Ballad of the Sad Café by Carson McCullers is an amazing story. It is just 78 pages long, and it has to be one of the most well written, emotional stories I have ever read.
Ballad of the Sad Café talks about this town, somewhere in some corner of the world where there isn’t much to do. There is no TV, you can just walk to a lake and that’s it. There is no entertainment. It’s a dreary town with a curious building bent a little to the left, boarded up and on the verge of collapse.
That curious building is where Ms. Amelia Evans lived her entire life of loneliness, except for three periods in her life. Frankly, Ms. Amelia Evans herself is a very curious character. She is a good six feet in height and very unlike a woman. She has toned muscles and enough strength to beat down a man. She has lived all alone throughout her life, except for, like I said, three distinct periods. She was young when her mother died and eighteen maybe nineteen when her father did. Then she was alone. Then, she had a brief ten day marriage, and since the unfortunate marriage she has again been alone. Till the novel takes place.
And it doesn’t seem to peeve her. She is so used to the loneliness, it doesn’t bother her. Though then again she has some odd quirks. She will sue for the littlest of things. She has money, a lot of it. And she is also a doctor who works for free. She comes off as this character that you may have never before seen in your life.
Ms. Amelia had inherited the boarded up building from her father. It wasn’t always boarded up. Before being boarded up, it was the café. Before that, it was a store where you could buy meat and staple. Beyond that, Ms. Amelia had a still where she would make alcohol. She was rich though. Very rich.
But one day, in the night, when she was outside her house, she was met by a hunchback, who stated he was her half-brother. Miss Amelia, taking some odd pity or love or sympathy for the hunchback, took him in, and then sets the bulk of the novel. And the third time in her life that MS. Amelia is not alone.
Ballad of the Sad Café talks about Miss Amelia, as well as the town she lived in. It talks about how a building became a café, and why the story surrounding the café is sad. It talks about the people around the café, the people who were in the town and how they lived.
Ballad of the Sad Café is a beautiful ride because of the way it is written. The way McCullers writes is wonderful. The way she describes people, various traits they have, little details about everything. It is perfect. I can’t really be putting up examples here, there are just too many. But this is a story that warrants a read. Even though it is only 78 pages, it is a much much better experience than various two hundred page books.
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Published by Shrey Ahuja