One of my goals for 2016 is to get back to my roots and read more books. As the great Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.’ Books are a passion – nay, an obsession of mine and always have been. I grew up in the library and my parents fostered my love of reading and learning. With books I have lived a thousand lives, found myself absorbed in different worlds, and learned immensely more than I could have otherwise. I have a goal of reading 100 books this year, along with me!
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy is your typical American novel at face value, but there is something about it that makes it special.
Binx Bolling is a New Orleans stockbroker who is searching for something beyond his everyday by the cultural references that have come to define him:
“Other people, so I have read, treasure memorable moments in their lives… 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.”
Bolling is, of course, a moviegoer, and the magic of the silver screen is consistently more captivating to him than his affairs with his secretaries or the concerns of his family. He’s not particularly unhappy with his life, but his search requires that he identify a meaning in his own life to keep him going. He hasn’t anything exactly in mind, but keeps at it. Classic existential angst. But The Moviegoer is more than just Southern charm (which it has in spades). It’s more than just another hollow story of making it in America. The Moviegoer, after nearly five decades is captivating because The Moviegoer is now, more than ever. We are all Binx Bolling.
That’s book 16 of 100! Read all the reviews here.
Click here to see my goals for 2016
Book 16: The Moviegoer by Walker Percy