Blood online sale Meridian: Or the lowest Evening Redness in the West outlet sale

Blood online sale Meridian: Or the lowest Evening Redness in the West outlet sale

Blood online sale Meridian: Or the lowest Evening Redness in the West outlet sale
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An epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America''s westward expansion, Blood Meridian  brilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the "wild west."

Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennesseean who stumbles into the nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving.

Amazon.com Review

"The men as they rode turned black in the sun from the blood on their clothes and their faces and then paled slowly in the rising dust until they assumed once more the color of the land through which they passed." If what we call "horror" can be seen as including any literature that has dark, horrific subject matter, then Blood Meridian is, in this reviewer''s estimation, the best horror novel ever written. It''s a perverse, picaresque Western about bounty hunters for Indian scalps near the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s--a ragged caravan of indiscriminate killers led by an unforgettable human monster called "The Judge." Imagine the imagery of Sam Peckinpah and Heironymus Bosch as written by William Faulkner, and you''ll have just an inkling of this novel''s power. From the opening scenes about a 14-year-old Tennessee boy who joins the band of hunters to the extraordinary, mythic ending, this is an American classic about extreme violence.

Review

"McCarthy is a writer to be read, to be admired, and quite honestly—envied."
—Ralph Ellison

"McCarthy is a born narrator, and his writing has, line by line, the stab of actuality. He is here to stay."
—Robert Penn Warren

From the Inside Flap

An epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America''s westward expansion, Blood Meridianbrilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the "wild west." Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennesseean who stumbles into the nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving.

From the Back Cover

An epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America''s westward expansion, Blood Meridianbrilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the "wild west." Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennesseean who stumbles into the nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving.

About the Author

Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island in1933 and spent most of his childhood near Knoxville, Tennessee. He served in the U.S. Air Force and later studied at the University of Tennessee. In 1976 he moved to El Paso, Texas, where he lives today.  McCarthy''s fiction parallels his movement from the Southeast to the West--the first four novels being set in Tennessee, the last three in the Southwest and Mexico. The Orchard Keeper (1965) won the Faulkner Award for a first novel; it was followed by Outer Dark (1968),   Child of God (1973), Suttree (1979), Blood Meridian (1985), All the Pretty Horses, which won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award for fiction in 1992, and The Crossing.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Blood Meridian (1985) seems to me the authentic American apocalyptic novel, more relevant even in 2000 than it was fifteen years ago. The fulfilled renown of Moby-Dick and of As I Lay Dying is augmented by Blood Meridian, since Cormac McCarthy is the worthy disciple both of Melville and of Faulkner. I venture that no other living American novelist, not even Pynchon, has given us a book as strong and memorable as Blood Meridian, much as I appreciate Don DeLillo''s Underworld, Philip Roth''s Zuckerman Bound, Sabbath''s Theater, and American Pastoral, and Pynchon''s Gravity''s Rainbow and Mason & Dixon. McCarthy himself, in his recent Border trilogy, commencing with the superb All the Pretty Horses, has not matched Blood Meridian, but it is the ultimate Western, not to be surpassed.

My concern being the reader, I will begin by confessing that my first two attempts to read through Blood Meridian failed, because I flinched from the overwhelming carnage that McCarthy portrays. The violence begins on the novel''s second page, when the fifteen-year-old Kid is shot in the back and just below the heart, and continues almost with no respite until the end, thirty years later, when Judge Holden, the most frightening figure in all of American literature, murders the Kid in an outhouse. So appalling are the continuous massacres and mutilations of Blood Meridian that one could be reading a United Nations report on the horrors of Kosovo in 1999.

