Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West (Modern Library) Hardcover – January 2, 2001
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"McCarthy is a born narrator, and his writing has, line by line, the stab of actuality. He is here to stay."
—Robert Penn Warren
Cormac McCarthy is known for his profoundly dark fiction and masterful reflections on the nature of good and evil. Visit Amazon's Cormac McCarthy Page.
More About the Author
Photo © Derek Shapton
Top Customer Reviews
by Cormac McCarthy
Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy, is the most overwhelming novel I've read for years. I came late to it in two senses. It's almost 20 years since it was published in 1985, and it is late in my own reading life, because I'm 63. I read it on holiday. Not a comfortable choice, and certainly not the best thing to relax with on a sunlounger, while supping a drink with a hat on. But Blood Meridian is, at the risk of sounding pretentious, on a par with Faulkner's 'As I Lay Dying' or Beckett's 'Waiting For Godot' or even that most astounding work of all, 'King Lear'. High claims, but give it a try.
You might well have to try it more than once, because it is very strong, and at times even rancid, meat. But a lot of people, after they've closed the book, might find they can't read another novel for a while.
I finished the book, and picked up another. But the pages were slipping by and all my head could think on was Blood Meridian. So I did something I very rarely do. I put the other novel down and turned back to Blood Meridian, and read it again. It's a hell of a book. And I'm not speaking particularly metaphorically. It tells us more about the human condition than most other respectable works we laud so much. Blood Meridian is original, disturbing, heretical, challenging, difficult, and awe inspiring. Just like King Lear.
Here endeth my rant.
The premise could be described for the ADD among you as Huckleberry Finn meets Natural Born Killers, which hardly sounds flattering, I'm sure, but bear with me. The story opens on the peregrinations of the Kid, a vicious, knife-fighting fourteen-year-old runaway from Tennessee who in 1848 drifts down the Mississippi first to New Orleans and thence to Texas, where he falls in with a rogue Army unit making a piratical raid into Mexico. After Apaches wipe out the unit in the Sonora desert, the Kid lands in a Mexican jail, where he meets and is recruited by a group of bounty hunters retained by the government to collect Indian scalps as retaliation for a string of Apache massacres in remote border villages.
Here is where the story really begins.Read more ›
The Old West portrayed in "Blood Meridian" is not the Old West of Zane Grey or even of Larry McMurtry. Images of the most horrific abound in "Blood Meridian," (charred human bones, blood-soaked scalps, a tree hung with the bodies of dead infants), all rendered in McCarthy's gorgeously lyrical writing.
As far as I'm concerned, "Blood Meridian" is McCarthy's best book, by far. It doesn't have the "feel good" qualities sometimes found in "All the Pretty Horses" but I didn't expect it to. "Blood Meridian" is the book in which McCarthy makes crystal clear the one theme that runs through all of his writing: the undeniable presence of evil in the world. The fact that he writes about this evil in language so lyrical and so elaborately beautiful only intensifies the horror of it all. We feel as though we have left the real world behind and entered into some surreal place from which no escape is possible.
"Blood Meridian," which takes place in 1847, is loosely based on actual events and is the story of a fourteen boy, known only as "the Kid." Drifting through the American Southwest, the Kid joins a disparate and bloodthirsty band of Indian-hunters-for-hire led by a mysterious and learned man called, Judge Holden.
It is after the Kid joins Judge Holden and his band that McCarthy really hits his stride. Juxtaposed next to descriptions of the most horrific and grotesque are images of the most sublime beauty.Read more ›
I think the familiarity of the novel comes from it's relation to violence from a Christian standpoint. There's no doubt that McCarthy intends to have us react to this book from a moral perspective and yet at the same time be fascinated with it's violence. The setting, the wild wicked west, is a part of the American psyche that still takes forms today in our action films and tv shows that feed our hunger for blood and murder. By taking us back to our roots, stripping away the restraints of our Judeo-Christian values, MCCarthy steeps the story of death and evil in biblical prose and washes it with blood so that we see our dark selves reflected in all our ugliness.
I compare this work to the works of the great Russian novelists ,Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, who always went for the big questions, What is life?, Who is God?, What is morality? and the American Moby Dick which encapsulated a universe. When you read books like these a lot of what appears on the bestseller lists seems so meaningless.
This is a book you simply stand in awe of if you're a writer or ever thought of being one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a really graphic book. Somewhat hard to get used to reading due to the author not using quotation marks.Published 5 days ago by none
My favorite book of all time. Could have been written by a poetic twelve-yea-old.Published 5 days ago by Kexy Twosign
Did not enjoy this story very much. To much wandering around the desert and brutality. I finally gave up on it. I can't tell you the last time I did not finish a book. Read morePublished 9 days ago by B. Walla
This was undoubtedly the most violent book I have ever read, but at the same time one of the most well written. Read morePublished 10 days ago by SlipperLover
An incredible, violent ride through America's West -a classic. The writing is marvelous, very unusual, and the author puts you right there with the main character. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
Not a good book. Long boring stretches, basically no plot whatsoever. They travel, nothing happens, some build up, then nothing happens again, then senseless violence, then nothing... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Bryan
Sorry, the writing style has made this impossible to get past 20 pages. There is basically no punctuation and therefore the voice in my head I hear as I read through is one... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Ben Sanford