Rldly He is depicted accomplishing seemingly miraculous deeds and having special insight into events He appears not to age despite being seen over a span of 30 years In addition everyone who rides with him recalls seeing the Judge earlier in their Hip Pocket Sleaze: The Lurid World of Vintage Adult Paperbacks life and always at a time of great violence I came to see him as the Muse of War and Violence Here is a great description from the end of the book where the kid muses on where the Judge came from A great shambling mutant silent and serene Whatever his antecedents he was something wholly other than their sum nor was there system by which to divide him back into his origins for he would not go Whoever would seek out his history through what unraveling ofoins and Mookie: Life, Baseball, and the '86 Mets ledgerbooks must stand atast darkened and dumb at the shore of a void without terminus or origin and whatever science he might bring to bear upon the dusty primal matter blowing down out of the millennia will discover no trace of ultimate atavistic egg by which to reckon his commencing Whatever the Judge s true nature he is singularly compellingTHE WRITINGOne uality of McCarthy s writing that amazes me is that it is both fire and ice for the soul His uniue style combines both i sparse but deeply ayered prose similar to Hemingway ie short seemingly straight forward sentences that upon further inspection can mulch up your insides with ii flowery image heavy descriptions that are almost Shakespearean in their melodrama The combination can be devastating and it s why I am so sure I only absorbed a fraction of what McCarthy was saying on the first read Almost every sentence if you go back and re read it can be chewed slowly to increase the amount the amount meaning and flavor released This is the kind of book I think you should read once and then subseuently re read a chapter at a time over a much onger period At Clawback least that was my impression Much of Blood Meridian is written from a dreamike yet hyper alert state of consciousness No not dream ike ike nightmarish as McCarthy constantly transforms the settings into aspects that call to mind classical visions of hell Here are a just a few uick examples I picked out They rode through a region where iron will not rust nor tin varnish The ribbed frames of dead cattle under their patches of dried hide Sugar in the Raw: Voices of Young Black Girls in America layike the ruins of primitive boats upturned upon that shoreless void and they passed Cooking for Company lurid and austere the black and desiccated shapes of horses and mules that travelers had stood afoot These parched beasts had died with their necks stretched in agony in the sand and now upright and blind andurching askew with scraps of blackened Empire of Sin leather from the fretwork of their ribs theyeaned with their Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China long mouths howling after the endless tandem suns that passed above them The riders rode on Iove that My Wife's Affair last sentence The riders road on It s just so Hemingway Here s another On the day following they crossed the malpais afooteading the horses upon a Chicken, Chicken, Duck! lakebed ofava all cracked and reddish black Inspirations like a pan of dried blood threading those badlands of dark amber glassike the remnants of some dim egion scrabbling up out of a and accursed shouldering the Move Over, Victoria--I Know the Real Secret: Surrendering the Lies That Bind You to the God Who Frees You little cart over the rifts andedges the idiot clinging to the bars and calling hoarsely after the sun Slo Mo! like some ueer unruly god abducted from a race of degenerates CONCLUSION In sum a truly sublime experience After reading No Country for Old Men I was not sure that McCarthy would ever be able to floor meike he did in that book I was mistaken Round two with McCarthy has found me once again knocked to the canvas with my brain reeling I d be hard pressed to choose a winner between the two but this one definitely has become the newest addition "to my ist of all time favorites 60 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION This is Jane Austen antimatter Trying to "my ist of all time favorites 60 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION This is Jane Austen antimatter Trying to how this was so different to anything I ve ever read it occurred to me that it was Pirates, Ships, and Sailors like a huge black vortex that would suck early nineteenth century marriage plot novels into the void It s the complete obverse of sweet girlie stuff nourve no irony I wonder if Cormac McCarthy has a humour mode If he does he certainly wasn t in it writing this no insightful self discovery or examination of the human heart No this is bleak and bloody gory and grisly there are bludgeonings and beheadings shootings and stabbings and skewerings and scalpings and piles and piles and piles of corpses as a film I wouldn t have been able to stand it How could I stand it here Well it was usually over pretty uickly He doesn t dwell ong and ovingly on every detail radical and dramatic images burn on the mind s eye but no prurien Brutal and Poetic at the same timeJust changed it to a five star what the h This book is monumental Seems ike a contradiction brutal and poetic but somehow
