Monday, December 16, 2013

Review: "Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy

Many times I have said that Cormac McCarthy is one of the most overrated writers in America, and after reading his book Blood Meridian, what many critics say is his best book and best example of his talent, I still stand by that conviction. If anything, this novel proves it. What should have been a simple yet effective story about violence as kind of baptismal sacrament gets overstuffed to the gills with so many archaic words and dry descriptions that it is no wonder that Harold Bloom loves this book so much. It practically reveals in its ancient quality and that it sometimes reads like the worst chapters in the bible. The only really good thing that I can take away from this book is its descriptions of violence, which are quite poetic as described by McCarthy’s prose. It just makes me wish the narrative wasn’t as silly as it. The narrative is very loose, dealing with a young man, referred to only as “the kid” as he runs away from his home life and joins a group of violent outlaws marauding through the Texas-Mexico boarder, with the dangerous and terrifying “judge” a few steps behind them. What the book reminded me most of was Daniel Woodrell’s Civil War novel, Woe to Live On, which contained a similar approach to violence, treating it as a way of life, as something that can happen in an instant and be over with even quicker, leaving no time to mourn. But while the prose in that novel is always delightful and unpretentious, this book feels like you are chewing on sand, using words no one would has heard in centuries to describe a landscape, making the unfortunate gap between dialogue and prose painfully noticeable. Some people, even friends I respect, like him. I simply do not.
Rating: 3/5

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