Nevertheless, I urge the reader to persevere, because Blood Meridian is a canonical imaginative achievement, both an American and a universal tragedy of blood. Judge Holden is a villain worthy of Shakespeare, Iago-like and demoniac, a theoretician of war everlasting. And the book''s magnificence-its language, landscape, persons, conceptions-at last transcends the violence, and converts goriness into terrifying art, an art comparable to Melville''s and to Faulkner''s. When I teach the book, many of my students resist it initially (as I did, and as some of my friends continue to do). Television saturates us with actual as well as imagined violence, and I turn away, either in shock or in disgust. But I cannot turn away from Blood Meridian, now that I know how to read it, and why it has to be read. None of its carnage is gratuitous or redundant; it belonged to the Mexico-Texas borderlands in 1849-50, which is where and when most of the novel is set. I suppose one could call Blood Meridian a "historical novel," since it chronicles the actual expedition of the Glanton gang, a murderous paramilitary force sent out both by Mexican and Texan authorities to murder and scalp as many Indians as possible. Yet it does not have the aura of historical fiction, since what it depicts seethes on, in the United States, and nearly everywhere else, as we enter the third millennium. Judge Holden, the prophet of war, is unlikely to be without honor in our years to come.

Even as you learn to endure the slaughter McCarthy describes, you become accustomed to the book''s high style, again as overtly Shakespearean as it is Faulknerian. There are passages of Melvillean-Faulknerian baroque richness and intensity in The Crying of Lot 49, and elsewhere in Pynchon, but we can never be sure that they are not parodistic. The prose of Blood Meridian soars, yet with its own economy, and its dialogue is always persuasive, particularly when the uncanny Judge Holden speaks (chapter 14, p. 199):

The judge placed his hands on the ground. He looked at his inquisitor. This is my claim, he said. And yet everywhere upon it are pockets of autonomous life. Autonomous. In order for it to be mine nothing must be permitted to occur upon it save by my dispensation.

Toadvine sat with his boots crossed before the fire. No man can acquaint himself with everything on this earth, he said.

The judge tilted his great head. The man who believes that the secrets of this world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down. The rain will erode the deeds of his life. But that man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate.

Judge Holden is the spiritual leader of Glanton''s filibusters, and McCarthy persuasively gives the self-styled judge a mythic status, appropriate for a deep Machiavelli whose "thread of order" recalls Iago''s magic web, in which Othello, Desdemona, and Cassio are caught. Though all of the more colorful and murderous raiders are vividly characterized for us, the killing-machine Glanton with the others, the novel turns always upon its two central figures, Judge Holden and the Kid. We first meet the Judge on page 6: an enormous man, bald as a stone, no trace of a beard, and eyes without either brows or lashes. A seven-foot-tall albino almost seems to have come from some other world, and we learn to wonder about the Judge, who never sleeps, dances and fiddles with extraordinary art and energy, rapes and murders little children of both sexes, and who says that he will never die. By the book''s close, I have come to believe that the Judge is immortal. And yet the Judge, while both more and less than human, is as individuated as Iago or Macbeth, and is quite at home in the Texan-Mexican borderlands where we watch him operate in 1849-50, and then find him again in 1878, not a day older after twenty-eight years, though the Kid, a sixteen-year-old at the start of Glanton''s foray, is forty-five when murdered by the Judge at the end.

McCarthy subtly shows us the long, slow development of the Kid from another mindless scalper of Indians to the courageous confronter of the Judge in their final debate in a saloon. But though the Kid''s moral maturation is heartening, his personality remains largely a cipher, as anonymous as his lack of a name. The three glories of the book are the Judge, the landscape, and (dreadful to say this) the slaughters, which are aesthetically distanced by McCarthy in a number of complex ways.

What is the reader to make of the Judge? He is immortal as principle, as War Everlasting, but is he a person, or something other? McCarthy will not tell us, which is all the better, since the ambiguity is most stimulating. Melville''s Captain Ahab, though a Promethean demigod, is necessarily mortal, and perishes with the Pequod and all its crew, except for Ishmael. After he has killed the Kid, Blood Meridian''s Ishmael, Judge Holden is the last survivor of Glanton''s scalping crusade. Destroying the Native American nations of the Southwest is hardly analogous to the hunt to slay Moby-Dick, and yet McCarthy gives us some curious parallels between the two quests. The most striking is between Melville''s chapter 19, where a ragged prophet, who calls himself Elijah, warns Ishmael and Queequeg against sailing on the Pequod, and McCarthy''s chapter 4, where "an old disordered Mennonite" warns the Kid and his comrades not to join Captain Worth''s filibuster, a disaster that preludes the greater catastrophe of Glanton''s campaign.

