Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In the old west, a young man falls in with a bad crowd, scalphunters, and the worst of them all, the judge.
It's not often when I can't figure out how to summarize a book. Not only does Blood Meridian fall into this category, I'm also struggling with trying to formulate my thoughts about it. I'm sure it's one of those big important books that has themes and things of that nature. It seems apocalyptic at times, with the judge showing the kid the horrors of the world, kind of like the devil and Jesus in the desert.
Cormac McCarthy's prose is simple but powerful. It also feels really smooth, like he barely had to work at it at all to get it on the page. It has an almost Biblical feel to it. Once the kid hooks up with the judge and the Glantons, things get worse and worse, like getting kicked in the crotch by progressively more spiky shoes.
There were a lot of times during my read of Blood Meridian where I had to stop and digest what I just read. It had a dreamlike, or nightmarish, quality a lot of the time. The judge is by far the most memorable character in the piece.
The book really doesn't have much of a plot, just scene after scene of brutal violence. I read a lot of detective stuff but this was one of the most violent books I've ever read. I could only read it for 30-45 minutes at a time before I had to stop and digest.
Lastly, what's with the lack of quotation marks? Was McCarthy sexually assaulted by question marks while he was a boy scout?
Four stars, but not for the squeamish. If you have any amount of squeam in you, you'll be squeaming all over the place in no time.
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