©1985 Cormac McCarthy; (P)2007 Recorded Books
“The authentic American apocalyptic novel…I venture that no other living American novelist, not even Pynchon, has given us a book as strong and memorable as Blood Meridian.” (Harold Bloom)
"McCarthy is a writer to be read, to be admired, and quite honestly envied." (Ralph Ellison)
"McCarthy is a born narrator, and his writing has, line by line, the stab of actuality. He is here to stay." (Robert Penn Warren)
This is on the 100 best of the 20th century list. It is not McCarthy's best work. I thought it was weirdly violent and kind of bizarre. I'd say read the Border Trilogy instead.
I have been listening to books on tape for over 20 years. Starting with audio tapes, then CD's and now downloads.
As with all of the stories by Mr. McCarthy this one is dark. The characters are not likeable but one really gets the idea of what type of people came West. The performance was quite good.
I was captivated from the start.
I took this audiobook hiking with me and extended my hike several days in a row to almost total muscle failure because I didn't want to stop the story.
The content is grim, based largely on historic fact, and the narration is great, too.
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.
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