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

by Cormac McCarthy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,174207622 (4.17)366
  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. 11
    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. 22
    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 (7)
To Read (97)
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» See also 366 mentions

English (194)  Italian (5)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (208)
Showing 1-5 of 194 (next | show all)
I was prepared for violence. I was prepared for an novel about the west in the 1800s. I was NOT prepared to dislike this book so much. Something about McCarthy's prose in this made it impossible to focus, every page seeming like an eternity. Hard to follow as well - the prose, while spare, is somehow also littered with $10 words that I actually had to look up. I understand completely how this book is some people's thing, but I was just not having it this weekend. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
The great American writer Cormac McCarthy seems not to be my guy. Though undoubtedly very skilled as far as language and style are concerned, I find his books too repetitive.

Like The Road, Blood Meridian suffers from the fact that basically the same stuff keeps happening from the first page to the last. Like in The Road, the characters are usually known only as the kid, the Judge and so on and undergo no development throughout the novel. And like The Road, the narrative is prone to slipping into a sort of stream of consciousness mode that gets difficult to follow, doubly so when listened to as an audiobook, which I do not recommend unless you do so when you can devote full attention to it.

Set in the borderlands between Mexico and the US in the middle of the 19th century and partially based on real life events, Blood Meridian follows the exploits of the notorious Glanton Gang of scalpers. By "exploits" I mean just about the most bloody, gore violence one is likely to ever read about in a mainstream novel. A slaughter of an entire village is on the program every couple of pages. Though I understand that the purpose of this is to provide a stage for a treatise on the nature of War and Violence of men, it gets depressing and sickening to read it page after page. No doubt that was McCarthy's intention, so well done, Sir.

In the end, McCarthy is to be applauded for attempting to subvert the mythology and romanticism of the Wild West and the 19th century American expansionism, even if that is not the book's main purpose. Some of the monologues delivered by the main characters, especially the Judge, are also quite interesting and skillfully written even if espousing complete depravity. However, that is just about it, most of the rest is one barren landscape after another, suffused with a never ceasing stream of brutality. ( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
I didn't make much of the bulk of this book. Mostly because I refuse to think too hard about it out of laziness. These chapters mostly fall into the category of "large bald man endlessly pontificates on a selection of topics to a group of primitive and murderous cowboys who ultimately seem more rational." I'm sure there is some good stuff in those chapters but they washed over me. I give this book four stars for the ending. I'm going to think about the judge for a long time after the last chapter. It almost made the repetitive and episodic feeling of the rest of the book worth it. I've read four books of McCarthy's now and the only one I've completely liked is No Country. This book I'm sure is rich if you think hard about it. Which I will do one day just not now. I need a sleep. ( )
  Zaccer | Jan 2, 2019 |
I didn't make much of the bulk of this book. Mostly because I refuse to think too hard about it out of laziness. These chapters mostly fall into the category of "large bald man endlessly pontificates on a selection of topics to a group of primitive and murderous cowboys who ultimately seem more rational." I'm sure there is some good stuff in those chapters but they washed over me. I give this book four stars for the ending. I'm going to think about the judge for a long time after the last chapter. It almost made the repetitive and episodic feeling of the rest of the book worth it. I've read four books of McCarthy's now and the only one I've completely liked is No Country. This book I'm sure is rich if you think hard about it. Which I will do one day just not now. I need a sleep. ( )
  Zaccer | Jan 2, 2019 |
I didn't make much of the bulk of this book. Mostly because I refuse to think too hard about it out of laziness. These chapters mostly fall into the category of "large bald man endlessly pontificates on a selection of topics to a group of primitive and murderous cowboys who ultimately seem more rational." I'm sure there is some good stuff in those chapters but they washed over me. I give this book four stars for the ending. I'm going to think about the judge for a long time after the last chapter. It almost made the repetitive and episodic feeling of the rest of the book worth it. I've read four books of McCarthy's now and the only one I've completely liked is No Country. This book I'm sure is rich if you think hard about it. Which I will do one day just not now. I need a sleep. ( )
  Zaccer | Jan 2, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 194 (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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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.
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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 9 descriptions

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