HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in…
Loading...

Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West (1985)

by Cormac McCarthy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,643156565 (4.2)261
  1. 90
    Moby Dick by Herman Melville (dmsteyn)
    dmsteyn: Judge Holden's character was based on the monomaniacal Captain Ahab of Melville's novel.
  2. 60
    All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (sturlington)
  3. 10
    Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather (GCPLreader)
    GCPLreader: contrast Blood Meridian to Cather's moving, more gentle tale of honorable wanderings of priests in new mexico in 1850's
  4. 01
    Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry (WSB7)
    WSB7: Strong perspectival imagery overhanging(pursuing?)a doomed hero.
  5. 01
    The Life and Times of Captain N. by Douglas J. Glover (Sethgsamuel)
    Sethgsamuel: Shamelessly violent, very poetic and beautiful western.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 261 mentions

English (146)  Italian (4)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (157)
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
Blood Meridian starts off as one of the most promising novels I've had the pleasure of laying my eyes on. The detail is beautiful, the language is stupefying, and you feel as though you are in for a pleasurable read. However, this begins to unravel as you read on; the pages quickly becoming too tedious to read.
While the language is beautiful, the grammar is horribly done. It seems purposeful, but commas are non-existent and you have to read VERY carefully to not get lost in the story. While it's interesting in the beginning, after a while, analyzing every word becomes more of a job rather than just reading for fun. Another giant problem is that 2/3rds of the novel are just descriptions of the settings and characters, and these descriptions are painfully boring to read. The interactions between characters and action scenes are written beautifully but the 2/3rds that are dedicated to settings drag on, and quickly become an annoyance.
All of the character's mysteriousness is also a rather lazy characterization style. None are well written, except possibly The Judge. I didn't care about any characters, and I understand they are evil bastards, but I also didn't care about what they do or will do. The protagonists switch between The Kid, The Judge, and Glanton, and you grow to care about none of them.
The actions scenes were interesting for the first two battles, but after a while it all becomes the same stuff. One side wins, the other rides away quickly, one side chases the other down and kills them. Like I said, it was interesting at first, but quickly grows boring. The city scenes are also repetitive and dull, and I don't know if these are supposed to represent the repetition of war but this story really bored me. The repetition of the results of the battles may be due to the Judges demon-like characterization, but it still feels empty and boring.
There is no story within the novel, which I normally don't mind, but with nothing else to make this novel feel worth the read, I wished there was a story to maintain my interest.
I feel guilty for not liking this novel because everyone loves it, and I started out loving it also, but now I just feel disappointed that I got bored. ( )
  Vlady | Mar 10, 2015 |
This is the second novel by McCarthy that I've read after having read The Road a few years ago. I love McCarthy's characteristic "simple" writing style. His words and descriptions flow easily, he uses great imagery and metaphors and even the dialogue is done well in it's unadorned quote-less structure. Blood Meridian is a terribly violent and interesting novel. Simply put, I wasn't ready for it. I realize that much of the nuances and allusions made in the novel go beyond me and it wasn't until watching some videos and reading discourses on the novel afterwards I now realize how much I didn't understand. That said, I still enjoyed the novel very much. Judge Holden is a superb character. The environment just comes through the story so well that you feel you're right there with the characters. The "hero" doesn't take the focus of the reader's attention and sometime you forget he's actually there. This book begs for a re-read without question as well. Would definitely recommend this book to others. ( )
  briandarvell | Feb 13, 2015 |
Review: This is a novel of the American West, the true story not the romantic story. In the style of McCarthy, it is violent and sparse, Biblical tone and in the style of no punctuation that McCarthy is known. It follows the Kid who leaves home at 14 and joins up with a gang that is murdering Indians for their scalps. It is based on the historical events that took place in 1850s along the Texas-Mexico border. I asked myself, can this really be true or did the author use poetical license so he could sell books. This is what wiki has to say… “McCarthy conducted considerable research to write the book. Critics have repeatedly demonstrated that even brief and seemingly inconsequential passages of Blood Meridian rely on historical evidence. The Glanton gang segments are based on Samuel Chamberlain's account of the group in his memoir My Confession: The Recollections of a Rogue, which he wrote during the latter part of his life. Chamberlain rode with John Joel Glanton and his company between 1849 and 1850. The novel's antagonist Judge Holden appeared in Chamberlain's account, but his true identity remains a mystery. Chamberlain does not openly appear in the novel.”

Themes: Man is violent, the war like nature of man. ( )
  Kristelh | Dec 24, 2014 |
Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian is not directed to the inattentive (or squeamish) reader. It can seem abstruse and unreadable at times, and contains a lot of Spanish that is not translated. Rather than be put off, however, I found the writing to be extraordinary.

McCarthy’s grandiloquence is reminiscent of Faulkner in A Fable or Melville in Moby Dick. When he is not waxing eloquent, McCarthy writes simple direct sentences, albeit with an elevated vocabulary. Indeed, much of the book consists of the simple dialog of uneducated cowboys, accurately and slangily rendered. Moreover, the events described are harrowing in the extreme, enough to rivet the attention of any reader with handy access to an unabridged dictionary in both English and Spanish.

The story is about white scalp-hunters in the American southwest in the id-19th Century. The principal protagonist is an incredibly tough and resourceful unnamed “kid,” who joins a company of savage white Indian hunters. They have contracted with the Mexican government to kill pesky Apaches. The company is paid by the scalp (or sometimes the entire head) of their victims. Lest we sympathize too much with the Native Americans, what they do to their human prey [in this story, at any rate] is even more horrific.

