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Blood Meridian Audiobook

Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

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Publisher's Summary

Author of the National Book Award-winning All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy is one of the most provocative American stylists to emerge in the last century. The striking novel Blood Meridian offers an unflinching narrative of the brutality that accompanied the push west on the 1850s Texas frontier.

©1985 Cormac McCarthy; (P)2007 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (2969 )
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4.5 (2289 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Howard Grove City, PA, United States 12-26-11
    Howard Grove City, PA, United States 12-26-11 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great writer, but is there a point here?"

    No question Cormac is tops with words. But I kept wanting to go back and re-listen, thinking I must have missed something, because I had no idea what the book was trying to convey. Does a theme of raw human brutality on the wild frontier have some transcendent purpose I am too thick-headed to apprehend? Apparently so. One good thing about this kind of audio is that if I ever run out of fresh things to listen to, I can always put this on and enjoy McCarthy's word craft. But if there was some "take away" in this, I missed it. Really liked The Road and will probably listen to No Country at some point cause I loved the movie. But then again, there are a number of highly acclaimed works that I have failed to "get."

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C.J.R Flanagan Bathurst, Australia 09-19-12
    C.J.R Flanagan Bathurst, Australia 09-19-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hypnotic"

    I initially purchased Blood Meridian in audio form and enjoyed it so much that I have since purchased and read a printed copy. There are few writers capable of using descriptive language as eloquently and with such dexterity as McCarthy, who is without a doubt among the most preeminent writers of our time. His masterful depiction of the setting evokes extremely vivid imagery of the desolate, unforgiving terrain and lifelike characters. After reading Blood Meridian the first time to absorb the story, I read through the book a second time, stopping to pay particular attention to certain phrases and rereading entire scenes in order to fully appreciate the use of language.

    The Judge is absolutely one of the most fascinating characters I have come across. His "suzerain" speech is among the most poignant moments in the development of a character I have ever experienced, and one of a number of glimpses into the fundamental nature of this enigmatic, preternaturally intelligent individual.

    Blood Meridian, like many Cormac McCarthy novels, will stay with you long after you put it down.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G Wallace 04-06-09
    G Wallace 04-06-09 Member Since 2010

    I love me some audiobooks

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fresh Hell"

    I agree with the other reviewers who think of this author as a masterful writer and an artful conjurer of fantastic and disturbing stories. I also agree with the reviewer who states that this is a book that should be read rather than listened to. Unless you can stay with the story all the way through and not be interrupted or forced to listen to small bits over several weeks, then Maybe you can come away with a satisfying finish. I must admit I was lost half way through. I found it hard to keep track of where the characters were, where they were going and what it was they were supposed to be doing. Maybe it deserves another chance when I have lots of time to devote just to listening.
    As a plug, if you like this sort of raw humanity, check out the book One Second After by William Forstchen. It will stir more than just your imagination.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Houston, TX, United States 11-02-11
    Mark Houston, TX, United States 11-02-11 Listener Since 2009

    I am a reading omnivore. Classics, non-fiction, history, locavore, mysteries. I read it all.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a bitter disappointment"

    First of all, let me say that I am an unabashed admirer of everything else I've read or listed to by Cormac McCarthy. This includes the Horses trilogy, No Country for Old Men and the Road. He is an almost singular literary beacon in these times. I admire his quality of prose, discriptive abilities, use of word and language structure to convey meaning beyond the words.

    Blood Meridian, however, I found a mess of an early effort in his evolution. The key challenge for me was repetition. While lots of things happen (and I understand that McCarthy's focus is on spiritual rather than literal character development) the book seemed to lack a clear plot or any character development. Literature benefits when each event creates some change in plot or character. The endless repetitive brutal episodes in this book do not cause change. In sum they do but we as readers don't need 90% of them.\

    Bottom line: I kept wondering why I was continuing to listen to this when nothing seemed to be happening, even when terrible things were happening every minute.

    Stick to the later works.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darryl 05-15-09
    Darryl 05-15-09 Member Since 2008
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    "unflinching and beautifully written"

    though i'm not a fan of the chapter headings which are too "detailed" like old style victorian or pre-vic novels, the "in which our hero etc. etc etc." delineating all the vital plot points of the chapters, and i realize this is partially the style he's emulating, i would rather not have any surprises or suspense diluted, this is an excellent novel. think Moby Dick crossed with the Wild Bunch and written by Jerzy Kosinski and you may have a sense of the brutality and yet the philosophically poetic language which pops up. there is depth here to be pondered, but be prepared...

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 09-10-13
    Elizabeth 09-10-13
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    "So grim"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Some kind of quality in the characters with which to identify


    What was most disappointing about Cormac McCarthy’s story?

