Author of the National Book Award winner All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy is one of the most provocative American stylists to emerge in the last century. The striking novel Blood Meridian offers an unflinching narrative of the brutality that accompanied the push west on the 1850s Texas frontier.
His birth ended his mother’s life in Tennessee. Scrawny and wiry, he runs away at the age of 14. As he makes his way westward, the impoverished and illiterate youth finds trouble at every turn. Then he’s recruited by Army irregulars, lured by the promise of spoils and bound for Mexico. Churning a dusty path toward destiny, he witnesses unknown horrors and suffering—and yet, as if shielded by the almighty hand of God, he survives to breathe another day. Earning McCarthy comparisons to greats like Melville and Faulkner, Blood Meridian is a masterwork of rare genius. Gifted narrator Richard Poe wields the author’s prose like a man born to speak it.
This book describes such incarnate evil, that there was a part that I had to stop reading at night and finish in the morning. Be prepared! I swore off Cormac McCarthy after reading this because I was depressed for about a week. I am too addicted to keep to my promise not to read any more of his books, sadly Fascinating and scary, and just plain a good read!
Blood Meridian reminds me of the advice the Man gives his Son in The Road: be careful what you put in your head. This novel is truly hard to read because of the explicit treatment of violence and downright cruelty of the characters. And though it is not violence for violence's sake, I'm not sure I understood this novel as well as I have McCarthy's others. For one thing, it wanders the landscape even more than most of his work, landscapes that mirror the events of the novel. Second, McCarthy simply will not allow you to neatly stereotype the characters. One moment, you care about their lives and stories, and the next moment, the characters steal your breath with the evil they are capable of. And, third, it's evil wholesale everyone is a victim and everyone is a perpatrator. Overall, I enjoyed the book, but some of the images I would not care to have in my head.