Friday, March 26, 2010
Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness of the West
So, you know how I had said it feels like I've read a ton of books recently, but had in fact only read one... Well, that was because Blood Meridian made it feel like I was reading a ton of books. That's not to say it was a chore, far from it; it's just that there is not a single word that is wasted by the author Cormac McCarthy.
It's a work that resembles a Greek epic, not only in the story (main character "the kid" joins a group of Indian hunters who travel through Mexico ravaging anything in their way; which is a very short shrifted description) but also in the writing (as I said before, not a word is wasted; there's very little dialogue, tons of setting description, and long flowing sentences packed with archaic metaphors).
The novel also has a historical background, as the group "the kid" joins is based on the Glanton Gang, and Samuel Chamberlain's historical account of his time with the gang- My Confession: The Recollections of a Rogue.
I didn't even realize that it was based on actual events until I finished the book, but either way, once you read the book you'll understand how disturbing that fact is. There are so many random acts of violence and they sneak up on the reader because the text lacks any sensation (there are zero quotations, and you won't find an exclamation point anywhere).
All in all, an outstanding piece of literature that I would recommend to anyone including fatalists and realists; because the book can be read either way.