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Halls of the Dark Muse

The Moviegoer

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Once upon a time ago, I was asked to share my thoughts on The Moviegoer when I got around to reading it. So I figured I would honor that request still though it has been some time ago.

I was left with some very mixed feelings about this book. It did have a sort of Southern Gothic vibe to it (in my admittedly limited experience with that genre) and I tend to find that Southern Gothic is a genre that usually just doesn't really connect very well with me.

But with that being said I would say on the whole I did enjoy the book even though there where certain aspects of it which I had some issues with. For the most part I found an entertaining and interesting read. It was certainly differently. And I do really like New Orleans so I tend to enjoy books set in New Orleans. I liked some of the humor of the book. It was a sort of subtle satirical humor of which I tend to appreciate. Also I do think the book was well written. The character of Kate I found to be fascinating.

One of the issues I did have with the book is that I found it was rather slow reading. It wasn't the kind of book to easily capture my attention and keep me fully engaged. There where times when I struggled to stay focused upon what I was reading. And to be quite honest there where parts of the book of which I did find to be somewhat dull reading.

Also considering the title of the book and how it starts off, the majority of the book was not as much about movies (or attending movies) as much as I thought it would be. One of the things that drew me to the book was that I myself am a bit of a movie buff and so I did think the book would offer more commentary on movies, and the act of movie going.

It seemed most of the book just centered around the main character driving around with his various different secretaries trying to get a hook up.

One minor detail.

I was curious about the authors use of the word mistral. I could tell from the context of its use that it was some type of wind, and when I looked up the word to see specifically what sort of wind it was, it turns out that a mistral is a type of wind which is specifically associated with France, and regions around France.

I wondered if the use of the word mistral in this book was related to the fact that the book is set in New Orleans (which has a very French influenced culture)

Or is the author just showing off by using a somewhat obscure word to describe wind?


  1. Virgil's Avatar
    I read this many years ago, but I don't remember much except that I thought it interesting, but i wasn't sure I got the point. I agree, Walker Percy is a very slow and deliberate writer. He's too philosophical for me, but I have had this on my re-read list for a couple of years. If i do read it in the near future I'll try to look for the word mistral and try to remember to come back to this.
  2. Dark Muse's Avatar
    Some of his philosophical ideas I thought could be interesting, though I didn't always fully understand what he was getting at. I tend to agree with not really grasping just what the point of this whole story really was.

    If I recall correctly the word mistral starts popping up twords the end of the book. And then he started using it quite frequently.