It Works The Storyworks The story bleak dark bloody but also filled with beautiful descriptions of the countryside the desert the people in the book The colorful Judge is some character Tough book not sure I took it all in and had to take some breaks during the read but hey it s Cormac McCarthya grand writer he is It was evening of the following day when they entered San Diego The expriest turned off to find them a doctor but the kid wandered on through the raw mud streets and out pas the houses of hide in their rows and across the gravel strand to the beach Loose strands of ambercolored kelp ay in a rubbery wrack at the tideline A dead seal Beyond the inner bay part of a reef in a thin A Boy in Winter lineike something foundered there on which the sea was teething He suatted in the sand and watched the sun on the hammered face of the water Out there island clouds emplaned upon a salmon colored othersea Seafowl in silhouette Downshore the dull surf boomed There was a horse standing there staring out upon the darkening waters and a young colt that cavorted and trotted off and came back Based on historical events that took place on the Texas Mexico border in the 1850s we follow and witness the grim and bloody coming of age of the Kid a fourteen year old Tennessean who stumbles into a nightmarish world where Indians are murdered and the market for scalps is thriving They rode on and the sun in the east flushed pale streaks of Frost at Midnight light and then a deeper run of colorike blood seeping up in sudden reaches flaring planewise and where the earth drained up into the sky at the edge of creation the top of the sun rose out of nothing Princess Baby, Night-Night like the head of a great read phallus until it cleared the unseen rim and sat suat and pulsing and malevolent behind them The shadows of the smallest stonesay The Pentagon Papers: Making History at the Washington Post like pencilines across the sand and the shapes of the men and their mounts advanced elongate before them Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution like strands of the night from which they d riddenike tentacles to bind them to the darkness yet to come They rode with their heads down faceless under their hats On a Cold Road: Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock like an army asleep on the march By midmorning another man had died and theyifted him from the wagon where he d stained the sacks he d ain among and buried him also and road on. El represents a genius vision of the historical West one so fiercely realized that since its initial publication in 1985 the canon of American iterature has welcomed Blood Meridian to its shelfA classic American novel of regeneration through violence declares Michael Herr McCarthy can only be compared to our greatest writers From the Hardcover editi. That could be used to describe Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy For me this was my second time through and I iked it far better than my first reading Judge Holden John Job Glanton Toadvine and the kid are all fantastic characters I shudder to think that the horrors visited upon the Indians and Mexicans and homesteaders were all based on fact The apocalypse described in The Road is not too far a cry from the hellish country on the US Mexico border which has not really changed if we exchange the scalper mercenaries for the drug cartels and yet the descriptions and Nini language of Blood Meridian is beautiful to me The symbolism here is uite strong and one wonders whether the author is a nihilistike his characters or if there is really some redeeming uality buried deep inside mana true American masterpieceI would read The Border Trilogy after finishing Blood Meridien I have not tried Suttree or Child of God but they would have a hard time to top this one There are two ways to evaluate a book as far as my unlearned mind can concoct at the moment Stylish I Love My Dad (Disney Princess) literary flourishes sometimes cloud our judgment when it comes to evaluating the plot itself which is after all the reason why the book existsThis book is well written If I m a 11th grader and I need to do a book report I m drooling over the blatant symbolism dripping from each page The scene is set admirably though the repetitive nature of our brave hero s wanderings ateast it s with symbolic reason Flight, Vol. 7 lead to a paucity in novel adjectives by the 13th desert crossing There are only so many ways one can say that it s hot dry and empty And dry Boy that sun sure is strong I m there I m with you all right it sucks around here phew the sun s really beating down today And there are aot of bones Dead things abound OK I get itThen there s the story ine Explain to me again why I m interested in The wiki page for manifest destiny has a picture of a painting by John Gast depicting an angelic figure personification of America purposefully drifting towards the west her pristine white robes and blonde curls billowing in the breeze a book nestled in the crook of her arm Airborne she awakens stretches of barren craggy terrain to the magical touch of modernization The andscapes she eaves behind are dotted by shipyards and railways and telegraph wires strung on poles but to her eft the canvas shows a murky abyss skies darkened by smoke from volcanic eruptions and fleeing native Americans gazing up at the floating angel in alarmWhenever I think of Blood Meridian from now on I hope my mind conjures up this same image not because both painting and novel provide perspectives albeit contrary on America s ambitious mid 19th century pursuit of extending its frontiers But because Cormac McCarthy des Spilledemptiedwrung outsoul rippedthat pretty accurately sums up my emotional composition after finishing this singular work of art Ironically I m sure I only absorbed about 10% of the message McCarthy was conveying in this epic exposition on war violence and man s affinity for both Still even with my imperfect comprehension I was shaken enough by the experience that though I finished the book days ago I m just now at the point where I can revisit the jumble in my head enough to sort through how I feel One feeling I have is that