Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Moviegoer

by Walker Percy

I’ve wanted to read more Percy (I read The Second Coming some time ago) and this is considered one of his best. It was first published around 1960 and in some ways it reminded me of Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road which was published around the same time. This is a first person narrator, John “Jack” “Binx” Bolling, the unambitious womanizing scion of a Louisiana family. He likes making money and he likes girls—he tends to date his secretaries—and he’s really got a thing for his step-cousin (the step-daughter of his great aunt) whom, in the epilogue, he ends up marrying. She’s bipolar (although they apparently didn’t call it that then and she isn’t even called manic-depressive) and maybe suicidal, but Jack is the only one in the family who can help.

2 comments:

Michael Leone said...

Not only was "The Moviegoer" published in the same year as Yates's "Revolutionary Road," but it beat RR to win the National Book Award.

Clifford Garstang said...

Thanks, Michael, I (obviously)didn't realize that. I think if I had to choose between the two I would also pick the Percy over the Yates.