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Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West Paperback – May 5, 1992
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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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.
Top customer reviews
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.
I say "complex," because despite the quality of the story and the obviousness of the plot, McCarthy has a way of complicating his vivid descriptions of characters and events by applying terminology that is incompatible or seemingly forced with the action taking place. For example:
"Glanton's dog trotted moaning among the endlessly articulating legs of the horses."
Articulating legs of the horses? Now, I know what articulate means, but I looked it up again and could not see, for the life of me, how the term could be applied to the legs of a horse. Stuff like this is all over the story, unfortunately, and I felt that it broke the flow of the storytelling in a lot of scenes. While I'm not surprised since McCarthy is also a poet and poets, after all, do not always adhere to traditional rules of grammar, I was nonetheless disheartened at the reoccurring examples of these throughout the story.
Now, even though I raised issues regarding McCarthy's idiom, let me not imply that McCarthy doesn't know his American West. He superbly captures the gritty mood and nomenclature of the Old West, and character dialogue has been appropriately marginalized to reflect the quiet, somber mood of the times.
I've finished the book despite the issues presented earlier, and I'll only take one star off as it was the only issue I had with the story. Fans of the Old West should pick this gem up.
Most recent customer reviews
Bad: There were no pictures.