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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars McCarthy Blood and Guts!, 16 May 2013
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This review is from: Blood Meridian (Kindle Edition)
I must first confess that I could not finish reading 'Blood Meridian', I have previously read 'The Border Trilogy', 'The Road', 'The Orchard Keeper', 'Suttree' and 'No Country for Old Men' and I rate McCarthy very highly indeed. He seems to see into the very core of men, what drives them, what they are driven to deal with, what they actually are - almost as a species. In his books you will truly see what 'a man's gotta do' and why. You will also see how the land, the times and the environment shape men and how men are affected by each other. McCarthy's style is uncompromising. If there is blood, there is certainly blood. If bad things happen, they are Bad! If characters speak Spanish, they speak Spanish full stop; there is no translation, no explanation. His style is poetic, that is McCarthy poetry, not prettied-up purple patch prose. If you have not read any before, I recommend looking at the first paragraph of the first page in 'All the Pretty Horses', the first book of The Border Trilogy. You will have to read on.
But I could not take 'Blood Meridian'. It is unremittingly horrific and terrible, unremittingly bloody, unremittingly fear/hate filled and visceral. There is nothing between awfulness and awfulness. - that is at least as far as I read, which is to about a third of the way through. And of course I looked at the ending and saw no light there. As always, the drive to survive is paramount, but it was not easy to care who survived because everyone was bent on survival at all cost and the costs were high. I am told that the setting is historically accurate though I am no expert, and that the book is based on fact. I recognise the skill in the language used, how evocative it is of these brutal situations. I am not a fast reader and refer back and forth as I read but I could not bear prolonged submersion in the world of this book for as long as it would have taken me to complete it.
I have heard that by some this is considered McCarthy's masterpiece, so I am sorry, Mr McCarthy, but it was a feast of a few courses too many and too full of rare red meat for my appetite. Perhaps some day I may try again.
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