McCarthy moves away from his dark ways. This is not a Blood Meridian, Child of God, or even a Crossings trilogy. This is about a normal, an extraordinary but normal, extended family. There is darkness and there is light. There is the same feeling of history and God as one sees at the end of The Road in the markings on the trout. THis is about God in the stone and how only a Stonemason can receive and release it (this last sounds a bit of bull to me but do read it).
4 stars because there was some problems with dialect, there was some problem with speech for the characters and by plays-end it was obvious that McCarthay was speaking his own philosophy--not that there is something so wrong with that but I found something uneven about it. ALL IN ALL: McCarthy is just what people say about him: a true writer, his characters do come alive even in this play; he can deliver a story in an amazing literary way; he is funny. He is right on. A white man writing black people...now that was a challenge for me to read neutrally to see how he did. Well, he did it well but it wasn't pure because "Negro" culture was anti-suicide in a big way. But all is forgiven for the way McCarthy presented "Pawpa" and his vibrant feelings about his 80-yr career as a stonemason. The old man felt like a person during times when society seemed dead set at preventing all Negro men from feeling their own person and manhood. AMAZING ALSO that McCarthy makes no big effort to demonstrate racism or talk about it too much. There was more happening in this family's life and times than racism. I just loved this reading experience. I love it that Mc Carthy was able to deliver a full story in a play.--MO
The Stonemason is the rare work by Cormac McCarthy that is ultimately uplifting. That is not to disparage his great, dark works like the All the Pretty Horses and No Country for Old Men, but The Stonemason is McCarthy at his best with a positive message to boot.
I don't usually read plays, but I bought this one because, after finishing _Cities of the Plain_, I had read all of Cormac McCarthy's novels and was hungry for more. I was not disappointed. McCarthy's genius is no less evident in _The Stonemason_ than in any of his longer works; if anything, the shorter format of drama allows him to pack even more of his brilliant writing into every page. Many authors are said to have "an ear for dialogue"; McCarthy is the only one I know, of whom this is unquestionably true. Perhaps this explains the effortlessness with which he switches between his usual milieu (novels about white cowboys and outlaws) to the material in this book (a play about black craftsmen). Any more praise I can give to this work, and to McCarthy's other writings, cannot convey the tremendous power -- the sadness and joy - that one experiences in reading them. I only hope he still has some more books left in him.