Cormac McCarthy is word smithing sorcerer and a genius of devious subversion He s taken the most romanticized genre in American Camp Rex literature the Western and savagely torn off itseathery sun weathered skin in aid of showing an unflinching unparalleled depiction of man at his most brutal and most violent This is man as world devourer Oddly enough in subverting the Western motif McCarthy may have written its ultimate example I tend to agree with Harold Bloom s assessment when he says It culminates all the aesthetic potential that Western fiction can have I don t think that anyone can hope to improve on it it essentially closes out the tradition Well said Mr Bloom PLOT SUMMARYCHARACTERSBased at east partially on real ife events the story is set around 1850 immediately after the end of the Mexican American War and takes place in the borderlands between the two countries that stretches from Texas to California The narrative follows a young teenager known only as the kid who runs away from his father in Tennessee after his mother dies See the child He can neither read nor write and in him broods already a taste for mindless violence All history present in that visage the child the father of the man After engaging in a number of notably violent occupations including bison hunterskinner and as a soldier in an irregular army borderland goon suad the kid eventually hooks up with a group of scalphunters Touch of Enchantment led by John Glanton historically known as the Glanton Gang The rest of the story follows the kid and his exploits with the Glanton Gang as they cut a swatch of violence across the borderlands that is unlike anything you areikely to have read about before However the narrative of the kid and the Glanton Gang are simply there to give McCarthy s story a framework to work through a context This is not a novel about the history of the borderlands or the atrocities that were committed there That is incidental to its purpose McCarthy uses the awlessness and extreme carnage of the period and the horrific events that transpire as a microcosm to explore the nature of war violence and man s unrivaled capacity for unmitigated depravity Not a beautiful subjectbut soooooooo beautifully done This brings me to Judge Holden aka the Judge one of the most
literary figures I have ever come across He also among the most amoral depraved sadistic and remorselessly cruel individuals I have encountered in my reading In the character of the Judge McCarthy has distilled and personified the ultimate expression of war and violence He is a manifestation of pure evil a spokesman for the belief that war is man s calling and his purest state is to be an instrument for violence "Fun guy huhThe Judge s philosophy is that War is god man s purpose is to "guy huhThe Judge s philosophy is that War is god man s purpose is to its ultimate practitioner and any attempts to civilize or reform this aspect of man are doomed to failure Moral aw is an invention of mankind for the disenfranchisement of the powerful in favor of the weak Historical Miles from Kara law subverts it at every turn He preaches that only by embracing and celebrating man s capacity for violence can man attain his true potential If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now Wolves cull themselves man What other creature could And is the race of man not predacious yet This you see here these ruins wondered at by tribes of savages do you not think that this will be again Aye And again With other people with other sons The Judge is described as huge completely hairless and very pale He speaks multipleanguages is well versed in classic iterature and has extensive knowledge of many of the natural sciences Throughout the story the Judge is shown as almost otherwo. G and memorableCormac McCarthy's masterwork 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 Loosely based on fact the nov.MEMORABLE LITERARY FIGURES I HAVE EVER COME ACROSS HE
Summary Blood Meridian Or the Evening Redness in the WestCormac McCarthy s Blood Meridian is unuestionably the most violent novel I ve ever read It s also one of the bestFor those who would consider that a turn off I offer this caveatFor the overwhelming majority of fiction that involves a ot of violence the violence itself is an act of masturbation representing either the author s dark impulse or perhaps worse pandering to the reader s similar revenge fantasies this might explain why the majority of Blood Meridian fans I know personally are men where as the majority of those who ve told me they were unable to finish it are womenDon t get me wrong the violence in Blood Meridian is gratuitous It s both mentally and emotionally exhausting even in a day and age where television and movies have numbed us to such things But unlike say the movie 300 the violence serves a purpose in fact the gratuitousness itself serves a purpose Like how the ong drawn out bulk of Moby Dick exists to make the reader feel the numbingly eventless ife of a whaling vessel before it reaches its climactic destination McCarthy is freuently compared to Melville btw Blood Meridian exists to break the reader s spirit Like the mercenaries the narrative follows the nonstop onslaught of cruelty after cruelty makes us jaded The story brings us to what we think is a peak of inhumanity that seems impossible to exceed and just as we stop to ick our wounds an even perverse cruelty emerges The bile that reaches the tip of our tongue at reading of a tree strewn with dead infants hung by their jaws at the beginning of the book a scene often sited to me as the point many readers stop becomes almost a casual passiveness when a character is beheaded ater on We become one of these dead eyed cowboys riding into town covered head to toe in