Believe me, this is Cormac's best novel. Better than Blood Meridian; better than The Road; better than No Country, etc. etc. Why do I say this? Well, this has a density that his other books don't have. And they're wonderful works, wonderfully written and with Something To Say. But this is special. His masterpiece. It seems it took him something like 30 years to write it. It shows. It's a prose poem, it's devastatingly funny at moments, it's often devastatingly tragic, and it has moments of pure poetry. The setting is perfectly captured; you're there, you can smell the Tennessee river and see colors and feel the heat or the cold of the days that Cornelius Suttree spends in McAnally Flats with the other misfits who manage to survive (not always) in the most destitute part of Knoxville. But it is not just a belated realistc book; it's a book that manages to tell a story by omitting a lot, and it's also another version of a very old myth, that of the Fisher King. And yeah, it's full of Eliot's Waste Land.