Blood Meridian [Paperback]
- Pan Macmillan
- Publication Date:
- 01 January 2010
- Modern & Contemporary
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I have been devouring novels for well over half a century now.. this is the most violent example of Literature that I have come across to this point! That said, it is also as fine an example of classic American Literature as we are likely to see.Blood Meridian follows the life of a young man, the Kid, as he falls into bad company almost immediately in the story. Life has dealt the Kid and those he comes across hands from the bottom of the deck. These misfits are sorely equipped to make a living in any honest endeavor and turn to harvesting human scalps for bounty. Each of the many characters the Kid chances to throw in with is unique, memorable and so morally degenerate that he, and the reader, has little choice but to follow the downward spiral of death and destruction to it's conclusion. Reading this book is like watching an autopsy.. but it's an autopsy done by one of the very finest coroners practicing today!
An amazing read. Harrowing, demoralizing and appallingly violent, but amazing nonetheless.
Possibly my favorite book thus far. BM can be a little inscrutable--some of the sentences are far too complicated for casual reading--but the language and the novel's construction add to its overall effect. "Haunting" is not a word I use often, but BM is unforgettable. The ending will stayed with me for a long time. There is actually nothing else to compare this book to for me.
When I read this book it reminded me of a passage from Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game – “only those who kill have power; and those who don’t are subjects to those who do.” (Of course this was all written after McCarthy’s work, but my reading list does not follow in chronological order.) McCarthy is just as much a philosopher as he is an author. It’s easy to see influences of Machiavelli and Hobbes and (oddly placed) Virgil. But it’s Hobbes who shines through more than the others. Providing a modern interpretation off the same theory, McCarthy suggest the external forces of the universe are already established, and that champions – or, as he refers to them, “dancers” – are judged by their ability to control the dance, and in turn, the universe. But McCarthy goes one step further than Hobbes’ Leviathan, for McCarthy suggest suzerainty. This is all very intriguing, and worth the time of reading, re-reading, and then re-re-reading. But honestly, the story itself is a gem. You can skip over all the philosophical and theological discussions that McCarthy attempts with the reader and just get straight into the battles – some of the bloodiest I’ve ever read – and you would still be entertained. Just be mindful of your tempo. I found that when I read the book slowly I was able to absorb every illustrating detail but lost track of where the story was going. When I read it fast I kept up with the story’s direction but missed the imagery. Keeping a middle pace might seem like a fair compromise, but the reader will lose portions of both story and imagery. This book allows the reader to adjust their experience as if one was merely shifting the sides of a mirror reflecting various angles. I won’t end with a corny tagline like “a must read” but anybody who doesn’t read this book is missing out. Cormac McCarthy breathes excellence. There’s not a better author alive, and this is one of his finest works. (Okay, I couldn’t resist – it’s a must read)
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