After reading The Road, I felt like I should read Blood Meridian. It’s a rough book, full of brutality, depravity and nightmarish grotesqueness. Some sections captured me, but many passages simply weren’t interesting.
Based on historical events on the border between Texas and Mexico in the middle of the 19th century, the book follows The Kid, a fourteen-year-old boy from Tennessee, who haplessly stumbles into a horrible world of murder and abuse.
I put it down on page 96.
For a proper review that does the work justice, try biblioklept.org.
2 thoughts on “Blood Meridian – by Cormac McCarthy”
Sounds right to me, Norbs. Most of my colleagues here at Michigan State don’t finish the book either.
I have reasons to keep trying. The first time, I did not get as far as you. The second time, I got about to the middle. Too much brutality and mindless violence (though that is said to be characteristic of the kid’s life on page one, so we are forewarned).
A strange thing happened on my third time through–I had become numb to the violence and started to pay attention to the beauty of the language and the description. I am not saying that this is necessarily a great accomplishment, numbing myself to the violence. But I must say that, at that point, the book opened up to me and now I find it very special.
For instance, this passage:
“The following evening as they rode up onto the western rim they lost one of the mules. It went skittering off down the canyon wall with the contents of the panniers exploding soundlessly in the hot dry air and it fell through sunlight and through shade, turning in that lonely void until it fell from sight into a sink of cold blue space that absolved it forever of memory in the mind of any living thing that was.” (p. 147)
That is the fate of everyone, unless God intervenes to prevent it.
Ok, yes, the passage of page 147 is inspiring.