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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 04-22-13

Throwing chert boulders at the dark center

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.

31 of 35 people found this review helpful

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Amazing book, no happy ending

I couldn't stop listening : great dialogue , thrilling scenes. Loved it. Cormac really hit his stride with this, his second novel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The ultimate southern gothic tale.

Fantastic storytelling. This mythical tale of lost wandering wayfarers, dark and darker leads the reader down paths intertwined and alone of lost souls to a dantean finale.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Book

I thoroughly enjoyed this McCarthy book. Great flowing story with lots of mystery and interesting characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not sure

Quite borish and hard to follow, even the narrator seemed bored as he read along...

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  • jacques
  • otterburn park, QC, Canada
  • 06-07-15

very, very disappointed

Any additional comments?

I can scarcely believe thet this is the same author who wrote no country for old men.<br/>This guy gets so lost in detail, he seems to forget he's telling a story. so while he's busy waxing lyrical on the shape of a puff of road dust, or a faraway raven's lonely call, the reader wonders just when someting is going to FINALLY HAPPEN!? <br/>the entire story could have been summed up in about half the time it took to slog through this horrible book. The first paragraph sets the tone and the pace. It sounds like that through the whole book. Listen to the sample. If you can stand it for five minutes, maybe you'll like it.<br/><br/>What little story was included in this depressing seven hour poem was not worth the time.<br/>Also it ends badly, sorry but i hated it.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Why is McCarthy so damn pretentious?

Just like in Blood Meridian, we get countless descriptions of every minute trivial detail, except for when it matters. I know what the dirt on Rinthy's feet looked like, but I have no idea what happened to her. Just like The Kid in Blood Meridian, we're left with really no clue what happened to our main character. To me, that's pretentious, and a big middle finger to the reader, who stuck with the the author all this time, only to be let down. I've tried to like McCarthy, but damn if this book doesn't spoil him for me.

3 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Excellent, but...

I felt like I needed to shower while listening to get the grime of the words off of me. It was as though I was face down in the decaying mud of a bog listening.

I say that as a good thing. This is a vivid story, excellently voiced.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant use of language

Presumably set in northern Tennesee, this story of a brother and sister who are separated and his seach for her and her her search for her "chap", a baby who she was told had died b

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good read

The story was basic but the writing was engaging. McCartney leaves a bad taste in your mouth which makes you wonder what he could do next to shock the audience. Good book overall.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • hfffoman
  • 11-13-13

Bleak but riveting

Any additional comments?

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..

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Péter
  • 05-31-14

A Bad Mens' World

Don't read this one if you haven't already read latest books from the author. 'Outer Dark' is a tipical wrong second novel after a tolerable first book: loads of material with no tangible concept. Incongruent simbolism, exhausting poetry,confused picaresque narration. However you can see traces of the future genius: endless erration on a road to nowhere, hostile landscape, evil locals and dead, dead, dead all along the story. (God will certainly punish Mr. McCarthy for all the babies and young people massacred in his novels) But locks of humour and a minimum of benevolent thinking. Adolescent blood hunger and uncomfortable storytelling. Quite forgettable.

Ed Sala is like a fat country cat, slow and jovial. Very enjoyable!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful