BookGround Thoughts on Cormac McCarthy

9/8/06 3:32 PM
Posts: 13307
Blood Meridian was easily his magnum opus. In fact, it is quite possibly the best book I have ever read. That said, his other books have left something to be desired - most prominently No Country for Old Men. I am beginning The Crossing now, and it seems promising. Input, friends?
9/9/06 4:49 AM
Posts: 35485
try "Invisible Man" by Ellison. I'll have to read McCarthy sometime.
9/20/06 1:22 AM
Posts: 158
Blood Meridian stayed with me for along time. great book. great characters. i haven't read the crossing but i really like all the pretty horses. i agree that no country..wasn't that strong. it was dark and violent and farily brutal at times. but chigurh just didn't carry the same menance as the judge did in blood meridian.. still i like his writing style overall. and will probably read the crossing when i go back to his books..
9/25/06 3:41 PM
Posts: 13312
The westward expansion of the US gone horribly awry. Cowboys hunting Indians for their scalps.
10/1/06 4:46 PM
Posts: 4748
I'm reading CHILD OF GOD now and it's been hard to put down. BLOOD MERIDIAN is in the mail. I've heard SUTREE is good. I read the first page and could barely put it back on the rack, but I was spending too much money. NO universally regarded as his most inferior book. Read ALL THE PRETTY HORSES before THE CROSSING (assuming it's not too late). -knee
10/4/06 12:39 PM
Posts: 5288
He's a good vocabulary builder, LOL. Blood Meridian is astounding. I've started reading All the Pretty Horses a couple of times, still haven't been in the right head to commit to it. And I hate having to carry a dictionary with my novels!
10/4/06 3:14 PM
Posts: 7048
Almost finished with Blood Meridian and Ali is correct about it being a vocabulary builder and I've really enjoyed the novel. Will probably finish it today.
10/4/06 10:33 PM
Posts: 4768
Just bought THE ROAD and am hoping it's not boring! -knee
10/13/06 1:22 AM
Posts: 4821
I'm working my way through BLOOD MERIDIAN right now. After that, if I don't need a McCarthy break, I'll jump right into THE ROAD. -knee
10/13/06 10:18 AM
Posts: 7063
Are any of his books nearly as good as Blood Meridian? Cause I really enjoyed that but I think most of that is how much I liked the Judge character.
10/16/06 7:41 PM
Posts: 1265
Several years ago I was at my mother's house in New Hampshire and was looking for something to do. The paper listed that Cormac McCarthy was appearing at a local pub. I got all excited and went into town to see him, thinking it was a reading or something. Got there to find it was some lounge singer type crooning standards to bad guitar work. Talked to the guy later that evening and he said there are always a few literary idiots like me at every show expecting to see the author. Asked me as he was leaving "You actually thought the author, Cormac McCarthy, was going to be doing a reading at Frank's Bar and Grill in Concord, NH?"
10/17/06 6:48 PM
Posts: 5537
I started it, haven't gotten far, a couple times, now. I have had this experience with McCarthy before, but this is one I actually don't think I'll read.
10/18/06 5:53 PM
Posts: 5546
groundfighter2000 -- sorry, LOL. I just mean I couldn't get absorbed and don't know how many attempts I have in me. Interesting question about whether you have to be known to get away with certain stylistic "difficulties". I've wondered that about a lot of people. William Gaddis is a guy who writes huge, difficult books (except "Carpenter's Gothic", which is a small difficult book). Very odd stylistic things. How did a publisher decide it would sell? I've wondered this with McCarthy, too.
10/19/06 2:05 PM
Posts: 5560
Damn, I'm grouped with the sackless now. No wonder chicks don't dig me. *sighs*.
