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Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West Paperback – May 5, 1992
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"The men as they rode turned black in the sun from the blood on their clothes and their faces and then paled slowly in the rising dust until they assumed once more the color of the land through which they passed." If what we call "horror" can be seen as including any literature that has dark, horrific subject matter, then Blood Meridian is, in this reviewer's estimation, the best horror novel ever written. It's a perverse, picaresque Western about bounty hunters for Indian scalps near the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s--a ragged caravan of indiscriminate killers led by an unforgettable human monster called "The Judge." Imagine the imagery of Sam Peckinpah and Heironymus Bosch as written by William Faulkner, and you'll have just an inkling of this novel's power. From the opening scenes about a 14-year-old Tennessee boy who joins the band of hunters to the extraordinary, mythic ending, this is an American classic about extreme violence.
"McCarthy is a writer to be read, to be admired, and quite honestly—envied."
"McCarthy is a born narrator, and his writing has, line by line, the stab of actuality. He is here to stay."
—Robert Penn Warren
From the Hardcover edition.
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I can tell you that I don't like his stuff for the same reasons as anyone else. I'm not going to sit and read it for the same reason I would read a non-fiction narrative or something. Life is short and you can't always devote hours of your time slogging through such a vivid record of one characters life, only to find no meaning at the end. But sometimes I want to, and I have to applaud McCarthy on being one of the only people who can open that door in the world of literature.
Hard book to read, very "colorful", the ending will mess you up for some reason. Why? I don't know either, read the book and you'll know what I mean.
Listen... This is a very difficult book to read. You'll start reading this and think to yourself, "Why did I start this freakin' book?" You'll get to some places in the book and say to yourself, "Ok, now that, that was pretty messed up." You'll get further into the book and find yourself saying, "I've been reading this book for almost 3 weeks now and I'm not even halfway done. Do kindergarteners read faster than me?" By the end of the book, with your now wrinkling skin and greying hair, you'll say to yourself, "I am now an old man/woman, and I think...I just... I don't know anymore..."
This book has zero quotations, it has quite the list of Spanish words, which, if you speak Spanish, you may get more out of the book than us monolingual saps. The book has an ending that won't leave you. Ever. It kind of haunts you a bit. Like, you really will end up guessing yourself a lot, I think? I don't know... I tried explaining the book to my wife she responded with "That sounds awful, why would you even read that?" I knew at that point, that I wasn't explaining it correctly, there's this Yale teacher on Youtube that goes through the book with her class and she goes into a lot of detail in the book, I had already ruined the story for my wife to be remotely interested in that video, but I felt like it helped me a lot.