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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.
21 of 23 people found this review helpful
The thing that struct me most of all in this book is that the the author has managed the rare feat of creating a truly intelligent and aware character. Somehow, I almost always get the feeling that writers hold something back from the knowledge or understanding of their characters; the character is never smart enough to see the parallels and symbolism that we, as readers, are expected to follow. And "The Moviegoer" is not like this, which makes it a moving and meaningful book.
Other than that, I found the plot, the ideas and the writing beautiful. In fact, after finishing the book I realized it reminded me of another literary/philosophical masterpiece, "The Nausea" by Jean Paul Sartre. And sure enough, a quick google search showed me that many critics have written about this.
As for the narration: I'm no expert on New Orleans accents, but I thought the reading was very well done, and it was close enough for my ears.
In short: not a book for everyone's taste, but if you like this sort of thing this is a book that will keep you thinking for a long time.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful