As soon as I finished reading The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, I threw it across the room (for reals). I was shocked, upset, and down-right filled with darkness that lasted for 2 whole weeks. I hated it. Let me rephrase that statement. I Hated it. That's right, hate with a capitol "h". To this day, it's the only book I've ever thrown in the trash after reading. I'll never read it again. It's no wonder that I see so many darn copies of it in the book sections at thrift stores. I'm thinking there're some others out there who might have felt the same.
I've thought about that book from time to time since. Time has a way of softening immediate emotion and granting added perspective. While I still loathe the book and its depressing darkness, I have a solid respect for the master work that it is. McCullers is one of the best writers I've ever come across, possessing rare stature of skillful execution, even when solely compared to her peers on the "classics" lists. There's not an inch of room for improvement in that book. It's a masterpiece, a dark masterpiece... and you'll never find it on my shelf if you come for a visit.