McCarthy''s invocation of Moby-Dick, while impressive and suggestive, in itself does not do much to illuminate Judge Holden for us. Ahab has his preternatural aspects, including his harpooner Fedellah and Parsee whaleboat crew, and the captain''s conversion to their Zoroastrian faith. Elijah tells Ishmael touches of other Ahabian mysteries: a three-day trance off Cape Horn, slaying a Spaniard in front of a presumably Catholic altar in Santa, and a wholly enigmatic spitting into a "silver calabash."Yet all these are transparencies compared to the enigmas of Judge Holden, who seems to judge the entire earth, and whose name suggests a holding, presumably of sway over all he encounters. And yet, the Judge, unlike Ahab, is not wholly fictive; like Glanton, he is a historic filibuster or freebooter. McCarthy tells us most in the Kid''s dream visions of Judge Holden, towards the close of the novel (chapter 22, pp. 309—10):

In that sleep and in sleep to follow the judge did visit. Who would come other? A great shambling mutant, silent and serene. Whatever his antecedents, he was something wholly other than their sum, nor was there system by which to divide him back into his origins for he would not go. Whoever would seek out his history through what unraveling of loins and ledgerbooks must stand at last darkened and dumb at the shore of a void without terminus or origin and whatever science he might bring to bear upon the dusty primal matter blowing down out of the millennia will discover no trace of ultimate atavistic egg by which to reckon his commencing.

I think that McCarthy is warning his reader that the Judge is Moby-Dick rather than Ahab. As another white enigma, the albino Judge, like the albino whale, cannot be slain. Melville, a professed Gnostic, who believed that some "anarch hand or cosmic blunder" had divided us into two fallen sexes, gives us a Manichean quester in Ahab. McCarthy gives Judge Holden the powers and purposes of the bad angels or demiurges that the Gnostics called archons, but he tells us not to make such an identification (as the critic Leo Daugherty eloquently has). Any "system," including the Gnostic one, will not divide the Judge back into his origins. The "ultimate atavistic egg" will not be found. What can the reader do with the haunting and terrifying Judge?

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BCon
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It''s a different medium.
Reviewed in the United States on April 12, 2016
The people who scoff at McCarthy, this book specifically, don''t seem to understand his style. It''s not that they''re wrong to call it "hard to read" and "plotless". And I''m not trying to sound pretentious here. I agree with them semantically. It is not an... See more
The people who scoff at McCarthy, this book specifically, don''t seem to understand his style. It''s not that they''re wrong to call it "hard to read" and "plotless". And I''m not trying to sound pretentious here. I agree with them semantically. It is not an easy to read piece, a normal article of literature that follows a smooth plot curve with complex, developing characters. It also isn''t even cryptic poetry. I honestly think it''s simpler than that. In the few interviews, and instances where he has been directly quoted, he explains it -- he''s a naturalistic writer. He''s simply narrating every second of a life in a real world. No one -- not him, not the characters, not us -- knows the plot. There is no plot in life. And his writing is very straight forward and flowing --"The judge walked." "They crossed the western edge of the playa." He''s just taking you on a visual journey. And it''s all a terrifyingly vivid journey, as close to reality as you can get. That''s the beauty of it. Almost all literature distorts reality in some way for the sake of the "story" and what is supposed to be included in it. But real life is not a piece of literature. McCarthy captures real life. And it doesn''t surprise me that he says his best friends are not writers but scientists. He hates writers. His idea of literature is almost that of scientific observation of humanity, and humanity''s story is a strange and animalistic one, not some blocky cartoon.
I can tell you that I don''t like his stuff for the same reasons as anyone else. I''m not going to sit and read it for the same reason I would read a non-fiction narrative or something. Life is short and you can''t always devote hours of your time slogging through such a vivid record of one characters life, only to find no meaning at the end. But sometimes I want to, and I have to applaud McCarthy on being one of the only people who can open that door in the world of literature.
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Nick
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I tried to enjoy it, but in the end I had to give up...
Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2019
I gave this book a chance for 150 pages, but couldn''t take it any longer. First of all - who on Earth gives away the ending of a book in the prologue? It''s actually a trend throughout the book where the author summarizes each chapter via a chapter header. It''s... See more
I gave this book a chance for 150 pages, but couldn''t take it any longer.

