though i'm not a fan of the chapter headings which are too "detailed" like old style victorian or pre-vic novels, the "in which our hero etc. etc etc." delineating all the vital plot points of the chapters, and i realize this is partially the style he's emulating, i would rather not have any surprises or suspense diluted, this is an excellent novel. think Moby Dick crossed with the Wild Bunch and written by Jerzy Kosinski and you may have a sense of the brutality and yet the philosophically poetic language which pops up. there is depth here to be pondered, but be prepared...
I agree with the other reviewers who think of this author as a masterful writer and an artful conjurer of fantastic and disturbing stories. I also agree with the reviewer who states that this is a book that should be read rather than listened to. Unless you can stay with the story all the way through and not be interrupted or forced to listen to small bits over several weeks, then Maybe you can come away with a satisfying finish. I must admit I was lost half way through. I found it hard to keep track of where the characters were, where they were going and what it was they were supposed to be doing. Maybe it deserves another chance when I have lots of time to devote just to listening.
As a plug, if you like this sort of raw humanity, check out the book One Second After by William Forstchen. It will stir more than just your imagination.
They say McCarthy's knowledge of history is excellent. If this book is an indication, our western history was really tough on those that went through it. This book is the most gruesome one I have encountered. Not as good as McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses, but well worth the entertaining listen.
I initially purchased Blood Meridian in audio form and enjoyed it so much that I have since purchased and read a printed copy. There are few writers capable of using descriptive language as eloquently and with such dexterity as McCarthy, who is without a doubt among the most preeminent writers of our time. His masterful depiction of the setting evokes extremely vivid imagery of the desolate, unforgiving terrain and lifelike characters. After reading Blood Meridian the first time to absorb the story, I read through the book a second time, stopping to pay particular attention to certain phrases and rereading entire scenes in order to fully appreciate the use of language.
The Judge is absolutely one of the most fascinating characters I have come across. His "suzerain" speech is among the most poignant moments in the development of a character I have ever experienced, and one of a number of glimpses into the fundamental nature of this enigmatic, preternaturally intelligent individual.
Blood Meridian, like many Cormac McCarthy novels, will stay with you long after you put it down.
Listened to it twice to better appreciate and enjoy it. So rich, so wonderful. Dark and violent, yes... but that's what the time and place was. I have never encountered such a masterful rendering of the English language. This is the 20th century equivalent of Shakespeare. I read "The Road" also, and it was very good. This book is high art.
Ok ! It was a bloody Vicious ride through hell.With many twists and turns . Mr. McCarthy has a way with words that is beyond anything I have read.
Never before have I so enjoyed a story that contains not a single central character within it who possesses any redeemable characteristics. This is not your fathers tale of the "old west". This is a dirty, brutally violent, frequently shocking tale of how bad the "old west" was.
"The Judge" represents both the white mans conquest of the west, as well as, the personification of EVIL.
To come to terms with this violence described in unrelentless detail and frequency is not possible to our 21st century minds. The face of the brutal wars of the western conquest cannot be reconciled. Yet here we are, the ancestors of these people who defeated Mexicon and tamed the natives. This is a novel about squarely facing our bloody past, without ambiguity. I'm now struggling to view any depiction of evil without the Judge. He is dancing, light on his feet, he thinks he will never die. McCarthy makes the connection at the conclusion to the ambiguous main character, to us, to our silent violent past and our continuence of the western ethic, to this day. Brilliant reading and narration. I'm far from being over this one.
I love McCarthy's writing style, and have read (or listened to) most of his books. My personal favorite is "The Road". Absolutely stunning!
But "Blood Meridian" seems to be missing something. As well written as it is, I don't think it has the same consitency and cohesive thread that "The Road" has. It seems to be a story that meanders back and forth, which makes it difficult to keep up with.
It seems to go nowhere at times, so I removed one star for that.
However, the narration is very good and fits the atmosphere of the story perfectly... and atmosphere is where McCarthy really shines. I suppose you could listen to this audiobook simply for the graphic and stunning (at times very violent) atmosphere, but I usually look for more of a plot in a novel, and more story development.