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Customer Review

81 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrestrial Hell, April 1, 2003
This review is from: Suttree (Paperback)
I have never used this term in a review, but this is a work of genius. McCarthy's Blood Meridian may have a more taut artistic virtuousity to it, but Suttree rings sprawlingly true to life and love while at the same time delivering the poetic lyricism of the arabesques and grotesqueries of life that stamp McCarthy as the greatest and most visionary writer of our time. Here is the pathos, bitterweetness, and comedy (Can anyone forget Harrogate and the bats, much less his getting off the charge of bestiality because "A mellon ain't no beast"?!?) of being human.-All this delivered in the most magnificent sweeping prose since Lowry (A writer I'd recommend to McCarthy fans) and Faulkner.
But down to some philosophical nuts and bolts: This is a dark novel displaying a visionary medieval mindset, much like Lowry's Under The Volcano (To my mind, the only other novelist of pure genius of this century..). It is the seemingly effortless interweaving of the visionary with the mundane that make this novel so astounding. We are witnesses to page upon page of brilliant poetic lightenings upon a tableau of "a terrestrial hell" as Suttree puts it, a place which not only he, but we all inhabit.
To quote at length: "What deity in the realms of dementia, what rabid god decocted out of the smoking lobes of hydrophobia could have devised a keeping place for souls so poor as this flesh. This mawky wormbent tabernacle."

This is the question this brilliant work thrusts before the reader in page upon glowing page.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 15, 2006 11:28:20 PM PDT
Fred Argyle says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2007 12:26:43 PM PST
Daniel Myers says:
Mr. Argyle,

"Pure" as in "unadulterated" - To be contrasted with writers who have "flashes of genius" but whose work as a whole suffers from shoddy writing.

Posted on Mar 12, 2013 10:03:34 PM PDT
Re: Review by Daniel Myers, 4/1/2003

I am half-way through "Suttree," and I am also so impressed with CMcCarthy's wordsmithery. (See, he has truly inspired me.)

This is the first CMcCarthy book read on an e-reading device. I have found the device's quote-saving and highlighting features invaluable. I find myself returning to the archived notes and highlights, often finding new impact from his words I had not seen before.

I believe this reading experience will be like past ones...I will finish the book and immediately return to the beginning and read it through again. There is simply too much to absorb on the first read of CMcCarthy's books, and I believe this is especially true for "Suttree."

For all of its somber, melancholy tones, "Suttree" is a beguiling book. Almost hypnotic, as the reader is pulled into the time and space of a Knoxville long past.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 13, 2013 5:26:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 13, 2013 5:27:02 AM PDT
Daniel Myers says:
Celeste,

"Wordsmithery" - or perhaps "word-smithy" - indeed! Suttree is, to my mind, simply the best American novel written post-WWII and beguiles one, as you so aptly put it, into reading it many times over, to become time and again enrapt in the darkling eddies of its prose.

-Daniel
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Location: Greenville, SC USA

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