RARA-AVIS: Southwestern: Cormac McCarthy

From: Michael Robison ( miker_zspider@yahoo.com)
Date: 05 Apr 2004

I haven't read any new southwestern hardboiled here recently but I would repeat my recommendation of Cormac McCarthy. His BLOOD MERIDIAN is spectacular. I guess a disclaimer should go with it. It's extremely violent and brutal. He's been criticized for his florid style, too, but my feeling is that it was done purposely to contrast with the plot, and it does an effective job. I'd like to see a movie adaptation.

Some have pointed to it as a commentary on the United States' policy of western expansionism, but I think they're way off. It is an unflinching and unapologetic comment on the nature of man. Through all the ugly, nasty stuff, there's a majestic beauty and elegance to BLOOD MERIDIAN.

He's also written a western trilogy, which I haven't read but Mario says is good. I saw the movie of the first book, ALL THE PRETTY HORSES. It wasn't bad. Penelope Cruz was certainly looking good.

McCarthy has some other books which lean more towards Southern Gothic than southwestern. I've read CHILD OF GOD, and it's good, too, but not even close to BLOOD MERIDIAN. I'm planning on reading SUTTREE some time this summer.


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