    I usually love his work. This one got me not at all.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen West Chester, OH, USA 07-03-07
    Stephen West Chester, OH, USA 07-03-07
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    "Entertaining Historical Listen"

    They say McCarthy's knowledge of history is excellent. If this book is an indication, our western history was really tough on those that went through it. This book is the most gruesome one I have encountered. Not as good as McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses, but well worth the entertaining listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Atlanta, GA, USA 05-26-09
    Joshua Atlanta, GA, USA 05-26-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Masterful"

    Brutal, stark, and beautiful.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott 01-17-17
    Scott 01-17-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Violent and Haunting"

    Equal parts disturbing and entertaining, this is not for the faint of heart. But I guess that's the whole point of the story. The Judge is one of the most chilling characters ever rendered.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ross 05-07-16
    Ross 05-07-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Long, brutal, and mostly aimless"

    I decided to read this book after finishing Cormac McCarthy's The Road, which was perhaps the most profound novel I have read for years. When I saw that Blood Meridian, not The Road, is widely considered to be McCarthy's masterpiece, I had to check it out.

    I'm sad to say that I was very disappointed. In true McCarthy style, the book is written in vivid prose that relies heavily on similes. Some of the scenes--the Indian attack on the dry lake, for instance--are among the most skillfully illustrated scenes I've ever encountered, and their breathtaking imagery will remain with me for a long time.

    Unfortunately, McCarthy's unique talent with words and cadence is not enough to overcome the book's failings. Perhaps because of the history upon which it is based, the book's plot is threadbare. There is no readily discernible arc or story or conflict. The book's main character disappears for hours at a time, removing all feelings of investment on the part of the reader. The book is, with only a few exceptions, comprised of repeated and verbose descriptions of wandering in a desert waste punctuated by scenes of perhaps the most grotesque violence in modern fiction. There were scenes in Blood Meridian that were so horrific and depraved that I nearly abandoned the book.

    But unlike the violence in The Road, which serves to convey an important statement about the nature of men and to create a contrasting background against which McCarthy paints the goodness of the man and the boy, Blood Meridian's violence strikes me as gratuitous revelry. McCarthy seems to bask in the blood and cruelty, lingering for far too long on scenes of terrible evil without ever offering a balance. There are no good men in Blood Meridian, only oppressive, repeated, unspeakable evil. There are no real protagonists or characters with whom readers can identify or connect. There are just bad men who offer varying degrees of evil, and who ride around the desert committing atrocities. The book suffers immensely for this lack of moral grounding. It becomes a lacerating, demoralizing slog toward no particular goal or closure. Perhaps McCarthy wished to make a statement by writing the book this way, but I found that it greatly diminished my ability to become connected with the story or the characters in any meaningful way.

    The sole saving grace on the character front is the Judge. Preternaturally intelligent and entirely amoral, he is perhaps the most enigmatic character I've ever encountered. Literature classes all over the country have puzzled over the Judge and his role. Is he God? Is he the devil? Is he simply the incarnation of the entirety of man? Is he even real? The character McCarthy created in Holden is simply brilliant, and I found myself simultaneously intrigued and repulsed by him. The book's closing chapters focus heavily on the Judge, and are arguably the best portion of the entire novel.

    I will give the story two stars because of McCarthy's raw prowess with language, the fascinating case study in evil and knowledge offered by the Judge, and the strength of the final chapters. Overall, though, I struggled to enjoy the book. And given its length, that is a real problem.

    One final point: The narrator did an outstanding job interpreting, coloring, and bringing to life McCarthy's often impenetrable prose. Five stars for narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • anthonyunionjackson
    Surbiton, United Kingdom
    5/6/09
    Overall
    "Better than 'The Road'..."

    What an intense read (listen)! Written around '85 Blood Meridien has the same desolate intensity and horror which we have seen more recently with The Road. An amazing listen

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Christopher
    United Kingdom
    7/22/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliantly disturbing..."
    Any additional comments?

    McCarthy has managed to create the most hopeless and bleak world in modern literature. A must listen, but not for the faint-hearted.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • emma lane
    5/8/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Confusing ...started great...then I was lost."

    Narrator was faultless as usual. story started great , toward the middle I had hardly a clue what was going on and I don't know what happened in the end. I'm left confused.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • dp litchfield
    1/30/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very bleak"

    brexit or trump getting you down? listen to how much worse life can get in this bleak tale from the western frontier. then everything else will get a serene, sunny disposition

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • N. Robinson
    earth
    1/21/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "brutal and brilliant. apocalyptic and awesome."

    brutal and brilliant apocalyptic and awesome dangerous and poetic funny and tragic. the judge is a fantastic literary character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • KennethO'Rourke
    1/6/17
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    Performance
    Story
    "classic McCarthy"

    the existential elements which are throughout the story lost me sometime but I wouldn't hesisate to recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ron
    London, United Kingdom
    12/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "sound too low."

    sound too low.

    for some reason a review needs 20 words in the app, really.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul McAviney
    12/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sometimes he wandered off on nonsense talk"

    I enjoyed the overall story and I enjoyed the many little pieces of history that told me how violent and inhuman the whites could also be during that terrible time. Sometimes we forget that.

    However at times the author went off on very long raving pieces from the thoughts of the Judge and they just didn't make any sense to me at all. I even tried replaying and understanding but still a lot of it seemed gibberish to me.

    Maybe I'm stupid or maybe he ruined a good storybook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ben
    12/8/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing"

    Best Mcarthy novel. Best American novelist alive today. The violence might be too much for some, but it's an accurate reflection of the times. Brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sam
    11/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully haunting."

    There isn't always a happy ending. We have all been The Kid, and we have all seen The Judge.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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