Blood Meridian, Or, the Evening Redness in the West

Blood Meridian, Or, the Evening Redness in the West

Book - 2010
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Based on incidents that took place in the southwestern United States and Mexico around 1850, this novel chronicles the crimes of a band of outlaws, with a particular focus on one, "the kid," a boy of fourteen.
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, [2010], c1985
Edition: 25th anniversary ed
ISBN: 9780679641049
0679641041
Characteristics: xv, 351 p. ; 22 cm

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JCLMattC Apr 23, 2018

Bleak and beyond violent, but rich and textural. It makes his more popular novel, The Road, seem downright warm and fuzzy by comparison. Judge Holden is up there with Hannibal Lecter as one of the most cold-blooded characters in literature.

RogerDeBlanck Jan 31, 2018

Although McCarthy’s The Road deservedly won him the Pulitzer Prize, Blood Meridian ranks as his most important book. Similar to The Road, which depicts a father and son traversing a modern post-apocalyptic wasteland, Blood Meridian captures the stark violence and endless depravity that stretched across the broad landscape of the barren southwest in the 1850s. Both books are similar in that a central character is a young boy surviving under the protection of an indomitable male figure. In Blood Meridian, the “kid” is without a family. Coming from Tennessee and traveling alone, he latches onto a cruelly violent group of mercenaries who have been contracted to take the scalps of Indian renegades who are terrorizing towns near the border states, ranging from Texas to California. The kid’s experiences are an understatement of baptism by violence. The ruthless lifestyle of the ragtag group of cowboy militia includes many memorable characters, such as Glanton, Toadvine, and the inimitable monster of a man, Judge Holden, simply called “the judge.” McCarthy’s literary style and his lyrical language are unparalleled in American literature. As he did to perfection in The Road, passages in Blood Meridian reach profound levels of grandeur and beauty, even as McCarthy envisions unspeakable acts of barbarity. Whereas The Road serves as a premonition of a dismal future, Blood Meridian reflects upon history’s atrocities and the madness carried forward from an infinite past. This novel is McCarthy’s masterpiece, but in many ways it seems to serve as a more lengthy and precursory meditation to The Road. Both novels solidify McCarthy’s lifelong vision of examining the terrifying presence of violence through his signature use of breathtaking prose.

Nicr Jul 14, 2017

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

v
VonHafenstaaad
Jun 04, 2017

Quite possibly the most chilling and horrifying book ever written, 'Blood Meridian' is a unnerving glimpse of humanity at its worst during one of the most savage periods in American history. McCarthy pulls back the curtain to reveal the unforgivable evils and trespasses our species made all too often and all too easily in a new world, a novel that shows us the true price we paid in bodies and blood for the expansion of the 'Wild West'.

c
Calvacade
Mar 06, 2017

Wordy, bloody and unrelenting- this Western is widely acknowledged to be Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece.

m
MontMoroc
Mar 04, 2017

An epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America's westward expansion, Blood Meridian brilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the "wild west." Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennessean who stumbles into the nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving.

Timmeh4248 Jan 19, 2017

This book is the second most violent and disturbing thing I have read. The Kid lives in a world that is perpetually bloody. The book is aptly named.

Unlike American Psycho I do feel that I may read this again. McCarthy alternates between lyrical beauty, philosophical whimsy, and startling evil and gore. I'm am not sure that a second reading will bring me any closer to understanding the world or humanity. I just feel like McCarthy's message is just beyond the reach of my fingertips. The meaning is there but just needs to be decrypted.

For some reason the scene where the dancing bear gets shot just really disturbed me. And perhaps that little epilogue where the anonymous guy is making holes in the ground while other guys try to make sense out of the random holes is the point. There is no point. No matter how you live your life; whether you're good, bad, or ugly, we all end up at the same place.

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libraryjerri
Dec 27, 2016

I was so disappointed in this book. I gave it one star because I have really enjoyed all the other books I have read by this author. Three-fourths of the book were just senseless killings and then when it finally got back to the main character near the end, the book just ended in the strangest way without me really understanding what was going on. I also spent time, while reading this book, translating the Spanish parts so I could understand what was happening in the story.

b
becker
Nov 27, 2016

Layers upon layers of meaning. Every sentence is a little treasure to be read over and over. Characters that I have only begun to understand. This is a book that I will always have laying around. It can be opened at any page to mull over a paragraph or ponder a sentence or two. This is not an enjoyable book and many people will find it intolerable to read. But it set my brain on fire and books like that don't come around every day.

j
johnlau_0
Aug 15, 2016

This book is like Moby Dick on meth. The writing is amazingly elegant and poetic. It is filled with scenes of bloody savagery the likes of which I have never seen before. Yet, instead of recoiling in horror, the narration takes you along a giddy, exhilarating ride.

This is Cormac McCarthy at his best.

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bookreaderman
Feb 18, 2017

bookreaderman thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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ChaseU
Feb 04, 2010

ChaseU thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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ChaseU
Feb 04, 2010

Violence: Blood Meridian is the most violent book I have ever read written by the bloodiest author I have ever read.

c
ChaseU
Feb 04, 2010

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

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