First of all - who on Earth gives away the ending of a book in the prologue? It''s actually a trend throughout the book where the author summarizes each chapter via a chapter header. It''s almost as if he''s admitting that the story isn''t the all that great.

And it''s not. The author focuses on describing scenes to boredom, and the story just kind of tags along for the ride.

But that''s not the worst of it - the lack of punctuation in this novel is enough to induce migraines. We use punctuation for a reason - it allows the reader to effortlessly follow a story and understand who is speaking. The lack of punctuation forces the reader to use an unnecessary amount of effort to follow what is an incredibly basic (and often times boring) plot.
91 people found this helpful
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Clem
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I simply don''t get the appeal (WARNING: Ugly review below)
Reviewed in the United States on May 25, 2020
There have been times in my life when I discovered a great new record album by a great new music group. Everyone around me agreed. Then, I would read a critic’s review of this great new record only to read how the critic slagged it off as being puerile and putrid. I... See more
There have been times in my life when I discovered a great new record album by a great new music group. Everyone around me agreed. Then, I would read a critic’s review of this great new record only to read how the critic slagged it off as being puerile and putrid. I would then then listen to a piece of music that the CRITIC thought was great, and felt like I was listening to a defecating goat in incredible pain. The same thing can be said about famous paintings. A painting that I thought was beautiful would be dismissed by a critic as worthless and uninspired, yet the paintings that the critic loved, LOOKED like a goat in pain had defecated on the canvas.

I’ve never really understood this. What is it that makes certain people’s tastes ‘superior’ than others? When did it become ‘cool’ to hate everything that everyone loved and to love everything that everyone hated? I bring this up because this is one of those books that critics everywhere love, yet I thought it was the most godawful exercise in tedium I have ever experienced. I’d rather sit through a four-hour conference call on a Friday afternoon where everyone is forced to talk about their accomplishments for the week as opposed to having to ever read something like this again.

Before I go any further, if you’re reading this review and you really liked this book, I mean, you REALLY liked the book (you don’t just say you did because you want to keep your seat at ‘The Cool Kid’s Table’) then that really is fine. I’m not trying to belittle your opinion. I just simply don’t get it. I’ve easily read over 1,000 books in my lifetime (I started posting reviews on Amazon back in 2013 – I’m up to about 350) and I have to honestly state that this is probably the worst piece of fiction I’ve ever come across. It’s definitely in my top (i.e. bottom) 5 anyway.

There’s no story here. There’s nothing here that interested me in the slightest. There’s no care in the writing either. For some reason, the author doesn’t even bother to put quotation marks around the dialog. We get periods at the end of sentences and an occasional comma, but that’s it. Again why?? Is this what an author has to do to pen a “classic”?

The narrative (notice I didn’t say ‘story’) is about a 15-year old kid (known as ‘The Kid’) who lives in the Old West in the 1800s. He leaves home one day, ends up joining an army to fight in Mexico, and ends up stumbling around the western frontier with mostly unsavory characters and encounters even more unsavory adversaries. This whole book is nothing but dust, blood, scalpings, dying, disease, corpses, carnage and depression. There were times where I really had to struggle figuring out exactly what was going on. It’s not that the writing was necessarily confusing, it was just so uneventful and depressing. Again, this seems to be some sort of twisted appeal when we’re describing works of art. I get that true art needs to be unique, but does it have to be so malodorous? I’ll also add that I’m still confused by the ending of this book. I even did a Google search and found some “ideas” but apparently my sentiment is shared by many. Again, it seems as though ‘true’ works of art are supposed to be confusing. Whatever. Ugh.

