Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


Blood Meridian (1985)

by Cormac McCarthy, Luis Murillo Fort (Translator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,680256583 (4.17)473
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.
  1. 140
    Moby Dick by Herman Melville (dmsteyn)
    dmsteyn: Judge Holden's character was based on the monomaniacal Captain Ahab of Melville's novel.
  2. 30
    The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara (pterodactling)
  3. 20
    Othello by William Shakespeare (Steve.Gourley)
    Steve.Gourley: Compare the philosophy of Judge Holden to Iago
  4. 20
    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
  5. 00
    All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (sturlington)
  6. 22
    Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry (WSB7)
    WSB7: Strong perspectival imagery overhanging(pursuing?)a doomed hero.
  7. 00
    Far Bright Star by Robert Olmstead (TheRavenking)
  8. 01
    The Life and Times of Captain N. by Douglas J. Glover (Sethgsamuel)
    Sethgsamuel: Shamelessly violent, very poetic and beautiful western.
1980s (16)
Uni (8)
To Read (167)
Ranking (31)

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 473 mentions

English (241)  Italian (4)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (256)
Showing 1-5 of 241 (next | show all)
A dark western that has several memorable characters. The historical roots of such episodes serves to accentuate the dark nature of those involved. The different writing style does take some getting used to. ( )
  alrajul | Jun 1, 2023 |
Ornate brutality. ( )
  theoaustin | May 19, 2023 |
Taking my second shot at this book, via Kindle. About 36% through. Started it last year in normal book form, but got sidetracked. Will stick to it this time, until done, and then read some literary analysis of it. I guess the words "Harsh" and "Raw" really don't do it justice. Will try to come up with better descriptors as I read it.

Update: OK - I finished it. I have never read a single western before. I have no interest in them. I have, however, seen almost every episode of Gunsmoke. But this, while set in the West, is more than a western. I will leave the real literacy analysis for the scholars, but I will say that in addition to the heaviness and violence of the novel there are some damned funny parts, and I wonder if McCarthy laughed while writing them. Surely he did. And some of the very strange scenes he describes - surely he chuckled with glee as he crafted these.

( )
  bloftin2 | May 4, 2023 |
For years I stayed away from CM after hearing about his beyond steroidal literary style. Now I've plunged into the deep end with Blood Meridian; and I'm glad I did.

Our longtime canonical culture curator, Harold Bloom, calls this novel among greatest ever written, worthy to place alongside classics like Moby Dick and As I Lay Dying. At the same time, he admits he can scarcely conceive of a more violent literary work, with grotesqueries of mostly genocidal carnage seemingly on every page. How does a serious critic align such contrary facets of one work? Mustn't they conflict?

I'm not sure, having only read the book once.

On the other hand, one reading suffices to perceive the passionate commitment behind the writing and the sheer beauty of much of the language. Here's one phrase that leapt out at me: spectre horsemen, pale with dust, anonymous in the crenelated heat. Just gorgeous writing and there's a lot like that.

Mr. Bloom again, writing in 1994, declares the relevance of CM's dark tale of 1850 America as "the authentic American apocalyptic novel." It's now 2022 and this characterization is at least doubly true. The cruelty in this country, the racism, the endless injustice, our thoughtless planet-destroying capitalism, where did all our destructiveness begin if not with slaughter of native Americans, buffalo herds, and anything else that else that stood in our greedy, collectively unconscious path? Spoiler alert. It's been foretold. It's all still going on. We're all guilty participants, killers or bystanders. We're all going down in a sea of blood. That's CM's message; his prophetic vision -- and, I sometimes fear, our future. ( )
  Cr00 | Apr 1, 2023 |
I am giving this book five stars while simultaneously recommending that none of my reading friends actually read it unless you pick it up as an intellectual, academic exercise with a group of like minded friends. I'm completely serious here because this book is not enjoyable reading. So why the five stars?

Well, first it is poetry of the first order. Gorgeous evocative poetry. And that poetry raps around a very serious theme about mankind and the inner drive for survival that ultimately overcomes the moral constructs developed by society. McCarthy happens to have a very dark view, and it is one that deserves consideration. Honestly, in many ways I share it. However, even though I view the book as social commentary, it is written more as historical fiction written in a dystopian fashion featuring violence, violence, and more violence. Oddly, it feels quite detached so I didn't find it as hard to read as if I had actually cared what happened to these characters, but here, there is no one to root for. And the characters' internal dialogues are not shared, so the reader never really cares much what happens to them. It's hard to explain, but the reader's detachment in some ways reinforces the book's themes.

This is a book that could be discussed for hours and dissected at a very micro level. In fact, that is really why it is worthwhile. In my mind, I never equated it with entertainment, and in general, I read because I want to be transported, entertained, engaged, or moved. Blood Meridian was hard, slow reading, but it felt important, and as though the author had something to say.

( )
  Anita_Pomerantz | Mar 23, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 241 (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 (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCarthy, CormacAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Murillo Fort, LuisTranslatormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bloom, HaroldIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Delgado, LluísTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Faria, PauloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fort, Luis MurilloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gyllenhak, UlfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansen, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hirsch, FrançoisTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hiti Ožinger, AndrejTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kooman, KoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montanari, RaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Poe, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roig, EstherTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sivill, KaijamariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sudół, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Svoboda, MartinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Problem CK:
Date de première publication :
- 1985 (1e édition originale américaine)
- 1988-04-14 (1e traduction et édition française, Gallimard)
- 1992-10-16 (Réédition française, Le Loire, Gallimard)
- 1998-10-21 (Nouvelle édition française, Editions de l'Olivier)
- 2001-02-10 (Réédition française, Points, Seuil)
- 2016-09-01 (Réédition française, Points, Seuil)
- 2021-03-25 (Réédition française, Bibliothèque, Editions de l'Olivier)
Publisher's editors
Original language
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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

Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (4.17)
0.5 7
1 49
1.5 7
2 128
2.5 34
3 329
3.5 87
4 640
4.5 135
5 1249

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 188,686,644 books! | Top bar: Always visible