Or the Evening Redness in the West
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"The fulfilled renown of Moby-Dick and of As I Lay Dying is augmented by Blood Meridian, since Cormac McCarthy is the worthy disciple both of Melville and Faulkner," writes esteemed literary scholar Harold Bloom in his Introduction to the Modern Library edition. "I venture that no other living American novelist, not even Pynchon, has given us a book as strong and memorable."
Cormac McCarthy's masterwork, Blood Meridian, chronicles the brutal world of the Texas-Mexico borderlands in the mid-nineteenth century. Its wounded hero, the teenage Kid, must confront the extraordinary violence of the Glanton gang, a murderous cadre on an official mission to scalp Indians and sell those scalps. Loosely based on fact, the novel represents a genius vision of the historical West, one so fiercely realized that since its initial publication in 1985 the canon of American literature has welcomed Blood Meridian to its shelf.
"A classic American novel of regeneration through violence," declares Michael Herr. "McCarthy can only be compared to our greatest writers."
From the Hardcover edition.
This is the best book I've ever read. The closest comparison I can come up with for this novel is a melding of the Old Testament and Apocalypse Now in the setting of the American Western Frontier. I guess you might call it a western, but the book encapsulates the brutality of the human condition on both an individual and societal level, applicable to any culture in history. This is McCarthy's best work...I think one of the best works written in the 20th century.
Not bad...not great
Somewhat disappointed as i obviously had very high expectations. Good characters and good story, just not in the realm of "greatest book ever". Wouldn't be in my top 50. Not the easiest read either as it bogs down a bit in parts. Good, violent, western though.
One of most unforgiving books I've ever read...
I've muscled through some incredibly tough books in the past but nothing yet has come close to the beauty and harshness of this novel. It's a black-hole of tale with no payback, redemption, or light. I don't regret reading it at all, but I'll never re-read it and I could never recommend it to anyone in good conscience.