This book was written in 1985; the same year I graduated high school. I’m glad it wasn’t written before then, because it might have ended up as ‘required reading’ in one of my high school English classes. You remember those classes, right? The ones where none of the kids had a clue as to what they were reading, and hated the book so bad that they all bought the Cliffs Notes? Yep. This is one of those books.

O.K. rant done. Really. Again, if you really did like this book, that’s cool. I hated it. All I could think of while reading was that critics were playing a cruel joke on me and trying to make me believe that I was an emperor wearing a suit of molded, smelly brand-new clothes. Next, please.
48 people found this helpful
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Autodidact
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Formal Exercise in the Anti-Novel
Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2019
I would encourage writers to read this book for its use of language and its subversion of fictional conventions, for instance, its lack of a protagonist or any relation to human existence. SPOILERS: This is a narrative of a group of male zombies roaming the Southwest... See more
I would encourage writers to read this book for its use of language and its subversion of fictional conventions, for instance, its lack of a protagonist or any relation to human existence.
SPOILERS: This is a narrative of a group of male zombies roaming the Southwest US and Northern Mexico in search of scalps, ears, and heads rather than the standard zombie fare, brains, perhaps because brains are in such short supply in this tale. Despite the meticulously described violence, no one is impacted; no one changes; if a character isn''t dead, he simply ambles on to the next spasm of destruction, with the most minimal point or purpose. A main character lauds this as a warrior''s life, the fulfillment of masculinity, but that character is basically an animated phallus (in looks and point of view), who has nothing in common with say, Hector or even Achilles, or any other admired warrior throughout the rest of Western fiction. I think this is a book for the young who have never faced nor thought about the consequences of a life of annihilation; in that, it might have a point; but for any thoughtful adult, it is repulsive, and reductive of all that a man can aspire to be.
51 people found this helpful
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mdy616
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Hard to follow story line
Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2018
This book was listed as one of the top ten westerns, why I''ll never know. The writer used only periods for punctuation and this made it a very hard, jumbled story to read. Maybe some people find this type of writing interesting; I find it lazy and distracting. For an... See more
This book was listed as one of the top ten westerns, why I''ll never know. The writer used only periods for punctuation and this made it a very hard, jumbled story to read. Maybe some people find this type of writing interesting; I find it lazy and distracting. For an author that one prizes for his writing I wonder why he wrote in this style. For me it takes away from the story and I would find myself having to punctuate every sentence in my head to make sense of it. This is a very tedious book that I would not recommend.
39 people found this helpful
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Matt Keyes
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not for everyone but definitely for some
Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2019
McCarthy is not an easy writer to simply pick up and read as has been hashed out all over the place. Yet, his style is oddly captivating for me. I''ve read a good number of his books (seven or eight or so), and, while they all tell an interesting an unique story as well as... See more
McCarthy is not an easy writer to simply pick up and read as has been hashed out all over the place. Yet, his style is oddly captivating for me. I''ve read a good number of his books (seven or eight or so), and, while they all tell an interesting an unique story as well as present (in my mind) a commentary on the human condition in various capacities, none come close to this book in terms of richness and the sense of an epic saga. Even The Road, a good read and loved by many, pales in comparison to this book.

This is not a book for everyone. McCarthy''s unique style here present a view into a world that is seldom known or discussed. The Glanton Gang, a horror in its own right, is spelled out amongst beautiful landscapes and a vivid flow of words and vocabulary that is beautiful. You quickly the beauty and harshness of nature and the terrible capacity of mankind nestled within it.

Additionally, I don''t typically discuss this book with friends. It is akin to discussing American Psycho - another important novel that is just as shocking in many respects. The Glanton Gang''s murderous rampage through northern Mexico is not easy to digest. That said, McCarthy tells this important chapter of mankind''s, especially America''s, history in gory detail but in a captivating way that, to me, is somehow touching. Not touching in a soft way but a brutal reminder of what man can be when the elements of civilization, compassion, and such virtues are discarded.

