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Blood Meridian Paperback – 1 Jan 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 251 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprints edition (1 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330510940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330510943
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Cormac McCarthy's violent lyric masterpiece, Blood Meridian acquires an amoral, apocalyptic dimension through the Miltonic grandeur of the language . . . It is a barbarously poetic odyssey through a hell without purpose. (Irish Times)

McCarthy's achievement is to establish a new mythology which is as potent and vivid as that of the movies, yet one which has absolutely the opposite effect . . . He is a great writer. (Independent)

A bloody and starkly beautiful tale. (Stephen Amidon Sunday Times)

Book Description

‘I have rarely encountered anything as powerful, as unsettling, or as memorable as Blood Meridian . . . A nightmare odyssey’ Evening Standard

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is my first taste of McCarthy and it's encouraged me to read more. There are so many other reviews here, I thought it might be useful to address some of the most common points.

Many deplore the lack of punctuation. I found the absence of speech marks a bit confusing from time to time. It can be hard to tell who is speaking or even if someone is speaking. I'd prefer to have them, but it's not that important.

Other people complain about the numerous long passages of Gnostic theorising. Frankly, if you come to this book expecting an ordinary Western adventure yarn, I can understand that's not what you want, but this book isn't an ordinary Western adventure yarn - anything but. I enjoyed these passages. I also enjoyed the many descriptions of the landscape, which at times seems like a succession of alien planets! Again, others expecting. perhaps, more time spent on the character's thoughts and feelings did not.

Many were turned off by the amount and graphic nature of the violence. some found it upsetting, others felt that it became tedious. I've not read much non-fiction of the time and place in which the story is set, but it is claimed to be based on fact. From what I know of other times and places where people have been in a position to indulge themselves without restraint, it seems entirely plausible. Human beings are capable of behaviour that makes most of us - who have not been close to such things - wonder if they are human at all. At the same time there is Arendt's " banality of evil" wherein those who commit atrocities so often and so long come regard them as routine, almost as chores.

Finally 'the kid' is attacked as being an uninteresting protagonist. We learn very little about him. To me, this seems to be the point.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an novel of the violence and depravity that attended America's westward expansion.
Blood Meridian brilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the "wild west."
Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennessean who stumbles into the nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving.

I found the book fascinating and intriguing.
A good read
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In many ways a remarkable book with some dazzling characters. The ending and other messages are not easily interpreted and I found myself spending 70 mins watching an academic critic on line via YouTube which was fascinating. McCarthy is gifted writer and appears to have astonishing knowledge of geology, bio-diversity, astronomy and vocabulary. My only reason for not giving this5/5 is because the detailed and constant description of landscapes is not entirely interesting, although it does provide a clear visual setting for the experience of the main characters. In that sense, it had a feel of the Ravenant about it. I am glad I read it. if you want to read something well written, unique and can deal with extreme violence then this is for you, but you may need a dictionary at hand!
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By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER on 21 May 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a Cormac MacCarthy fan but had not read his books in chronologic order, Blood Meridian is the most impressive, memorable book I have ever read. It is truly unputdownable (if that really is a word). He writes about the most disturbing and brutal things in such a beautiful and poetic way, that he paints vivid pictures in your mind which stay long after you have finished the book.

All of his books seem to have something sinister or evil in them (with the exception of the slightly autobiographical 'Sutree')but in this one the character of 'The Judge' creates his own league. This character was voted the second most evil creation of all time behind 'Hanibal Lechter'and had he been made life like on film the Judge would have pissed it.

This tells the story of what really was the wild west but set in Mexico, the kid (we never get his real name) takes up with a band of Apache scalp hunters who are basically maniachal murderers. So much happens that a synopsis would either not do justice or act as a plot spoiler. This is not a read for the faint hearted and it is not life affirming, but it is a work of genius and art.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There’s not much I can add here that hasn’t already been said. I’ve slowly been working my way through McCarthy’s novels and after 2 years, I’m still thinking about this book.

It can be hard going but you slowly become used to his minimalist yet highly descriptive writing, with whole paragraphs and pages used to describe something as basic as the sun.

It drags you into a world of darkness, depravity and doom. There are no happy endings in Cormac’s works and this is his coup de grace. There is no hope, only more darkness.

I’m looking forward to reading this again once I’ve finished the Border Trilogy. It has such an impact, and goes down as one of my favourite three novels ever.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good book, however, the biggest problem I had was not being able to read Spanish and quite a few passages in this book were in Spanish, so didn't understand what was being said. Pity.
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