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The Sunset Limited: A Novel in Dramatic Form…
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The Sunset Limited: A Novel in Dramatic Form (edition 2006)

by Cormac McCarthy

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4311724,472 (3.76)18
Member:andreadcruz
Title:The Sunset Limited: A Novel in Dramatic Form
Authors:Cormac McCarthy
Info:Vintage (2006), Paperback, 160 pages
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English (16)  Italian (1)  All languages (17)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Potentissimo ed essenziale.
Vette di dialoghi semplicissimi che parlano delle cose piu' difficili del mondo. Un compendio di tutte le religioni; o almeno, della parte che conta.
Niente riti, niente stronzate.
Un distillato di verità, su carta. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
This is minor McCarthy, which is to say still better than most other fiction writers. I enjoyed the hardcore philosophical debate between the suicidal atheist intellectual and the deludedly faithful good samaritan, but wish Cormac had worked in there somewhere the less stereotypical but more realistic figure of the ethical and non-suicidal atheist. After all, he reportedly enjoys hanging out with many such clear thinkers in his resident egghead gig at the Santa Fe Institute. ( )
  AThurman | Dec 7, 2014 |
An arresting and thought provoking two-hander that was (I think) originally written for the stage. It is described as "a novel in dramatic form". "White" is an atheist and suicidal professor rescued from his final act down at the Subway platform by "Black", an ex-convict who has found some salvation in life through his faith in God. (Not a spoiler as the failed suicide is made clear on page one.) Entirely set within the latter's sparse apartment in a rough part of town, there follows an intense and gripping dialogue as the two men discuss pretty much life, the universe, and everything. The closing pages reveal with devastating finality a resolution that one party will struggle immensely with.

It is a thoroughly entrancing situation - where two men believe so absolutely in seemingly incompatible opposites. The existential discussion is well-handled and genuinely moving. It is a brief novel, and probably best experienced as a fully immersive experience where one can give full attention to the brilliantly written script. Despite the subject matter, there are some very funny lines and I really enjoyed this 'listen'. The audiobook narration by Austin Pendleton and Ezra Knight was pitch perfect on both counts.

Part of McCarthy's undeniable brilliance lies with his ability to create with a bare minimum of pages a pair of characters so well-formed and complete with their own intriguing back-stories that the reader not only feels that he or she "knows" them quite well, but also wants to get into the room with them and sit down at the beat-up old kitchen table and join the conversation. I found myself torn agonisingly between both "White"'s and "Black"'s positions and was genuinely pained with the ending. This small book packs a powerful punch. ( )
  Polaris- | Apr 19, 2014 |
If you want to know how good a short (143 pp.) book with larger typeface can be, here you are. McCarthy's The Sunset Limited is a "novel in dramatic form" - a dialogue between two men. One of the men (White) tried to commit suicide by jumping in front of a subway train. The other man (Black) pulled White away from the train and has taken him to Black's apartment, which is where the novel takes place.

What ensues is a discussion of the meaning of life and where it is to be found - if, indeed, it is to be found at all. White, a professor, has come to feel that everything he believed in has proved worthless, while Black, a former junky and ex-con, has been "born again" and finds all value through the Bible.

The discussion swirls around the debate between materialism and idealism: can we base our lives on only that which has substance, can be proved, can be a source of value, or is true value to be found in an abstraction, the idea of what should be of value, a mystery?

No decisive answer has ever been given to this debate, and if anything, McCarthy points out where the lack of an answer leaves us.

This is an incredible book that deserves multiple readings. ( )
  jpporter | Feb 23, 2014 |
This is a great book. Read it when your spirits are high, or when they are in need of a lowering. ( )
  lukeasrodgers | Oct 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
The Sunset Limited is a technically and creatively pedestrian work that falls far short of what readers should expect of a master like McCarthy at this point in his career.
 
“The one thing I won’t give up is giving up,” White says toward the end of the play, his language elevating and his curt sentences expanding into more elaborate musings. This is no mere argument anymore. It’s a poem in celebration of death.
added by eereed | editNew York Times, Jason Zinoman (Oct 31, 2006)
 
As his descriptive writing has, over the decades, economised so his discursive writing has expanded; read The Road as a two-character play with lengthy stage directions, and read The Sunset Limited as an intriguing companion to that work.
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCarthy, CormacAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Knight, EzraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pendleton, AustinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307278360, Paperback)

A startling encounter on a New York subway platform leads two strangers to a run-down tenement where a life or death decision must be made.

In that small apartment, “Black” and “White,” as the two men are known, begin a conversation that leads each back through his own history, mining the origins of two fundamentally opposing world views. White is a professor whose seemingly enviable existence of relative ease has left him nonetheless in despair. Black, an ex-con and ex-addict, is the more hopeful of the men–though he is just as desperate to convince White of the power of faith as White is desperate to deny it.

Their aim is no less than this: to discover the meaning of life.

Deft, spare, and full of artful tension, The Sunset Limited is a beautifully crafted, consistently thought-provoking, and deceptively intimate work by one of the most insightful writers of our time.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:27 -0400)

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An encounter on a New York subway platform leads two strangers to a run-down tenement where a life or death decision must be made. The two men begin a conversation that leads each back through his own history, mining the origins of two fundamentally opposing worldviews.… (more)

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