I can understand why many would be put off by the style I suppose. Initially I found it humorous until I got into the "flow" that McCarthy presents. It is akin to watching a movie in your mind.

I am on my second read of this book after finally getting around to watching The Revenant. If you found that movie interesting then more than likely you will be enraptured by this novel. Highly recommended but be warned that it is not easy nor is it gentle.
31 people found this helpful
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Bren A. Parr
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Short version: Hard book to read, very "colorful", the ending will mess you up for some reason. Why? I don''t know either...
Reviewed in the United States on December 23, 2017
Short version: Hard book to read, very "colorful", the ending will mess you up for some reason. Why? I don''t know either, read the book and you''ll know what I mean. Long version: Listen... This is a very difficult book to read. You''ll start... See more
Short version:
Hard book to read, very "colorful", the ending will mess you up for some reason. Why? I don''t know either, read the book and you''ll know what I mean.

Long version:
Listen... This is a very difficult book to read. You''ll start reading this and think to yourself, "Why did I start this freakin'' book?" You''ll get to some places in the book and say to yourself, "Ok, now that, that was pretty messed up." You''ll get further into the book and find yourself saying, "I''ve been reading this book for almost 3 weeks now and I''m not even halfway done. Do kindergarteners read faster than me?" By the end of the book, with your now wrinkling skin and greying hair, you''ll say to yourself, "I am now an old man/woman, and I think...I just... I don''t know anymore..."
This book has zero quotations, it has quite the list of Spanish words, which, if you speak Spanish, you may get more out of the book than us monolingual saps. The book has an ending that won''t leave you. Ever. It kind of haunts you a bit. Like, you really will end up guessing yourself a lot, I think? I don''t know... I tried explaining the book to my wife she responded with "That sounds awful, why would you even read that?" I knew at that point, that I wasn''t explaining it correctly, there''s this Yale teacher on Youtube that goes through the book with her class and she goes into a lot of detail in the book, I had already ruined the story for my wife to be remotely interested in that video, but I felt like it helped me a lot.
33 people found this helpful
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BT Invictus
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Disturbing and Powerful Masterpiece
Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2013
A fellow author once described Cormac McCarthy as "a genius" who is "also probably somewhat insane." After reading Blood Meridian, I would amend that assessment somewhat, and say about McCarthy what Marlow said about Kurtz: "...his intelligence was perfectly clear. But his... See more
A fellow author once described Cormac McCarthy as "a genius" who is "also probably somewhat insane." After reading Blood Meridian, I would amend that assessment somewhat, and say about McCarthy what Marlow said about Kurtz: "...his intelligence was perfectly clear. But his soul was mad."

I think that same quote also applies to the novel''s unforgettable antagonist, the Judge. Everything about the Judge gives me nightmares, from his giant, hairless form, to his egregious acts of cruelty, to his philosophical musings. The moments in which he is gentle and civilized are, ironically, the most disturbing of all. He''s a character of Kurtzian proportions, with a dash of Iago thrown in, and maybe a little bit of the "sandman" described in that awful Metallica song. He''s the embodiment of evil, and yet there is a certain lucidity and consistency in his thinking, assuming his view of the universe is correct. That''s what makes him so downright terrifying.

Besides giving the reader some interesting philosophical content to chew on, the novel is really rich in biblical allusion - something that will certainly intrigue the Christian reader. (That is, if he or she can get past the violence, which, in my view, is not as gratuitous as many people say - McCarthy does spare his readers a great deal of gruesome details and leaves many unspeakable things unsaid; often the horror is merely suggested, making it all the more horrifying). Much of the content in Blood Meridian is very much reminiscent of the imagery and rhetoric of Old Testament historical narratives. I''m not sure if McCarthy is making a direct allusion here, but a description of the Babylonians from the book of Habakkuk bears an uncanny resemblance to Glanton''s group of warring scalphunters:

