©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 being my first McCarthy book, it caught me somewhat off guard. I won't rehash the storyline here, but I will say that it is a journey through a landscape and time told in vivid detail, through a series of events that are vicious and relentless. Its descriptions of the southwestern landscapes are breathtaking. The accounts of events are masterfully told. The brutality of it all is not for the feint of heart. If you think you've heard stories about roving bandits in the Wild West, this book will offer a whole new perspective.
I would just add that the narration is excellent and effectively buttresses the story. Poe speaks with a cadence that brings the text to life and almost lets you chew on each sentence.
This is Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece. Having said that, the you must prepare yourself for the violence. If there ever was a parable for the constant state of war in which mankind finds itself in, this is it. The characters and episodes border on the edge of realism / surrealism. If you are a fan of McCarthy because of the "The Rosd", this book is a must read, as it lays the foundation of his world view.
Blood Meridian is a difficult read under the best of circumstances. Richard Poe's reading captures the spirit of the novel and helps the listener get past the technical jargon that McCarthy uses so well. I had read the novel many years ago and find that it is best not to worry too much about McCarthy's dense language.
A tough listen, but worth the effort.
I would recommend this audiobook to a friend who has the time to stop and define the various geological formations, challenging diction and Spanish dialogue. If not, this is a challenging text to follow at times.
The story itself is sometimes lost to the detail being provided. If you're looking for a fast paced, action packed, suspenseful novel, I would not recommend this text.
This one is a ponderous, soul wrenching, thinker!
The stunning imagery created by McCarthy floats into my head whenever I look over my own prairie landscape. He spends a lot of time and effort creating the reality of the text for the reader, crafting the mood for each scene. This imagery does, however, at times take away from the pace of the story.
The Judge is a fantastic and haunting character. Richard Poe does an excellent job with all of the dialogue in the text, but the Judge is the most memorable. This is the best read audiobook I've experienced.
The text can be quite confusing at times if you don't have knowledge of a) Spanish b) a wide range of specific geological terms c) civil war & post civil war era terminology. The overall reaction I experienced was often shock and disgust. It is a very dark story, from beginning to end. The reader can't help but let their sight flicker inwards now and again.
Very well written novel but very challenging to fully grasp as an audiobook because of its difficulty.
The author portrays a world of meaningless violent actions and unknown victims. One reading is not enough to hear the words. This book must be witnessed and discussed with other to find any meaning beyond the tail itself.
It felt as if every line was written to be meaningful, and the narrator read it with that emphasis. Unfortunately, this made the pace painfully slow and everything (meaningful or not) blended together. I often drifted off and lost entire sections.
This is my fourth Cormac McCarthy book. I've forced myself through all but The Road. I won't bother again.
Faster paced narration.
McCarthy spends a great deal of time describing scenery, clothing, etc. Some authors use this to bring flavors into the text. He uses it to put the reader to sleep.
Seriously? I should get an award for finishing this book.
Absolutely. The performance alone is worth the listen. Combine this with the lyrical loveliness and awfulness of McCarthy's best work in my opinion and you've got a narrative experience second to none.
The Comanche raid.
His voice and his timing were perfect for McCarthy's work.
I wouldn't dare.
This was one of the best books I have ever "read". Some have compared the writing to poetry of Biblical proportions. I would say that that genius is readily apparent.
Content-wise, the material is extremely dark and graphic, however, not for the purpose of shocking. There is a respectable honesty and maturity all the way through.
The narrator's gritty tone was perfect for the material.
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.
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