Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy – review

Blood meridian, or, The evening redness in the WestI recently read  Blood Meridian, or, ‘The Evening Redness in the West’ – an epic novel of the violent American West.

By American novelist Cormac McCarthy, The Road , No Country for Old Men, the story is loosely based on accounts of murder along the border between Texas and Mexico in the 1850s.

This book is not for the faint hearted, it tells the story of a young runaway who falls in with the Glanton Gang – outlaws and scalp-hunters who cleared Indians from the Texas-Mexico borderlands during the late 1840’s.

Beautifully written, exhilarating, disturbing and thought-provoking. It gave me nightmares but I would call it a modern classic.

Ben Cleverley, Area Development Librarian East

 Did you know? Cormac McCarthy has written ten novels in the Southern Gothic, western, and post-apocalyptic genres and is a Pulitzer Prize winner. He has also written plays and screenplays.

Literary critic Harold Bloom named him one of the four major American novelists of his time with Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo and Philip Roth. He is frequently compared by modern reviewers to William Faulkner and sometimes to Herman Melville. ‘Blood Meridian’ initially generated only lukewarm critical and commercial reception but  is now  widely recognized as McCarthy’s masterpiece. Time magazine included it in its 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.

3 thoughts on “Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy – review

  1. Cormac McCarthy is a wonderful writer. I’ve read all of his, and I think The Crossing is probably his best book – absolutely crystalline prose and effortless storytelling. My favourite book by him is Suttree. It’s like what would have happened if William Faulkner had gone on a bender on some seriously bad moonshine and tried to re-write Steinbeck’s Cannery Row while trying to deal with the hangover. I reviewed it for this blog three or four years back…..

    Anyone who’s read it will tell you that he’s a much funnier writer than most people give him credit for.

    • His funniest book by far. The scene where his weird little friend, Harrogate, sets off dynamite in the tunnels below Knoxville and is swept away by sewage and excrement is the only passage to make me double over in laughter in a long long time. I personally like it more than Blood Meridian, though its hard to argue the epic nature inherent in that masterpiece.

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