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Outer Dark Paperback – 3 Aug 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New edition edition (3 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330314920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330314923
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 931,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

McCarthy is a master stylist, perhaps without equal in American letters . . . In his hands, everything is done with consummate skill. (Village Voice)

A master in perfect command of his medium. (Washington Post)

A true American original. (Newsweek) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

A grand fable of love and loss from one of America’s finest and most celebrated authors

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Outer Dark, Cormac McCarthy's second novel, is an apocalyptic and disturbing story revolving around the separate journey's made by its two protagonists. The book opens with Rinthy Holme baring her brother, Culla's, child. Not wanting the baby Culla leaves it in the woods to die where it is rescued by a tinker. On discovery of this Rinthy sets out to find her child, while Culla embarks on his own ambiguous quest. McCarthy's brilliant novel blurs the line between reality and fantasy, creating some characters who are painfully real and other who seem to have descended straight from hell, itself. The book is full of superb dialogue that is both full of wit and menace, bringing it's characters vividly to life. However despite the humour the novel is shot through with foreboding, and the closer you get to the end the more distant a happy ending becomes. The climax is both shocking and disturbing, and will anger as many as it fascinates. But throughout McCarthy proves, once again, that nobody writes better about difficult rural life and its people. Outer Dark is challenging and bleak. But like all of McCarthy's novels it rewards your time and patience.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second Cormac McCarthy book I've read, my first being "The Road", which I felt to be a pretty bleak piece, though no less rewarding for that. I enjoyed it enough to try another, and picked "Outer Dark" pretty much at random. Within the first few paragraphs, this book had me completely hooked. The story is a very simple one, employing few (if any) plot complexities to keep the reader interested. Instead, it's the rich portrayal of the protagonists, a varied and fascinating cast of supporting characters, and a darkly evocative "Southern Gothic" setting that keep you utterly transfixed and eager for more. Constant throughout is a carefully balanced sense of foreboding which underpins the story as it builds to its somewhat predictable yet devastating conclusion. This is, without a doubt, the best book I have read in the last 20 years, prompting me to order every other work by this highly talented author! If each of them is half as good as "Outer Dark", I have many hours of wonderful reading ahead!
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Format: Paperback
Outer Dark does exactly that - it reaches into the dark spaces on the edge of the reach of light and interleaves fantasy into a story set in the Apalachian Mountains at a time when the trappings of existence are pared to the bone and the characters exist on the very edges of life. Cormack McCarthy writes with energy and conviction, absorbing the reader in a story that is outside his experience in a terrible landscape. The writing is as compact and as barren as the landscape and the era it describes. It is a disturbing tale which tells of a mother's search for her lost child. This becomes the only thing that matters to her and which means that she is willing to endure any amount of hardship in the quest for a child she believed to have died. Not for the fainthearted.
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By Mr. Colin Rankin VINE VOICE on 11 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is more a review of all Cormac Mcarthy's work.
I found Outer Dark a very shocking book,on a parallel with the awful Child of God and,probably,the extremely violent Blood Meridian.
None of the above is meant to say that these books are not great....they are.
Like many,I got into Cormac after the films No Country For Old Men and The Road.I should have got into him a lot earlier.
His writing style is majestic and poetic,maybe even hypnotic.
I have just completed the Border Trilogy and can only praise that also.A bit exhausting,though.But worthwhile.More than....sorry,trying unsuccessfully to write like him.
Back to Outer Dark.
I cried at the end of this.I have never done that before.
I cried at the storyline,I cried for the sister and brother,I cried at how much better a writer he is than I will ever be.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A mythic journey through the darkness of the American South, this novel captures the arctypal rhythm of a country where songs and stories are wedded in blood. The journey that the young girl takes persuing her lost child is astonishing, as are the fury-echoing chasers who hound her brothers trail. This is Southern-Gothic writing at its best. So much richer than anything else on the market so far. If you want to hit the bone and sinew truth of story, to feel the rush and breath in the good air of a culture based on stories and the potency of words, you cannot do better than this. At least not yet.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My first book by the author having watched some films based on his novels and I do seem to have missed the genius that other readers have got. The book to me is just a series of scenes each of which are fine in themselves, but there just doesn't seem to be that much of a point. There isn't any twists, there isn't really any change in pace or anything else. Now I guess that maybe the point and the author is revelling in the bleakness of the setting but it felt at times as if it was a chore to pick up and read a chapter or two.

I've been given another one of his books to read and will give it a go as I would like to experience what other readers have but maybe this will be an author I just don't 'get'.
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Format: Paperback
I came to this having read several of McCarthy's later books. It is fascinating from this point of view, showing some of the earlier themes and images that one finds recurring throughout his work. One doesn't get as close to the characters in this book as in his later work and the author almost seems to want us to keep our distance and reserve our sympathy (this isn't necessarily a shortcoming, its just how it has been written - although I expect some will find it frustrating). The language as in all his work is absolutely superb. The content is fairly chilling but an excellent read.
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