dried blood and gristle The story is based on My Confession the uestionably authentic autobiography of Civil War Commander Samuel Chamberlain which recounts his youth with the notorious Glanton Gang a group of American mercenaries hired by the Mexican government to slaughter Native Americans Whether or not Chamberlain s tale is true only adds to the mythic uality exemplified by the character of Judge Holden Blood Meridian is really The Judge s story He is High Heat larger thanife Over seven feet tall corpulent hairless albino described as having an infant ike face and preternaturally intelligent He is a murderer child killer pedophile and genocidal sociopath But the uestion that plagues anyone who reads the book is who is he reallyThe easiest conclusion is that he is the devil or some other demon His joyous evil and fiddle playing are enough clues to come to that but controversial and ess popular is the idea that he is actually the wrathful God of an uncaring universe He s called THE Judge after allHe spends a great deal of time illustrating new discoveries be it an Indian vase or petroglyph only to destroy it when finished It s commented that he seems intent on cataloging all creation When a fellow mercenary asks why he does it he smiles and cryptically replies That which exists without my knowledge exists without my consent The fact that the book is rife with biblical imagery implies that he is than a mere symbol of man s inhumanity to man which is not to say that the devil isn t but when the book ends SPOILER ALERT and our protagonist s body is found shoved into a commode the townsfolk stand staring into the darkened doorway of the atrine eerily mirroring the apostles staring into empty crypt after the resurrection But here there is no ascension no salvation offered Only the Judge who dances to the closing ines He is dancing dancing He says that he will never die After reading Blood Meridian I may never view a western film the same way again To be certain it is a a rare and uniue work of iterature that rises above classification and genre And to be certain McCarthy must viewed as a great American writer one of the greatest in our time That having been said this book is not for everyone it is painfully brutal violent at it s heart McCarthy s primitive writing style emphasizes this primal bloody andscape A treatise on the law of marital rights in Texas like a Jonathon Edwards sermon Glanton and Judge Holden based upon actual persons have been written as archetypal villains The Judge may be a composite of Mephistopheles and Conrad s Mr Kurtz and perhaps even Richard III Strong powerful book Cormac McCarthy s west of absolutes is a wonder to behold Villainous attacks on people devoid a home desecration of the westlandistings of all things in the majestic transitory andscape ike observations by Darwin at the Galapagos in Lots of Hearts lush sometimes horrific detail murky human psyches no dialogue and especially that campfire philosophy by which anyone can find some sort of meaning in their modernives especially if you re fortunate enough to inhabit the places which Mr McCarthy describes are all the ingredients of a McCarthy book the way this one is polished symbolic graphic makes it my The man finished the book He closed the pages tightly together then put one foot on the floor then the other then used his hands to push himself up out of the chair and then put one foot in front of the other until he had walked all the way to the book shelf and then put the book on the book shelf The deer walked in The man whirled around and fired once with his pistol and the brains of the deer went flying out the back of its head and painted the wall a color dark red ike blood The man sat down again ike a man sitting downI didn t really ike the book said the dead deerI "reckon I was pretty conflicted replied the man grimlyHis writing style is pretty "I was pretty conflicted replied the man grimlyHis writing style is pretty reckon his style is perty silly he just strings a bunch of them
Declarative Statements Together Likestatements together ike man did this then the man did that etc but they don t paint no picture they re done totally unevocative of anything I reckon it don t take no skill to just state in excessive detail what someone is doing It takes artistic skill to say it in a way that done bring it to ife for the reader and he don t done really do that I reckon it s some sub Hemingway shit he s doingIt s not all bad thoughI reckon some some of the images t were pretty powerfulAnd the judge is a memorable characterI reckon he s the only one though All the rest of them there charac ers ain t real memorable ike he done put no effort into em cause he spent all his time on the judge And that there whole novel was allwhatdjacallit structureless and stuff And real repetitiv tooI read that he doesn t see why people ike Proust and James because he thinks all novels should be about ife and death thingsI reckon that s cause he s too obsessed with subject matter and not enough with style and artThe dead deer nodded and walked out The man slowly got up again by putting one foot then the other on the floor and then used his hands to push himself up out of the chair He fixed himself a drink and resolved not to take any book recommendations from Harold Bloom Breathless Uniue Brutal There are many words. The fulfilled renown of Moby Dick and of As I Lay Dying is augmented by Blood Meridian since Cormac McCarthy is the worthy disciple both of Melville and Faulkner writes esteemed Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation literary scholar Harold Bloom in his Introduction to the Modern Library edition I venture that no otheriving American novelist not even Pynchon has given us a book as stron.