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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