Blood Meridian (Contemporary classics) Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook, Classical
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Cormac McCarthy is now the greatest American novelist --The Times<br /><br />It's 1849 and the 14-year-old nameless "kid" has drifted into the violent life of an outlaw band of bloodthirsty Indian hunters on the Texas-Mexico borders. Grotesque characters play out their roles against an unforgiving landscape. The understated southern drawl is just right, suggesting the symbolic richness of McCarthy's language. --Rachel Redford, The Observer
Voiced here with slow deliberation, the nightmarishly enigmatic Judge - a man who declares he feels the personal freedom of birds as a personal insult - is a presence I'm finding horribly difficult to shake. --Bella Todd, Time Out
Having thought that no book could ever be as harrowing or as frightening as McCarthy's apocalyptic Pulitzer prize-winning The Road (I finished it at 3am sitting up in bed with the light on), here's an even bleaker story about man's inhumanity to man. It's set in the familiar Tex-Mex territory of All the Pretty Horses, his best book, and its hero, the kid, like John Grady Cole, is a 16-year-old drifter who pretty much lives in the saddle. There, alas, the resemblance ends this is definitely not a love story. It's an allegory about survival, lawlessness and natural justice. The kid, who's been living, scavenging, fighting, killing, surviving on his own since he was 12, heads for the Apache wars circa 1840 in the legendary Wild West and joins a troop of mercenaries paid in gold for Indian scalps. The battle scenes are absolutely terrifying. Bullets, arrows, decapitated heads flying, the braves daubed with war paint, some naked, some wearing the looted clothing of their victims US army jackets, whalebone corsets and ruffled shirts the Americans by now so blood-crazed and inured to violence that they massacre Indians, Mexican peons and peaceful settlers indiscriminately. McCarthy's prose is compelling, a potent mix of stark and lyrical: The night sky lies so spread with stars that there is scarcely space for black at all and they fall all night in bitter arcs and it is so that their numbers are no less. The little prairie wolves cry all night and dawn finds him in the grassy draw where he'd gone to hide from the wind. The hobbled mule stands over him and watches the east for light. The sun that rises is the colour of steel, his mounted shadow falls for miles before him. Brilliant, but not for the faint-hearted. --Sue Arnold, The Guardian
Cormac McCarthy's violent lyric masterpiece --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The extreme (and random) violence of the novel's many gore-infested passages is too much for many stomachs, but then again life in all its raw honesty often is. Ironically for a novel dealing mainly with death and desolation, the finely-honed prose cascades and sparks off the page like a Catherine wheel, literally taking this reader's breath away.
Throughout, the novel is bestrode by the looming figure of Judge Holden, awesome and terrible, all-knowing yet uncaring, omnipotent and omnipresent, an 1850s reworking of the devil.
Read this novel for the stark beauty of its prose, read it for the terror created by the graphic descriptions of the violence man can - and does - commit on man, read it for the surprising amount of dry, laconic humour in the dialogue, read it to discover the Judge, one of literature's great creations. But read it.
McCarthy's entry to the Glanton gang comes through two characters. The first is the Kid, who joins up in his mid-teens and participates in its gruesome crimes. The second is Judge Holden, who dominates the gang and has a philosophical view of its random violence.
In McCarthy's hands, the story of the Glanton gang is like a psychopathic road novel, which is held together with genius-quality poetic writing. Read BM and be captured by McCarthy's immense talent as the gang traverses the Southwest and northern Mexico. I open BM at random (the start of Chapter 14) and find:
"All to the north the rain had dragged black tendrils down from the thunderclouds like tracings of lampblack fallen in a beaker and in the night they could hear the drum of rain miles away on the prairie. They ascended through a rocky pass and lightning shaped out the distant shivering mountains and lightning rang the stones about and tufts of blue fire clung to the horses like incandescent elementals that would not be driven off. Soft smelterlights advanced upon the metal of the harness, lights ran blue and liquid on the barrels of the guns. Mad jackhares started and checked in the blue glare and high among those clanging crags jokin roehawks crouched in their feathers or cracked a yellow eye at the thunder underfoot.Read more ›
The setting is the West and Mexico around the period of 1847, and the license to kill without discrimination is enabled by the Judge's charter of killing and scalping renegade Indians for bounty. If that was all that this group did, perhaps the reader could make some allowance for the portrayed actions, but it quickly becomes apparent that anyone is a target, regardless of guilt, innocence, age, occupation, race, gender, or prior actions. The book becomes a dark celebration of violence for violence's sake.
The Kid, fourteen years old at the start of this book, is the nominal protagonist, drawn into the Judge's group mainly because he had nothing better to do, without other skills or any ambitions. And he is practically the only ray of light within this whole concoction, as he (once or twice) actually shows a little feeling for persons besides himself.
The Judge is an enigmatic super-something, ageless, multilingual, educated, interested in ecology, and much larger than life. Who (or what) the Judge is is clearly central to this book's theme, but he certainly can stand as an avatar of an element of human nature that most people would rather not think about.
McCarthy's prose is very distinct, with odd syntax, unquoted dialogue, and considerable use of some rather rare words. His descriptions of the country are, in some places, nearly prose poems.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of those books that really sucks you in to the landscape, I got thirsty reading McCarthy's descriptions of the desert terrain! Read morePublished 6 hours ago by Tim M.
I've not read anything quite like this before.
At times it was one of the hardest books I've read. Read more
Oooh that was a tough read, incredible writing with huge landscapes and characters, the Indian ambush was terrifying.Published 2 months ago by Leo P. Wirtz
Blood Meridian is a Western, but not a pleasant one. It explores the inhumanity that accompanied the lawless Wild West, where men viciously hunted one another. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Alisha
Quite boring to be fair.
I have never given up on a book as many times as I have this one. Read more
One of the nest novels I have ever read. I can only really describe it as the Odyssey meets the great American Western frontier. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Tris
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... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Brian S A Carter