This review is about the Reader - Richard Poe (Do I even need to talk about the book ? It's superb, of course - lets just leave it at that)
Richard Poe is the best narrator for this magnificent work by Cormac McCarthy. Poe has a deep, dire sounding voice which easily does justice to the mysterious, fiery, slaughterous world of Blood Meridian.
But even more than this, his rendering of the characters is superb - the voices of the characters I hear in this recording are almost exactly the same ones I heard in my head when I first read the book. The Judge, The Kid, and all the other characters are beautifully done. The Spanish sections are superb (I don't know if it is authentic Spanish, but it certainly contributes to the atmosphere of the story).
This is not just a guy reading a book, it is a professional actor getting "inside" each character and animating them exquisitely.
I have listened to this over and over again in my car. I highly recommend this Audiobook - its the best one I have heard so far !
I usually can't be bothered writing reviews these days, but I felt compelled to in this case.
Cormac McCarthy is an awesome story teller. Richard Poe is absolutely wonderful as the narrator.
Some authors are predictable in that you KNOW certain characters will not end. I cringe (in a good way) when I read McCarthy because he will end any character, anytime. Sometime in the most unthinkable way possible. Other times, nice and neat.
Dark, depressing, and violent. Not for everyone.
Please dont take my 'title' the wrong way, because Im not a fan of brutality, death, or gruesomeness. (And I must warn you this is a very brutal book). Its like the first time you saw uncensored crime scene photos of a triple murder. Its a slap in the face to see such detail and to witness first hand such a 'reality'. This book does that. It takes whatever mental headlines you may have about 'outlaws', and the mexican/texan/indian fueding and really spells it all out in bloody detail. That said, McCarthy has a beautiful gift of description that keeps you involved. And the characters are grubby, focused, heartless machines that can only collide as they pursue gold and each other. It did remind me of Larry McMurtry's fantastic Lonesome Dove or Comanche Moon in that there are moments that make you uncomfortable, but it gives you a great sense of the lawnessless and destruction that occurs when groups/peoples collide. So please understand that my rating and complete awe of this book is for the craft and beauty of the written work, and not necessarily the subject matter. Now that I finished the book I have a much greater appreciation for what has happened around our borders, and what goes down when there is no such thing as law, just greed. oh and the reader was exceptionally cast. gritty narration for gritty characters and even grittier moments. I was shocked at first and soon 'very engaged' in this narrators performance and this authors words. Happy reading.. erik K
Never thought a writer would make Faulkner look optimistic, but McCarthy has succeeded, and with literary style. Not since listening to Dylan Thomas read his own poetry have I enjoyed so much listening to sheer prosody--a part of all McCarthy novels--just for how it sounds (nice reading by Poe). McCarthy systematically challenges every expectation you have, from word usage, to narrative style, to character development, to world view. While this novel is based on historical facts, he chose a time and place which would allow him to best peel back the thin veneer of civilization and reveal his view of human nature--which is characteristically, relentlessly, brilliantly--bleak. His No Country For Old Men was much better at focusing on the story line and less on sheer description.
I love listening in the car on the way to work. I like history and stuff.
Just an absolute ramble, the narrator captures the feel and the place / time so well. The intro to each chapter is excellent, just a list of words but so powerful. Not sure how the will make this into a movie!
I can taste the Plains in this audio book.
This is "Heart of Darkness" on the American Frontier.
I wonder sometimes when listening to Cormac McCarthy books, whether or not depravity of this caliber really exists within humankind, and to what level civilization would have to fall in order to bring the ugliness into fruition; but I already know the answer.
The answer exists within every mans heart.
After downloading so many dud books that were recommended by friends, I finally found one that stuck with me and made me think, and made me want to research the history of the regions and events detailed in the book. Paints a horrific picture of the scalp trade in the Southwest, but I couldn’t stop listening. So many user reviews on other sites described the vocabulary of the book as being awkward, so I was worried that it may not hold my attention. This wasn’t the case at all. It is a novel, but you can tell that the author researched the locations and cultures of the areas that the story takes place. I enjoyed the “The Road” and now “Blood Meridian.” Don’t get either if you’re looking for a blissful story. The narrator does an outstanding job. 5 stars.
If you like a collection of random western prose, then this is the book for you. McCarthy uses spectacular wording and describes scenes in vivid detail. However, there is gross lack of organization in any story that might have been told in this book. Scenes jump from place to random place. Reminds you of someone telling you "and one time, in band camp" stories. Was a letdown for me.
I had never read McCarthy so this was just a whim. The action is graphic and often horrific; humanity can be bestial and merciless. There is very little human compassion in this book, and there may have been none on the frontier. The prose is often poetic, and the dialogue seems authentically 19th Century -- either monosylabic or ornate depending on one's education. There seems to be no moral, no uplifting lesson, and no deeper meaning to the violence. The Kid only matures in his accumulation of experiences and he does not seem to draw philosophical conclusions from them. He carries the ears of his victims to his (possible) death, so no remorse.The reader is free to read whatever meaning he desires into the events. Most characters die violently except the enigmatic Judge. He is the cause of, and often the solution to, the violence and salvation that occurs (the latter is always fleeting). If you agree that the lot of humanity is cursed, violent, hopeless and without charity, but that we realize that fact, accept it, but perservere nonetheless, then you will appreciate this book. I could not put it down.