman's rump isn't going to win any admiration from today's society but as far as historical accuracy goes you'll get a taste of it here Roll with it The book is existential and a serious read but I imagine that at the time it was published the main character’s propensity to hire and fall in love with a series of beautiful secretaries may have been some ‘light’ relief to all the serious introspection Now there are scads of reviews of this terrific book out there and all of them penned by readers far elouent than me But here's the tidbit you may not see anywhere elseFor those who have sampled the outstanding books written by Ron Rash you will recall that small little actions of his characters speak volumes of unspoken or unwritten words In one of my favorite novels by Rash a character walks into the 1920s board room of a timber camp office It is luxurious as only a space can be amidst mud caked shanties and a decimated forest now razed for its timber There is serious money a fortune in these virgin trees As one feline predator of a woman strides in her name is Serena she spies the massive meeting table in the center of the room It is a solid slab of one single behemoth tree Serena leans over and slowly glides her hand over this conuered wood and practically purrsI was doing an author chat with Ron Rash regarding this dark masterpiece of his and noted something really unusual to him By sheer coincidence I'd been reading The Movie Goer the week prior to our author dial in and holy slabbed trees Batman When The Movie Goer's Binx walks into an uptown Garden District home of all the gorgeous and ornate furnishings he singles out only a beautiful table to admire Its top is made of one solitary slab of a massive tree He slides his hand along it reveling in the luxury My uestion to Rash was did slabbed tables at one time define affluence?Ron Rash was thrilled to hear my little parallel discovery It turns out that he did his doctoral dissertation on Walker Percy That fawning hand slide in Serena was an homage an Easter Egg to The Movie Goer Nobody had ever noticed it beforeNow you too are in on the secret Enjoy the book

  10. Daniel Daniel says:

    I come away from The Moviegoer with very mixed feelings Walker Percy was a beautiful writer and I found myself reading several passages 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 often than I'd like but for the most part I got the reading of these types of novels out of my system as a teenager That's when I read Camus's The Stranger for instance I probably should have read about Binx Bolling's search for meaning in the modern world back thenWhat's weird about that is that I'm now far closer to both Binx's age and place in life than I was as a teenager And maybe that's the problem Perhaps these kinds of books are meant to prepare us for where we will be later in life or even allow us to say to ourselves full of self righteousness I'll never be like that rather than reflect our lives as they are today Maybe it's just too much to take hitting us too close to where we live nowThat all being said I want to go back to my first point The Moviegoer really does have some wonderful writing This passage from after Binx tries unsuccessfully to consummate an affair the mind was willing but the flesh wasn't is just one exampleI never worked so hard in my life Rory I had no choice the alternative was unspeakable Christians talk about the horror of sin but they have overlooked something They keep talking as if everyone were a sinner when the truth is that nowadays one is hardly up to it There is very little sin in the depths of the malaise The highest moment of a malaisian's life can be that moment when he manages to sin like a proper human Look at us Binx my vagabond friends as good as cried out to me we're sinning We're succeeding We're human after allIt'd be hard to argue with Binx on that point

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