HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Suttree by Cormac McCarthy
Loading...

Suttree (edition 1992)

by Cormac McCarthy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,734294,081 (4.23)1 / 178
Member:Litfit
Title:Suttree
Authors:Cormac McCarthy
Info:Vintage (1992), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

Suttree by Cormac McCarthy

None.

Loading...

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

English (28)  Spanish (1)  All languages (29)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Gorgeous writing. No gals to speak of. If he's the heir to Faulkner, where are Faulkner's women? those marvelous, convoluted, turned in upon themselves damned orchids with vast consciousnesses of their own?

Can't have it all, I guess, the man writes according to the dictates of his own imagination. But it doesn't get me all the way there.

Still, I love sentences like: "A snarling clot of flies had already accrued out of the vapid air."

The bravery of it. He's like Humpty Dumpty, he forces the words to mean what he wants them to. And it works. ( )
  CSRodgers | May 3, 2014 |
There is not much you can say about Cormac McCarthy's work other than that he has the most unique and effective way of presenting reality of all contemporary authors. The most effective prose I've ever read, the most perfect prose painting of a backdrop for a novel is presented in the opening chapter of Suttree. The rest of the book follows suit, as we experience the poorer side of life on the wrong side of the tracks in 1950's Knoxville, Tennessee.

Suttree is a person who has rejected his family (or, perhaps more accurately, rejected the family when his father rejected him). There is a deep morality to the character, who lives his life as a fisherman living in a houseboat on the Tennessee River. The lives described in this book are hard, sometimes hard-bitten, and non-sympathetic. McCarthy does not dole out convenient or contrived characters - they are multi-layered, multi-faceted humans.

The book almost ends abruptly, confusedly; but then, so does life. ( )
  jpporter | Mar 30, 2014 |
McCarthy's writing is absolutely marvelous; however, the picture he paints with his words is very bleak. The work tells the story of Cornelius Suttree who gave up his regular more affluent life to live in a houseboat on the Tennessee River in Knoxville and hang out with some shady characters. The reader is never certain why he chose to do this. McCarthy does a great job in recreating Knoxville of the 1950s. There were references to people and places included that only Knoxvillians or those very familiar with the city will completely understand. This is a masterpiece of American literature and deserves to be read by a wide audience. There are many themes in the book that would lend itself to great discussions in university literature courses as well. ( )
  thornton37814 | Mar 29, 2014 |
McCarthy has the most remarkable command of the English language, and he uses it to the max in every sentence in this book. It is the story of a few rather brutal years in the life of Cornelius Suttree, a man of uncertain age, who has left behind a "normal" life for reasons he does not fully share with the reader, and now lives in a houseboat along the Tennessee River in the harsh mythic underworld of 1950's Knoxville. McCarthy's writing is monstrously beautiful, as in this passage:

"It snowed that night. Flakes softly blown in the cold blue lamplight. Snow lay in pale boas along the black treelimbs down Forest Avenue and the snow in the street bore bands of branch and twig, dark fissures that would not snow full...Snow falling on Knoxville, sifting down over McAnally, hiding the rents in the roofing, draping the sashwork, frosting the coalpiles in the crabbed dooryards. It has covered up the blood and dirt and claggy sleech in gutterways and laid white lattice on the sewer grates...In the yards a switchengine is working and the white light of the headlamp bores down the rows of iron gray warehouses in a livid phosphorous tunnel through which the snow falls innocently and unburnt."

As the snow covers the black and the frozen, the grim and the ugly, McCarthy's words nearly bury the realities of the world he is showing us in a softening shroud, but never hide it completely. By the end of this rather too long novel, the reader and Suttree have both had enough, and need to move on. Where Suttree might be going, what he might have gained from this episode in his life, is no clearer than how he got there in the first place. That, I think is the greatest failure of this novel.

I loved parts of Suttree, the breathtaking word craft, the brilliant descriptions, the dark humor and often grotesque characters reminiscent of Faulkner's best. (I mean, a country boy shot and jailed for humping watermelons? Pappy surely gave McCarthy a commendatory nod for that one.) But it went on too long, sank a little too deeply into the mire too often, and made me grateful for its ending at last. Thankfully, McCarthy does not entice the reader into emotional involvement with his characters. As clearly as they are drawn, they remain at a safe distance from the heart; only one episode came close to touching my sympathy button, and it did so in part because it reminded me of another scene in another novel which was actually heart-rending. (I'm referring to The Dollmaker, a book I feel I need to read again, especially in this year of the American Author in the 75-Book Challenge group.) I don't mean to imply that McCarthy doesn't care for his creations; he does, obviously, but he does it in a totally unsentimental, no-BS, practical fashion, perhaps in the manner of a no-nonsense priest who runs a homeless shelter, or William Devane's prickly psychiatrist, Dr. Dix, from the Jesse Stone movies.

Suttree is a masterpiece, there's no denying it. It would surely benefit from re-reading, but I won't do that, because it's too damned difficult to live with for that long. ( )
4 vote laytonwoman3rd | Mar 27, 2014 |
"Remember her hair in the morning before it was pinned, black, rampant, savage with loveliness. As if she slept in perpetual storm." ( )
2 vote | Teykem | Jun 15, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
"Suttree" is a fat one, a book with rude, startling power and a flood of talk. Much of it takes place on the Tennessee River, and Cormac McCarthy, who has written "The Orchard Keeper" and other novels, gives us a sense of river life that reads like a doomed "Huckleberry Finn."
added by eereed | editNew York Times, Jerome Charyn (Feb 18, 1979)
 
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
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
The author wishes to express his gratitude to The American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
First words
Dear friend now in the dusty clockless hours of the town when the streets lie black and steaming in the wake of he watertrucks and now when the drunk and the homeless have washed up in the lee of walls in alleys or abadoned lots and cats go forth highshouldered and lean in the grim perimeters about, now in these soothblacked brick or cobbled corridors where lightwire shadows make a gothic harp of cellar doors no soul shall walk save you.
Quotations
They are not rooks in those obsidian winter trees, but stranger fowl, pale, lean and salamandrine birds that move by night unburnt through the moon's blue crucible.
How surely are the dead beyond death. Death is what the living carry with them. A state of dread, like some uncanny foretaste of a bitter memory. But the dead do not remember and nothingness is not a curse. Far from it.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679736328, Paperback)

By the author of Blood Meridian and All the Pretty Horses, Suttree is the story of Cornelius Suttree, who has forsaken a life of privilege with his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat on the Tennessee River near Knoxville.  Remaining on the margins of the outcast community there--a brilliantly imagined collection of eccentrics, criminals, and squatters--he rises above the physical and human squalor with detachment, humor, and dignity.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:40 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The story or Cornelius Suttree, who has forsaken a life of privilege with his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat on the Tennessee River near Knoxville. Remaining on the margins of the outcast community there - a brilliantly imagined collection of eccentrics, criminals, and squatters - he rises above the physical and human squalor with detachment, humor, and dignity.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
6 avail.
555 wanted
5 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.23)
0.5 1
1 4
1.5
2 15
2.5 2
3 31
3.5 12
4 89
4.5 23
5 148

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 | 92,245,485 books! | Top bar: Always visible