Mccarthy's language and control of pace are of the highest quality even in this, his second novel. The tale is an allegorical one of consequence, guilt and fate concerning a brother, Culla, and his sister who bears his son at the novels beginning. Culla takes the baby as his sister recovers and leaves it in a forest glade before returning, claiming it had died and been buried. In the meantime a tinker has chanced upon the boy and taken it. When Cullas lie is promptly found he disappears into the appalchian expanse in search of work while his sister tries to track down the tinker. His sister receives momentus fortune and good-will on her travels while her brother, for his sins, comes across terrible ill-fortune, being suspected of crimes and prompting a hog riot and chancing across many characters who later come to regret meeting him. All the while three savage characters are roaming the land killing and hanging men who have recently strayed across Cullas path. The prose is haunting and subtly gorgeous and the dialogue is truly brilliant. The book is open to interpretation and I wisely recommend you tackle this before his magnum opus, Blood Meridian. A classic book from, in my opinion, the greatest living American writer.