11/7/06 11:25 PM
Posts: 4912
Be Jealous and TTT this thread literary friends!!! I'll explain why next post! -knee
11/7/06 11:29 PM
Posts: 4913
McCarthy has a play that opened a couple weeks ago off-Broadway called THE SUNSET LIMITED. I, being fortunate enough to live in NYC am going to see it hopefully this weekend! It has been very well reviewed despite being called somewhat talky and overly literary (surprise, surprise). -knee
11/7/06 11:31 PM
Posts: 4914
11/27/06 1:27 AM
Posts: 1246
"McCarthy is the best living American writer. no questions asked." Amen. The Fedor of the English language. His nobel is long long long long long overdue. Read every book by him, even Wake for Susan and another one of his short stories that were published in his high school newspaper. I actually checked on the book ground for the first time, curious if there'd be a thread about him. The Road is excellent, btw. Like Blood Meridian but with less of an academic commitment.
11/28/06 1:03 PM
Posts: 1250
McCarthy makes Fedor look like Shannon Ritch.
12/4/06 10:35 PM
Posts: 5053
Can you guys believe I missed the play? -knee
12/5/06 11:10 PM
Posts: 5061
Just wanted to post this. From another thread: An excerpt from BLOOD MERIDIAN: From Chapter 4... "Among the wounded some seemed dumb and without understanding and some were pale through the masks of dust and some had fouled themselves or tottered brokenly onto the spears of the savages. Now driving in a wild frieze of naked riders with clusters of arrows clenched in their jaws and their shields winking in the dust and up the far side of the ruined ranks in a piping of boneflutes and dropping down off the sides of their mounts with one heel hung in the withers strap and their short bows flexing beneath the outstretched necks of the ponies until they had circled the company and cut their ranks in two and then rising up again like funhouse figures, some with nightmare faces painted on their breasts, riding down the unhorsed Saxons and spearing and clubbing them and leaping from their mounts with knives and running around on the ground with a peculiar bandylegged trot like creatures driven to alien forms of locomotion and stripping the clotes from the dead and seizing them up by the hair and passing their blades about the skulls of the living and the dead alike and snatching aloft the bloody wigs and hacking and chopping at the naked bodies, ripping off limbs, heads, gutting the strange white torsos and holding up great handfuls of viscera, genitals, some of the savages so slathered up with gore they might have rolled in it like dogs and some who fell upon the dying and sodomized them with loud cries to their fellows." -knee
12/5/06 11:18 PM
Posts: 5062
^^The above quote was what sealed it for me that McCarthy was indeed beyond anything I'd ever read or would likely read. When I got to that point in the book, fairly early on, I knew that he was possibly the most visceral writer in English letters. Another quote: From Chapter 13... "They wandered the borderland for weeks seeking some sign of the Apache. Deployed upon that plain they moved in a constant elision, ordained agents of the actual dividing out the world which they encountered and leaving what had been and what would never be alike extinguished on the ground behind them. Spectre horsemen, pale with dust, anonymous in the crenellated heat. Above all else they appeared wholly at venture, primal, provisional, devoid of order. Like beings provoked out of the absolute rock and set nameless and at no remove from their own loomings to wander ravenous and doomed and mute as gorgons shambling the brutal wastes of Gondwanaland in a time before nomenclature was and each was all." Just re-typing it gives me the shivers, particularly as I doubt I'll ever be that good of a writer and because I feel in awe even as a casual reader. -knee
12/6/06 4:18 PM
Posts: 1272
The Judge = Fedor The kid = Sakuraba The man of the epilogue = Dana White Discuss.
12/31/06 9:26 AM
Posts: 306
I was going to come to MMA tv and tell everyone to read "The Road." And I come here and find an entire Cormac McCarthy thread. Sometimes I don't give people who post on MMA tv enough credit. Maybe it's just the book forum. The Road is the most disturbing book I have ever read. I read "The Stand" in whe I was a sophmore in high school 24 years ago and I thought no other book could effect me the way that one did. Two decades (plus) and two children later The Road blows "The Stand" completely away. "The Road" makes "The Stand" look like a trip to the mall. I read it all in one sitting, and if you start, you will too. Just keep in mind that it's not a survival book. It's not supposed to be real. (I had to keep telling myself that anyway.) It's the authors view of the human condition. Good luck.
1/1/07 1:26 AM
Posts: 1344
I just saw Pursuit of Happiness, which reminded me of THe Road a bit.