©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)
Commonly felt to McCarthy's masterpiece and a classic of American literature, this novel set in American wild west is dark and murderously violent, but the language is beautiful and poetic with a ruggedness that mimics the landscape. There are no heroes in the book and the main character, "the kid", is as blood thirsty, cruel and violent as all in the Glanton gang, but the anti-hero is "the Judge". Huge, pale, completely hairless and often naked, he is well read, educated and interested in all there is to learn. He is also supremely sadist, a child molester and child killer and kills or evokes killing purely for his own entertainment. His influence on the gang and on "the kid" lead down an ever increasingly violent path.
This book shows the birth of America not out of hard work, enterprise and strong values, but out of murder, killing and war - man's desire for war and the evil that lurks in men. The native Americans, Mexicans and even the buffalo are all slaughtered as the characters plunder and rampage through America's beginnings.
The language is extraordinary and incredibly, vast and amazingly descriptive - awe provoking. The reading of this is perfect. Poe brings the language to life, his accent, tones and understated reading is just brilliant.
I cannot recommend this book enough and I will no doubt listen to this again (in a while after recovery), but this is absolutely NOT a book for everyone.
WOW...I've got to get the print of this book and read it, then listen to it again, then read it again. Absolutely one of the best McCarthy books out there. Brutal doesn't describe adequately the vision he gives you of this period of our country and history.
Richard Poe delivers an excellent performance!! Well worth the credit spent.
The story is good but has the flavor of a feaver dream. It is an acquired taste.
Audible makes me love being stuck in traffic :)
Tells a good story, with an ending that both resolves the story but also leaves some questions for the reader. It's written in the typical, hard-to-read McCarthy fashion, but you get used to that the more you read him. It helps to read his books close together as well.
One warning--this story is very dark and gruesome, which is only accentuated by McCarthy’s poetic style. I love any story that moves me—whether it horrify me, make me cry, make me proud, laugh out loud, whatever. This story will horrify you.
My favorite McCarthy is still, hands down, The Road. It’s actually one of my favorites ever. Don’t watch the movie, though. Awful.
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.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives only one.” (George R. R. Martin)
I would but it's not for everyone. It's more for fans of literature.
The complete dismantling of the genre. I don't generally like traditional Westerns.
There were a bunch of good scenes. I don't really have one favorite.
Probably the Judge. He is unlike any character I've come across in literature.
Blood Meridian is considered McCarthy's masterpiece and Richard Poe’s narration is a perfect fit. The book’s brutality and pervasive violence might put some off but it could be viewed as a part of the time the story takes place in, the U.S. South West of the early 19th century, and the world that the characters inhabit. This is not the old-West of John Wayne and Rio Bravo. It’s more a dystopian, nightmare version of a Western – and after listening to this tale it makes other Westerns seem almost childish and stale. McCarthy’s prose is as good as any I’ve ever read or listened to. It’s also one of the few novels that I’ve actually re-listened to.
I'll only add that Richard Poe's extraordinary skill as narrator will be, I think, a cause of gratitude and source of great pleasure for those who miss Frank Muller. Poe is no copycat, but there is still a similarity of vocal strength, fluidity, nuance, and deeply intelligent understanding of the text that followers of Muller will revel in. I did, anyway, and that was on the very heels of listening to All the Pretty Horses and Cities of the Plain (1.2.3; back-to-back). I hope Poe wouldn't mind the comparison; I'd have been stunned by the skill if I'd never heard Muller. To Guidall, Muller, and Patton, I add Poe; and I hope he gets a lot of good, strong, deep texts in the future.
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.
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