"[They] march through the breadth of the earth,
to seize dwellings not their own.
They are dreaded and fearsome;
their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.
Their horses are swifter than leopards,
more fierce than the evening wolves;
their horsemen press proudly on.
Their horsemen come from afar;
they fly like an eagle swift to devour.
They all come for violence,
all their faces forward.
They gather captives like sand.
At kings they scoff,
and at rulers they laugh.
They laugh at every fortress,
for they pile up earth and take it.
Then they sweep by like the wind and go on,
guilty men, whose own might is their god!" (1:5-11)

Even the Judge''s language sounds as though it were inspired by Old Testament descriptions like these. In one of the most memorable scenes involving the Judge, he says to his fellow scalphunters, "War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing of the unity of existence. War is god" (261). What will surely trouble the Christian reader even more, however, is the absence of any Habakkuk who will stand in the midst of violence and despair and say, "I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer''s; he makes me tread on my high places" (3:18-19). The closest we get to this in Blood Meridian is the expriest, Tobin. In fact, there is a highly symbolic scene toward the end of Blood Meridian in which the novel''s protagonist, the kid, happens upon a group of dead people who had tried to take refuge around a fallen cross, onto which was tied a straw crucifix. The book is hardly subtle in communicating the idea that the universe is a cold and indifferent place, a place where "might makes right" and where the man who comes to terms with this is god. Like the Judge says, "The desert upon which so many have been broken is vast and calls for largeness of heart but it is also ultimately empty. It is hard, it is barren. Its very nature is stone" (344). Yet, while I disagree with these messages, there is a certain kind of intellectual respect that I have for this novel. The only thing more terrifying than reading this novel as a theist is reading it as an atheist. If the latter view is true, McCarthy hits on some terrible truths about human nature. Again, his intelligence is clear but his soul is mad.

