Outer Dark is a novel at once fabular and starkly evocative, set is an unspecified place in Appalachia, sometime around the turn of the century. A woman bears her brother's child, a boy; he leaves the baby in the woods and tells her he died of natural causes. Discovering her brother's lie, she sets forth alone to find her son. Both brother and sister wander separately through a countryside being scourged by three terrifying and elusive strangers, headlong toward an eerie, apocalyptic resolution.
©1968 Cormac McCarthy (P)2013 Recorded Books
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
I keep reading Cormac McCarthy to find a single crack of light in his dark, grotesque lyricism. 'Outer Dark' as a novel is unconventional and amazing. The story was allegorical without being stiff, it was regional without being provincial. Like most all of McCarthy's work, it is Biblical in its power and intensity.
In 'Outer Dark', McCarthy is throwing chert boulders at the dark center of the Universe. He isn't interested in little themes. Even in his small books he is taking on ideas as large and slippery as fate, guilt, agency, and God. Structurally, Outer Dark was drum-tight. The prose and the vernacular/archaic dialogue were both crisp and amazing. 'Outer Dark' is prose art at a high-level and it scared the literary Hell out of me.
"Bleak but riveting"
An extremely bleak story but so well written as to be entirely absorbing. The dialogue is so good I cannot think of any novelist who surpasses it. The reading is perfect for the book, so gritty you feel you are right there among these wiry people, tough as worn out boots. Ed Sala is a true performer, bringing out the dialogue perfectly. I will look for more books he has done..
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