Blood Meridian, Or, The Evening Redness in the West

Blood Meridian, Or, The Evening Redness in the West

Book - 1992
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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 desperados, with a particular focus on one, "the kid," a boy of fourteen.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1992, c1985
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed
ISBN: 9780679728757
0679728759
Branch Call Number: FIC McCa
Characteristics: 337 p. ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: Evening redness in the West

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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.

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.

l
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.

s
Sarah1984
May 06, 2016

I'm enjoying the story. I have no problem with the violence, blood and gore, in fact I like a good bit of violence and sometimes see sense in it where others wouldn't. On the other hand the language, words, style are confounding me. If this was a SPA romance or erotica I would be transcribing the page long sentences as examples of why the book is dreadful and not one I would recommend. I would also have DNFd it by now. But this is Cormac McCarthy, he's reputed to be a fabulous writer and he made a conscious decision to write those page long sentences. That must mean that an atrocious lack of what is considered correct grammar is okay when it's done by a best-selling author. Right? Well, I'm not so sure about that. I'm not sure whether it speaks of literary genius or, as another reviewer Jonathan, put it literary gimmickry. As I am still enjoying the plot and managing to continue to follow the language I will persevere, but I'm pretty sure I won't be attempting any other of his novels if they are filled with this style of writing. It's just not my cup of tea (or any other beverage of any kind).

The frequent use of Spanish without any hope of a translation is just adding to the ever-growing pile of hay on that camel's back. I don't speak any Spanish, not any at all (except muchos gracias). It's just not fair *stamps foot in frustration* to use a foreign language in an English language book without either repeating the phrases in English or having a glossary. How can McCarthy expect his readers to get the full benefit of his story if not all of them can read all of the dialogue? It's not like it's single words either, they're whole sentences, which makes it hard (impossible) to guess what's being said from the context.

Moving on from the foreign language problems to sentences whose words I can read with ease, but whose meaning I still can't make heads or tails of: "He passed and so passed all into the problematical destruction of darkness." *In a small, slightly embarrassed voice* What does that mean? I'm not sure if the darkness is destructive or if the darkness is being destroyed. To be continued...
P.S. Great death scene at the campfire!! Very evocative and memorable.

I've just read on Wikipedia's Blood Meridian page that it's considered McCarthy's masterpiece. That scares me, because if the language in this is difficult, I'm never going to manage any of his lesser works where I'll likely get the same language with a less interesting plot. Has anyone else heard the urban legend that if you listen to The Beatles' White Album backwards there are satanic messages in the lyrics? Well, while I'm reading Blood Meridian I keep getting subliminal messages, but they're not telling me to kill, they're telling me to DNF because life is too short and I have better books waiting for me. Let's do a poll! Hands up if you think I should listen to the subliminal messages. Okay, now hands up if you think I should just ignore them. Thanks, I'll take your opinions into consideration.

*sigh* This just stopped being worth my time. I really wasn't enjoying the language and as I skimmed a couple of other reviews I saw that there were comments about the book not really going anywhere plotwise (didn't really encourage me to persevere with the book despite my difficulties with the language). Sorry Mr McCarthy it looks like your books are going to be a DNF followed by numerous NFMs (not for me).

m
MeWilliam
Jan 10, 2016

Great book/evil book.

1
1aa
Jan 27, 2015

Tones of red unnumbered, most red, full as to power and order of our words unmasked.

i
iwasthewalrus
Feb 12, 2014

A fourteen-year-old boy known only to us as “The Kid” leaves his family in Tennessee one day, with no intentions of ever returning. He arrives in the state of Texas, with the hopes of living a ‘man’s life’. He soon discovers life is a struggle populated by sadists. After drifting from place to place, The Kid finds himself embarking on a treacherous expedition to collect Indian scalps. The expedition is run by a depraved man named Glanton, who soon shows The Kid a new side to the world, filled with acts of gruesome violence - committed without the blink of an eye. The Kid soon learns the most lucrative occupations for a man to settle into require a mind with no aversion to sadism. As Glanton and his men slowly dwindle in numbers, The Kid and the few remaining survivors head across the desert in the hopes of returning home. With that, Cormac McCarthy shatters the conventional stereotypes of cowboy mythology formed by years of John Wayne films and Zane Grey novels. The characters in Blood Meridian are all influenced by a thirst for pure, ruthless violence. McCarthy explores the reasoning for the corruption with a poignant and subtle degree of effectiveness. Their lack of education is embedded into the story with unique literary methods, explains their hopes of survival using violence. The Kid escaped from his home at the age of fourteen, lacking any semblance of education. He was confused as to how to live his life, and ultimately turned to barbarity. McCarthy embodies this idea in his writing style. He writes his dialogue without ‘proper’ punctuation to indicate lack of schooling; “You want me to look at it? What for? You caint do nothing for it. Well. You suit yourself. I aim to, said Sproule.” [65]. This conversation (which occurs between two people) is written without quotation marks or commas, making everything confusing. This is McCarthy’s standard writing style, but it functions best within the parameters of Blood Meridian.
From the other works of Cormac McCarthy that I’ve familiarized myself with, they all possess a very similar underlying message. His novels No Country For Old Men, The Road and his screenplay for Ridley Scott’s The Counselor all surround the idea that the world is a place on the verge of destruction, and that ‘evil’ will always be the victor of any given situation. He uses his cynical vision of the world to support his theory. Blood Meridian shares the same theme as his other works, and establishes it using brutal violence. The idea here, is that evil is inevitable, and it cannot be stopped despite what optimists might believe. In a world where violence is able to persuade anyone, evil is always the winner. As nihilistic as McCarthy’s message may sound, it’s a very important commentary.
McCarthy’s writing style dedicates a large portion of time and effort to detailing the surroundings. The reason for this is because the characters spend a great deal time of the day in silence, riding their horses. All they have around them is the overbearing existence of nature surrounding them. McCarthy then writes about the acts of violence with a casual, matter-of-fact approach and tone. It’s written this way since the characters have become accustomed to the depravity, and it no longer makes an impact on them. This contributes to the overall theme of the narrator being in a similar frame of mind as the character. The narrator discusses the sick murders, but like the characters, does not treat them as if they were something that deserves second glance. McCarthy never wastes a sentence. Every sentence is written to further advance the themes. All of this contributes to making Blood Meridian a novel to be read, and re-read over decades to follow.

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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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