Blood Meridian, Or, The Evening Redness in the West

Blood Meridian, Or, The Evening Redness in the West

Book - 1992
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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 Tennesseean who stumbles into the nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving.
Publisher: New York : Vintage International, 1992, c1985
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed
Branch Call Number: FICTION MCC
Characteristics: 337 p. ; 21 cm

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Jun 08, 2018

If you are squeamish, I do not recommend this book.

Blood Meridian, in the brief, is the ultraviolent admixture of the 1991 comedy film City Slickers with the Book of Judges. If one conjures a covenant with the LORD in the time of Manifest Destiny, be prepared to take the Canaanites without reservation, nor compunction nor remonstrance, for to do otherwise is idolatry and abjures divine provenance and the will of the LORD. For you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God...

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.

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.

Mar 28, 2015

This is the story of the American west, closely observed, as if by God himself, written with an eye to vengeance of biblical proportions. Strangely and deeply moving, yet lacking utterly in sentiment.

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