Set on a Southern army base in the 1930s, Reflections in a Golden Eye tells the story of Captain Penderton, a bisexual whose life is upset by the arrival of Major Langdon, a charming womanizer who has an affair with Penderton's tempestuous and flirtatious wife, Leonora. Upon the novel's publication in 1941, reviewers were unsure of what to make of its relatively scandalous subject matter. But a critic for Time Magazine wrote, "In almost any hands, such material would yield a rank fruitcake of mere arty melodrama. But Carson McCullers tells her tale with simplicity, insight, and a rare gift of phrase." Written during a time when McCullers's own marriage to Reeves was on the brink of collapse, her second novel deals with her trademark themes of alienation and unfulfilled loves.
©1941 Carson McCullers (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
“The greatest prose writer that the South produced” (Tennessee Williams)
"Again [McCullers] shows a sort of subterranean and ageless instinct for probing the hidden in men’s hearts and minds.” (The New York Herald-Tribune)
"The novel is a masterpiece . . . as mature and finished as Henry James's The Turn of the Screw." (Time Magazine)
McCullers' Jihad such an excellent reputation. I remember reading and not understanding Ballad of Sad Cafe in tenth grade. This was my attempt at refamiliarizing myself with her
Just ponderous. Stereotype laden. People who cannot make decisions for themselves but are stuck in their lives. A bit like wading in a swamp
I'd recently read an article about McCullers time in NYC and how this book came out of her life in an artist community there. My interest was piqued. Fortunately it was a short book, because it rolled along like something inevitable
The narration was a distraction, not a help to the story.
Fake southern accents. Shifting accents made it hard to distinguish the 5 major characters.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
Carson McCullers was one of the southern masters. She learned from the rich, ornate prose of Thomas Wolfe, the razor sharp accuracy and poetics of Capote, and the bitter irony of Flannery O'Connor. With writing to rival that of her masterpiece, The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, Reflections In A Golden Eye comes forward as a classic southern novella. Potentially scandalous for its time, Golden Eye maintains a steady, objective dignity that allows one to see beyond the sexual entanglements and the violence to the depths of the human condition. The ability to show us ourselves, even in our most extreme moments of good and evil, was McCullers wonderful gift.
Who killed whom?
Not a single character in this book is likable in any way. They are all petty and self centered. If I had to pick one least unlikable character I guess it would be the Major's wife and Anakleto.
The way the captain is both deeply frightened and completely exhilarated by the wild horse ride, and the way he later reacts to that exhilaration.
That never happens to me. I usually listen as I walk or ride bike.
This is an excellent book structurally. I won't reveal what I think to be the beauty of what this writer does in the construction of this plot, but it worked fantastically I thought. Hint: the first paragraph (so I'm not giving anything away) says that a murder happened that involved six characters, one of which is a horse.
This book is one of the best (probably the best) audiobook that I have experienced. I loved 'The Member of the Wedding' and 'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter', but this book was an even better experience. The combination of Ms McCullers beautiful writing and characterizations with Kipiniak's sublime narration make this book a joy.
All the characters were beautifully written and tragically flawed. I especially liked Alison and had hoped that she would find the independence and happiness that she wanted.
I listened to Kipiniak's reading of some Science Fiction books. He managed to do a great job with both styles of writing. He brought a gentleness and sensitivity to this story that I doubt many readers could match.
This was a very short audio book. I was fortunate to listen to it all at once and I plan to listen to it again. I would recommend that one find a 4 hour span of time to enjoy McCullers beautiful writing and Kipiniak's performance.
If you liked this book, read "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter". It is not as polished as this story or performance, but one wishes that McCullers would have written more in her lifetime. I hope that "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" comes out on audio.
The author places us in a time in history, we understand their constraints, customs, and morality. But we are not just observers since she reveals their psyches, their inhibitions or lack thereof, and renders distinctly and interesting characters set in an otherwise mundane environment.
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