Blood Meridian is a deeply disturbing novel. In it, McCarthy plunges the depths of the human heart in all its potential and fully realized depravity. After just one reading, I feel unable to assimilate all my thoughts into a coherent response to what I''ve just read. I feel like some Jane Austen would serve me well now, as a palliative against all the scalphunting, gore and...worse. Yet, there''s just a certain gravity and weight to this novel that makes it unforgettable, and truly a masterpiece.
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Nick Towle
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
They say is a classic American novel and it truly is
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 15, 2017
Stunning novel well worthy of its all-American classic status as far as I am concerned. The violence, while graphic and difficult to read, seems entirely believable and historically accurate and when reading it, you can see why Americans are so in love with guns. They have...See more
Stunning novel well worthy of its all-American classic status as far as I am concerned. The violence, while graphic and difficult to read, seems entirely believable and historically accurate and when reading it, you can see why Americans are so in love with guns. They have shaped the making of America in ways which are still very relevant today. But setting aside the almost casual and all-pervading violence, and also the one-apparently dimensional nature of the characters (even including the Judge who is an unbelievably all-knowing character), it is the descriptive writing of the landscapes and environments that is so extraordinary. The language is in a kind of biblical style, using words and expressions that I have never heard of or seen used in other novels, but which convey entirely what you think they must be intended to describe in a truly majestic fashion. How McCarthy put this style of writing together in what seems like a stream-of-consciousness style done in one sitting, I have no idea, but what a mind he must have, I am going to have to re-read this when the immediate and unsettling feeling caused by the violence has gone, so that I can focus on and truly appreciate the wondrousness of the writing.
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M. Dowden
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Personal Favourite
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 17, 2019
A book that I think is always worth reading is this, although if you are coming to it for the first time then I should warn you that this is bleak, bloody, and full of violence. Here we follow the adventures of a boy who runs away from home at fourteen. Known only...See more
A book that I think is always worth reading is this, although if you are coming to it for the first time then I should warn you that this is bleak, bloody, and full of violence. Here we follow the adventures of a boy who runs away from home at fourteen. Known only throughout the novel as the kid there are a number of other characters that we only know by a single name or none at all. Called mainly throughout the tale the judge (Judge Holden), so we have a person that really makes this novel and is in many ways the embodiment of nightmares, as although he can be polite and charming as well as quite learned, so he is also sadistic and an arch manipulator. As we follow the kid on his adventures, so he falls in with some US Army irregulars as they take up a mission to claim certain parts of Mexican land as American, but when this turns out rather badly, so he ultimately starts running with Glanton’s gang. For those who do not know about this aspect of American and Mexican history, this gang was employed as bounty hunters to kill Indians, being paid by the number of scalps that they handed over. So we read here of the violence of the Indians as well as those of people such as the Glanton gang and others. We can see that the judge here is most certainly a high performing sociopath. We are told near the beginning that the kid has a mindless taste for violence, and this novel does wallow somewhat in the violence of man towards man, bringing out the warlike savagery that exists in us all. This violence and bloodiness are rife throughout the story, something that we cannot escape from and does sit well with the landscape, which is harsh and unforgiving. The language used here is certainly poetic, and this is of course written in McCarthy’s usual style that a lot of us have now become used to. If you are looking for something different from those books you usually find in the Western or indeed the historical fiction genres then this may be just your thing, and there are certainly a number of themes that are presented to us here, making this worth reading.
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Kindle Customer
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
He Sure Knows a Lot of Words
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 13, 2019
This has a unique writing style and an epic sweep but would have worked much better as a short story. The Border Trilogy, The Road, No Country for Old Men were all brilliant. But Blood Meridian is just tedious and rather repetitive in large parts: “They rode out over the...See more
This has a unique writing style and an epic sweep but would have worked much better as a short story. The Border Trilogy, The Road, No Country for Old Men were all brilliant. But Blood Meridian is just tedious and rather repetitive in large parts: “They rode out over the plain … nature words … geology words … horsey words … and fell upon and slaughtered the Indians … blood words … body part words… And then they did the same with the Mexicans. ... And then some other people. ... And then some more Indians ..."
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MJ Burke
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
350 page riddle. Beautiful Western poetry.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2019
I won’t disagree that Blood Meridian is a tremendous piece of North American art/fiction. I don’t doubt if I was doing my PhD on it, or on the mindless violence inherent in the human condition, or Spaghetti Western allegory, I’d be stunned by the experience. Sadly, I don’t...See more
I won’t disagree that Blood Meridian is a tremendous piece of North American art/fiction. I don’t doubt if I was doing my PhD on it, or on the mindless violence inherent in the human condition, or Spaghetti Western allegory, I’d be stunned by the experience. Sadly, I don’t have the big brain or knock to the head that might allow that. I can, however, argue this is not a good read. Part cowboy poetry and prairie philosophy, it reads like a riddle: a 350 page twisting meander through an often unexplained but always brutally violent American West. I think Cormac McCarthy is an incredible writer, though this was not written for me. I liked No Country for Old Men more, though I’m not sure if it’s because I saw the film, enjoyed it and could easily place on on the other. Even still, that book had nearly 100 pages cut from the film due to author and prose excess - including the final 50 pages. Blood Meridean was almost an opposite as the plot began moving in a semi-straight and coherent line and at decent pace only at those last 50 pages. Even then there were still scenes that didn’t fit and new characters that would last only a few pages before disappearing entirely. I finished Blood Meridian but it will take awhile before I dare another of his novels.
6 people found this helpful
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Alexandra Von Kisenberg
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I tried i really did
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 29, 2019
Its not often I give up on a book but I''m afraid this was one of them. I''ve read some of his other stuff all of which was a bit different shall we say but this one...…………….. If you like a book that says we rode to here we rode to there than we killed some people and then we...See more
Its not often I give up on a book but I''m afraid this was one of them. I''ve read some of his other stuff all of which was a bit different shall we say but this one...…………….. If you like a book that says we rode to here we rode to there than we killed some people and then we rode to another place this is the book for you. I might go back to it at a later date but for now its with the chick lit that I can''t be bothered with and very strange bedfellows they make
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