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Blood Meridian


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Cormac McCarthy is the author of ten acclaimed novels, most recently The Road. Among his honours are the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

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'I have rarely encountered anything as powerful, as unsettling, or as memorable as Blood Meridian ... A nightmare odyssey' Evening Standard

About the Author

Cormac McCarthy is the author of ten acclaimed novels, most recently The Road. Among his honours are the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.


McCarthy has written two survival tales, with unnamed characters traveling westward through desolate landscapes. Mercifully unique, Blood Meridian (1985) pre-sents gruesome horror as literary Western, sketching the adventures of an unidentified teen who joins a marauding gang of scalp hunters in the 1850s Southwest. The first three hours are a tour de force of sustained repellency, piling atrocity upon atrocity before settling into a more sustainable rate of a massacre or two per chapter. McCarthy's achievement here is his prose, not quite biblical, not quite Faulknerian, much of it unfamiliar enough to sound made up. Reader Richard Poe groans the lines, and if he only uses a few voices, most of the characters seem meant to be indistinguishable. Widely regarded as a modern classic, however unpleasant, this title belongs in most library collections. Bleak as it is, Road seems much more palatable in comparison, offering compassion in the person of a dying father who protects and cares for his son as they travel through a world shattered by an unexplained apocalypse. Starving and exhausted, they travel to the Pacific, scavenging food when they can and keeping other rapacious, cannibalistic survivors at bay. The boy tells himself they're the "good guys" and "carry the flame," but the father does what he must to survive. Veteran reader Tom Stechschulte navigates McCarthy's arcane language, emphasizing the pair's shared tenderness, in a wonderfully moving tale. Road's Pulitzer Prize and Oprah selection speak for themselves; essential.-John Hiett, Iowa City P.L. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Cormac McCarthy's violent lyric masterpiece, Blood Meridian acquires an amoral, apocalyptic dimension through the Miltonic grandeur of the language . . . It is a barbarously poetic odyssey through a hell without purpose. * Irish Times *
McCarthy's achievement is to establish a new mythology which is as potent and vivid as that of the movies, yet one which has absolutely the opposite effect . . . He is a great writer. * Independent *
A bloody and starkly beautiful tale. -- Stephen Amidon * Sunday Times *

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