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#13 – The Moviegoer

January 11, 2011

Being a mild existentialist myself (more of a cheerful existentialist, if I were to give it a name), I was interested to read The Moviegoer by Walker Percy, a novel about a man who is so disinterested in his own life that he prefers books and movies to real experiences. I was expecting something a little bit darker and heavier, but really, The Moviegoer was an easy and light read. Especially compared to other well-known existentialist novels like Crime and Punishment.

The theme of the novel had me thinking about one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite, decidedly cheerful movies, You’ve Got Mail. Meg Ryan’s character says at one point (and I paraphrase, for laziness of looking up the actual quote), “So much of what I see reminds me of something I’ve read in a book, and shouldn’t it be the other way around?” This happens to me too, all the time, but the protagonist of The Moviegoer believes just the opposite.

In keeping with the short novel, I’ll keep this short too. I liked it, and it was a nice intro to Walker Percy, whom I’ve unbelievably never read before. I’m looking forward to trying out some of his other works.

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