Customer Review

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uncomfortable but enthralling, 31 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Child of God (Paperback)
After reading McCarthy's The Road I knew that I wouldn't enjoy any other subject matter he touched on as much but I was still eager to see if his writing style appealed to me. My second crack at McCarthy was Child of God - the story of Lester Ballard. Ballard is an outcast from society who lives on the fringe and soon finds himself acting in ways unacceptable by society.

The writing style is familiar to The Road - it's bleak yet descriptive. McCarthy manages to be economic with his words yet generous with the detail - which is quite a feat. The story starts without having to build up and it ends just as abruptly. For McCarthy its never about the anticipation of the event - just the event itself. His characters live in the moment and you live with them. It's for that reason that you find yourself almost backing Ballard despite the unspeakable acts he commits. With his punctuation following his own rules its not always free flowing to read at first but you adapt quickly. The conversation pieces didn't work quite as well as The Road - the back and forth of conversation flowed a lot better between the Man and Boy in that book.

Could I recommend Child Of God? Probably not unless you are a McCarthy fan, which it seems I have become. Personally I am finding reading McCarthy like listening to Radiohead. I am not always sure what is being said and why it's being said but the delivery pushes my buttons and appeals to something deep inside. Some people will find the subject matter crass and attention seeking but these are just plot devices that allow us to look into the soul of Lester Ballard - and it's a fascinating view.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Aug 2010 06:48:35 BDT
Manda Moo says:
Your last paragraph hit the nail on the head for me, thank you for helping me to understand why I really loved this book (and The Road), but couldn't quite understand why. It is a Radiohead thing.
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