The Moviegoer

  • by Walker Percy
  • Narrated by Christopher Hurt
  • 6 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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What the Critics Say

"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)
"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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Percy's Prose Dances with Grace, Charm and Style

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 sad, romantic tone and Gaddis' playful allusiveness Percy dances with grace, charm and style through the minefield of the modern/postmodern world.
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- Darwin8u

The Moral Project

It wasn't until I had strolled around several blocks of the French Quarter (or most of the novel) with the charming narrator Binx that I realized I had joined Binx on a journey, or a search...a Camu, Kierkegaard or Frankl search...for meaning and purpose. One of *those kinds* of books, (listed as one of the 100 most important books of the century)--I was a philosophy/psych major so I enjoy those kinds of books, and the aftereffect...those haunting days afterward when the book still has you in its tenacious mental grip. It is in the afterward that the power and brilliance of the The Moviegoer lies.

Percy's antagonist, Binx, is a genteel southern dandy, from big southern money, who walks the comfortable streets of his home town, narrating the scenery, mixed with a little free association and personal stories from his 30 years. He observes the day to day world, detached and unable to live outside his head. His relationships, both his dalliances with his secretaries and his family interactions, also have an observed quality void of connection since he returned from the Korean war . The novel revolves around Binx's day to day observations and his disconnect rather than any plot. It is in the days after that last page that this novel, and its project, crystallizes in the reader. Not every reader enjoys the thoughtful effort necessary to understand this enigmatic novel; The Moviegoer requires the readers participation in the creative process and some deep thinking--the legacy of Walker Percy's Christian existential philosophies, and truly great writing. To write a review that does this one justice, I'll have to read again and do some deep thinking (a little slow on the grasp)--looking forward to it.
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- Mel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-23-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.