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Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the…

Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West (1985)

by Cormac McCarthy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,540191457 (4.17)332
  1. 130
    Moby Dick by Herman Melville (dmsteyn)
    dmsteyn: Judge Holden's character was based on the monomaniacal Captain Ahab of Melville's novel.
  2. 80
    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. 00
    Othello by William Shakespeare (Steve.Gourley)
    Steve.Gourley: Compare the philosophy of Judge Holden to Iago
  5. 00
    Far Bright Star by Robert Olmstead (TheRavenking)
  6. 12
    Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry (WSB7)
    WSB7: Strong perspectival imagery overhanging(pursuing?)a doomed hero.
  7. 01
    The Life and Times of Captain N. by Douglas J. Glover (Sethgsamuel)
    Sethgsamuel: Shamelessly violent, very poetic and beautiful western.
1980s (3)
To Read (54)

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» See also 332 mentions

English (179)  Italian (5)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All (192)
Showing 1-5 of 179 (next | show all)
Re-read, for the first time in some time - I think my last reading was after I completed _The Road_. The violence is still overpowering, the Judge still inscrutable. I did not recall that the 'reunion' was so many decades later, nor in Texas. The death of the black Jackson always reminds me of Conrad. I've heard rumors of a movie again and I'm not sure I could stomach such a thing. The world, is it scrutable, and worth the effort, seems to be the divide. ( )
  kcshankd | Jul 10, 2017 |
One of the best fiction books I've ever read.

McCarthy has a great command of the English language and tells the story of "the kid" who grows up in Tennessee and roams to Texas and Mexico. There, he joins a gang of bandits in pursuit of Apache Indian scalps, who they trade for money. ( )
  shakazul | Jul 4, 2017 |
Returning to this book with a mixture of anticipation and dread. Gave it 5 stars years ago. Originally published in 1985.

1849. Born in Tennessee, "the kid," illiterate and already with a propensity for violence, roughs his way to Texas, where he joins up and rides with a renegade army band into Mexico. Eventually, he becomes part of the scalp hunting (historic) Glanton Gang, and here begins to ride with Judge Holden (also an historic figure, though not much is known)--charming, eloquent, terrifying incarnation of evil. To the kid, the judge says, "You alone were mutinous. You alone reserved in your soul some corner of clemency for the heathen." Stranded in a barren hellscape in the company of the expriest, the kid finds himself at the center of a battle for his soul. After, "He never saw the expriest again. Of the judge he heard rumor everywhere." It will not be his last encounter.

Bleak and harrowing, an epic, poetic masterwork that will haunt the reader forever.

(Less shocked the second time around, though the story is no less horrible.) ( )
  beaujoe | Jul 3, 2017 |
I was so disappointed with Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West." I've read just one of McCarthy's other novels -- "All the Pretty Horses" and thought it was wonderful. This book was definitely not in the same league.

The novel focuses on "the kid" who joins random bands of travelers in the American southwest and Mexico and roams around killing people of various races, ethnicities and cultures. There didn't appear any reason for it, aside from piling on the violence as much as possible.

This felt like a book designed to shock, rather than something worth reading. Rethinking my prior decision to continue on with McCarthy's border trilogy because I disliked this book so much. ( )
  amerynth | Mar 22, 2017 |
What can you say about Blood Meridian? Every word of the novel is precise, so finely wrought that it also seems inhuman, which is fitting since every character in it is also inhuman or grotesque. Simultaneously one of the most horrifying and one of the most beautiful novels I've ever read. The plot centers on a group of Indian scalphunters in the US-Mexico borderlands just after the end of the Mexican-American War. It reimagines the Western frontier as a space of violence and degeneration rather than opportunity and regeneration. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 179 (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 (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cormac McCarthyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bloom, HaroldIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montanari, RaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sivill, KaijamariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
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.
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.
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Book description
Blood Meridian chronicles the brutal world of the Texas-Mexico borderlands in the mid-nineteenth century. Its wounded hero, the teenage Kid, must confront the extraordinary violence of the Glanton gang, a murderous cadre on an official mission to scalp Indians and sell those scalps.
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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:18 -0400)

(see all 7 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

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