If a novelist, any novelist, could put down on paper an exact representation of human thought, he or she would automatically be elevated to the very pinnacle of the literary world. But because language has limitations, this very desirable circumstance is, unfortunately, not possible. Walker Percy has nonetheless tried valiantly to do this very thing. In The Moviegoer, the reader is made privy to the articulated thoughts of Binx Bolling, a young New Orleans stockbroker. Binx explicitly tells us he is on a search. A search for something outside the everyday things that make up his life. Something that will ultimately give his life meaning and thereby fill the emptiness in his heart.
Of course, there really isn't anything outside everyday existence that can measure up to what he is seeking. The meaning of life, if indeed there is any, can only be found in the everyday things Binx regards as completely unfulfilling. This existentialist outlook is the underlying theme of The Moviegoer.
The plot (if that's even the right word) is a minimalistic one that very much suits this novel of the mind. Binx himself provides the narration. In doing so he affects a very formal, unnatural manner of speech, in which words like "thenceforward" and "eschatological" can and do appear.
The Moviegoer is a challenging work of fiction which gives the reader an authentic, nuanced description of life among New Orlean's upper class. Many readers, if not most, are likely to be turned off by its slow pace and seeming wordiness. A thoughtful, thought filled novel, not for everyone.