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Inferno of the American West,
By A Customer
This review is from: Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West (Paperback)
Cormac McCarthy is our most talented fiction writer and this is his best work. From his initial effort, The Orchard Keeper, which justifiably won the Faulkner Award, through his Border Trilogy (also justifiable honored with the National Book Award), McCarthy has practiced his craft with literary genius and a painful, searing perspective of the American soul. We have a violent past, the product of a violent streak in our character, and McCarthy explodes that violence on the landscape of the Mexican-U.S. border of the 1850's. The reader delves into the lower reaches of human desolation, hoping to eventually see the light reaching back towards the surface but always turning into a chamber that leads further down into renewed horror and degeneracy, each level a new incarnation of this Western Inferno. The fact that McCarthy can evoke beauty and nuance even amidst this unrestrained human carnage is supreme testament to his skills as an artist. This read is a challenge to the willing - as any approach to great art must be. However, it is well worth the effort with its reward of fantastic panoramas of man's descent into a chaotic state, evil outside the metering bounds of civilization, horrifying in its stark portrayal of the dark side of our national character.