The kid is marginally more moral than most of his companions, who kill not only the target Apaches but also the occasional hapless Mexican or their horses, mules, or dogs when it suits them. McCarthy’s universe, however, seldom awards good deeds although it often punishes bad ones. The company comes to a bad end when it lets down its guard and is decimated by the Yuma tribe. The survivors do a pretty good job of further reducing their number as they turn against one another in a desperate effort to salvage gold, weapons, horses, and water.

McCarthy excels at materializing his landscapes; the Sonora Desert figures prominently in this book in the way it imposes hardships on all the living things that pass through it. In the 19th century, it was a hellish land in which only tough, harsh people prospered or even endured. Having lived in Tucson for ten years, I can vouch that McCarthy accurately depicts the geography and topography of the area.

Evaluation: This book clearly aspires to greatness, and by and large it succeeds. It is very gruesome, and could legitimately be considered to be a Dante-esque tour of Hell, with The Kid as our guide. The ending disappointed me; it is a bit mystical and diffuse. But maybe I just didn’t understand it.

(JAB) ( )
1 vote nbmars | Oct 12, 2014 |
A bunch of American mercenaries are hired by various Mexican governors to hunt down and kill the Apache renegades who have been wreaking havoc across their states. The men must return with Apache scalps to collect their bounty. But in short time these misfits are killing and scalping Apache and Mexican citizen alike. Soon the hunters also become the hunted, by both the Apache and the Mexican cavalry.

The novel is set in an environment both beautiful and unrelentingly savage. This feels like the real Wild West, where death and suffering are a part of most days. Some of the brutality had me draw sudden breath, cringe and close my eyes so shocking was it. Yet still, I couldn’t put it down. In one paragraph several men hang by their feet over coals which had roasted them, their brains bubbling and steaming out of their heads. And in the very next paragraph we witness the beauty of a pale green meteor shooting across the night sky.

I wasn’t at my most receptive whilst reading the book, so I couldn’t see the theme. But I have since read Josh’s brilliant review and the associated comments at Goodreads, which has made it clearer. ( )
1 vote George_Hamilton | Sep 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
This latest book is his most important, for it puts in perspective the Faulknerian language and unprovoked violence running through the previous works, which were often viewed as exercises in style or studies of evil. ''Blood Meridian'' makes it clear that all along Mr. McCarthy has asked us to witness evil not in order to understand it but to affirm its inexplicable reality; his elaborate language invents a world hinged between the real and surreal, jolting us out of complacency.
added by eereed | editNew York Times, Caryn James (Apr 28, 1985)
 

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cormac McCarthyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Montanari, RaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sivill, KaijamariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time.

-- Paul Valery
It is not to be thought that the life of darkness is sunk in misery and lost as if in sorrowing. There is no sorrowing. For sorrow is a thing that is swallowed up in death, and death and dying are the very life of the darkness.

-- Jacob Boehme
Clark, who led last year's expedition to the Afar region of northern Ethiopia, and UC Berkeley colleague Tim D. White, also said that a re-examination of a 300,000-year-old fossil skull found in the same region earlier shows evidence of having been scalped.

-- The Yuma Daily Sun, June 13, 1982
Dedication
The author wishes to thank the Lyndhurst Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He also wishes to express his appreciation to Albert Erskine, his editor of twenty years.
First words
See the child.
Quotations
It was a lone tree burning on the desert. A heraldic tree that the passing storm had left afire. The solitary pilgrim drawn up before it had traveled far to be here and he knelt in the hot sand and held his numbed hands out while all about in that circle attended companies of lesser auxiliaries routed forth into the inordinate day, small owls that crouched silently and stood from foot to foot and tarantulas and solpugas and vinegarroons and the vicious mygale spiders and beaded lizards with mouths black as a chowdog’s, deadly to man, and the little desert basilisks that jet blood from their eyes and the small sandvipers like seemly gods, silent and the same, in Jeda, in Babylon. A constellation of ignited eyes that edged the ring of light all bound in a precarious truce before this torch whose brightness had set back the stars in their sockets.
The men as they rode turned black in the sun from the blood on their clothes and their faces and then paled slowly in the rising dust until they assumed once more the color of the land through which they passed.
A man's at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with. He can know his heart, but he dont want to. Rightly so. Best not to look in there. It aint the heart of a creature that is bound in the way that God has set for it. You can find meanness in the least of creatures, but when God made man the devil was at his elbow. A creature that can do anything. Make a machine. And a machine to make the machine. And evil that can run itself a thousand years, no need to tend it. You believe that?
Every man in the company claims to have encountered that sootysouled rascal in some other place.
But dont draw me, said Webster. For I dont want in your book.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (5)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679728759, Paperback)

"The men as they rode turned black in the sun from the blood on their clothes and their faces and then paled slowly in the rising dust until they assumed once more the color of the land through which they passed." If what we call "horror" can be seen as including any literature that has dark, horrific subject matter, then Blood Meridian is, in this reviewer's estimation, the best horror novel ever written. It's a perverse, picaresque Western about bounty hunters for Indian scalps near the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s--a ragged caravan of indiscriminate killers led by an unforgettable human monster called "The Judge." Imagine the imagery of Sam Peckinpah and Heironymus Bosch as written by William Faulkner, and you'll have just an inkling of this novel's power. From the opening scenes about a 14-year-old Tennessee boy who joins the band of hunters to the extraordinary, mythic ending, this is an American classic about extreme violence.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:23:32 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Based on incidents that took place in the southwestern United States and Mexico around 1850, this novel chronicles the crimes of a band of desperados, with a particular focus on one, "the kid," a boy of fourteen.

» see all 6 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
7 avail.
1327 wanted
5 pay7 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.2)
0.5 4
1 30
1.5 3
2 74
2.5 23
3 215
3.5 69
4 428
4.5 110
5 852

Audible.com

4 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 96,739,649 books! | Top bar: Always visible