Book Review – Suttree by Cormac McCarthy

A motley cast of drunks, down and outs, low-lifes and ne’er do wells inhabit the Southern Gothic landscape of this remarkable early novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy. 

Characters like J-Bone, Tripping Through The Dew, Boneyard, City Mouse, Red Callaghan and the eponymous anti-hero spend their time panhandling around for pocket change, pulling scams, drinking, fighting and generally raising hell at every given opportunity. 

The book is reminiscent of John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, shot through with a vicious sense of humour, but as ever in McCarthy’s oeuvre, there are also much darker forces at work. There are a few highs to go with the lows, and more bad whiskey hangovers than you can possibly count. 

This is a great slice of downbeat Americana in the Faulknerian tradition and is highly recommended for fans of Carson McCullers, Flannery O’Connor et al.

Stu Hennigan

Reserve a copy online, and collect from your nearest library.

One thought on “Book Review – Suttree by Cormac McCarthy

  1. “Red Callaghan,” really? Try “Callahan.”

    And you might add George Washington Harris, William Faulkner, William Gay and perhaps James Joyce to your “fans of” list.

Comments are closed.