RARA-AVIS: CHILD OF GOD, Cormac McCarthy 1973

From: Michael Robison ( zspider@gte.net)
Date: 02 Mar 2003

Kinda late so I need to make this quick. I just finished McCarthy's CHILD OF GOD. I read BLOOD MERIDIAN about a year ago and I would rank it in the top ten books I've ever read.

CHILD OF GOD fits the Southern Gothic subgenre. Very dark and twisted. Beautifully written. I was in the middle of Dos Passos' 42ND PARALLEL when I started CHILD OF GOD, and it was refreshing to read good prose. Dos Passos is telling a moderately interesting story, but I can't stomach his style.

Anyway, back to CHILD OF GOD. It was good. Really good. Nothing close to BLOOD MERIDIAN, though. A hillbilly named Lester Ballard loses his land at the beginning and wanders the hills of Eastern Tennessee as a dispossessed soul. McCarthy's strange florid yet taut style is mesmerizing. He excels at portraying the depth to which humanity can sink. Sordid and funny at the same time. And sad, too.


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