Blood Meridian, or, the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Here's one of the more brilliant books I've read.
With shocking, evocative language, rivers of abuse, blood, poverty, and a sick fascination with all things corrupt, it's a testament to all things evil and/or lost.
While the historically-based events and the pristine Western-ethos is on full display, the subversion of the genre is, as well. I'm not precisely a fan of Westerns even on the best of days, but I've always enjoyed the best of the best. I liked the exploration of grey areas and white and black hats. I liked the purity, or at least the utter impossibility of finding purity. But Blood Meridian does away with all that. There's nothing but black hats. It's all a pure dystopia and it's brutal, ugly, hateful.
The only things we DO get to focus on to pull us through this nightmare is the mythology of the best worst people in the story. The Judge is quite brilliant and capable and he is quite possibly the best depiction of the devil I've ever read. And all these parts of America and Mexico are, indeed, hell.
This isn't a book for the light of heart. It is brilliant and gorgeous in its brutal ugliness. I'm in awe even as my stomach turns.
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