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Suttree Paperback – 1 Jan 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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£9.98 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprints edition (1 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330511238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330511230
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

""Suttree" contains a humour that is Faulknerian in its gentle wryness, and a freakish imaginative flair reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor." --"The Times Literary Supplement" (London) "All of McCarthy's books present the reviewer with the same welcome difficulty. They are so good that one can hardly say how good they really are. . . . "Suttree" may be his magnum opus. Its protagonist, Cornelius Suttree, has forsaken his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat among the inhabitants of the demimonde along the banks of the Tennessee River. His associates are mostly criminals of one sort or another, and Suttree is, to say the least, estranged from what might be called normal society. But he is so involved with life (and it with him) that when in the end he takes his leave, the reader's heart goes with him. "Suttree" is probably the funniest and most unbearably sad of McCarthy's books . . . which seem to me unsurpassed in American literature." --Stanley Booth

Book Description

Suttree contains a humour that is Faulknerian in its gentle wryness, and a freakish imaginative flair reminiscent of Flannery O’Connor’ Times Literary Supplement

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First Sentence
Peering down into the water where the morning sun fashioned wheels of light, coronets fanwise in which lay trapped each twig, each grin of sediment, long flakes and blades of light in the dusty water sliding away like optic strobes where motes sifted and spun. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have loved all the Cormac McCarthy books I've read but this is my favourite.
Like all his books this is a bleak, lonesome tale that inhabits you. Despite its elegaic sadness there is humour and a core human warmth. I read this book almost two years ago and I still miss the key characters.
I urge you to read this book!
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By A Customer on 5 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
Suttree is the name of the character who the book is about, a man who lives on a houseboat in Knoxville and makes a threadbare living as a fisherman. In it's own way it's one of McCarthy's best. The book is very much in the author's distinctive style but there are many more descriptions of suburban settings than some of his books, and he really goes to town! No-one brings out the wild poetry of such places as wastelots, riversides, shanties and city catacombs like him. Suttree meets various characters who live very much 'on the fringe' like him. The dialogue is exceptional and there are some excrutiatingly funny moments. There are also some slower bits but this is fortunate since it helps you not to finish the book too quickly! The themes of the book are similar to 'Tortilla Flat' by Steinbeck, which is also delightful, but this work is much denser and deeper. I can sense that the author is personally very close to this work. If you like Cormac McCarthy, you should do yourself a favour and get hold of this one.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have waited nearly a year to write this review. I have felt totally inadequate when trying to express an opinion of this book that potential readers might find useful. Previous reviewers have pretty much said it all. There was one particularly useful comment. It said, 'this book inhabits you'. It absolutely does.
The book isn't an easy holiday type read, I made extensive use of my new electronic dictonary. There were pages I read three times to try and better understand what I was reading. There is no real plot and it is not possibe to predict where things are going. The writing style takes getting used to as the author seems to make no consession to the reader. Sink or swim.
But, but, but do not let any of these things get in your way of purhasing this book now. Every ounce of effort you pour into this book will be rewarded in spades. It seeps down deep and touches your soul, it leaves its essence in your mind and heart and you will never, ever be released from its spell. There will be times when you will suddenly start and awake from your reading and wonder what magic was that, I was just there, I could see, smell, hear the sounds...
The book haunts my dreams, it stalks my daytime reveries. But oh, I do go on. Buy the book now, I do not doubt that you too will rage about the genius of this work.
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Format: Paperback
My daughter keeps asking me about my favourite things - be it colour, food, place - and I always have to tell her that I really can't choose. But when it comes to my favourite book, there is no hesitation: Suttree. Even more so than The Road (which I re-read annually), Outer Dark, or The Crossing, Suttree is the one book I would take with me if I had to abandon every material possession I own. Everything you need is in there, especially if you are a male of a certain age with a host of unanswered questions about the world. Many of the alleged classics of literature have bored me but this book never fails to surprise and challenge me, which is what all the great works of art that have endured must do. It will be read in 100 years time by the last remnants of humanity sat in the smouldering ashes, thumbing the charred pages and holding their copy with the reverence previously reserved for the Bible. Do not hesitate to order your copy now.
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Format: Paperback
People often ask what your favourite record is, or your top five movies, even your favourite food. I have always found it very difficult to answer these questions, and my answers will change from day to day depending on mood. Now Cormac McCarthy has brought a little certainty to my life. This is WITHOUT ANY SHADOW OF DOUBT my favourite book. It has everything from wry comedy to hideous tragedy, plot driven action to melancholy contemplation. Every adult male will recognise at least a part of himself in these destitute, stinky characters; and a very uncomfortable realization that can be. And to top it all off, the language employed by McCarthy is of the most beautiful expressive nature. I defy anyone to show me an author that can decribe a filthy riverbank, or a pickled vagrant with such obvious love of words. Go on, read it, and disagree if you dare. We are indeed 'whelmed in dark riot'.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I failed in my first attempt at reading Suttree, I'm not sure why. Perhaps it was my own state of mind at the time - I found it depressing. But I'd read all of McCarthy's other work and I picked up Suttree again after a two-year break.

In this novel, more than any of his others, McCarthy seems to work in the way a music composer does. McCarthy's hook, his chorus, is the Tennessee River. Again and again he describes it in all its seasons and moods to the extent I found it to be the main character - bewitching Suttree too, I think. He seems always drawn back to the river's indiscriminate flow as though it is the thread of life itself. Sometimes it provides him with a living, other times it threatens, impersonally, to freeze him to death or suck him under. The river delivers him friends and enemies then moves remorselessly on.

Suttree prefers the daily uncertainty of not knowing whether he will eat, freeze, fry, sink, be attacked, seduced, befriended or bereaved to the standard 'security' most of us recognise. We call it our life though, ironically, Suttree, who never existed, knows better than any what it means to live.
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