I've read "No Country for Old Men" and "The Road" and the latter is one of my favorite books. Just curious to see if any of you have read a lot of his books and which ones you would suggest.
there would have to be some to wash away
Blood Meridian is awesome. I'd HIGHLY recommend it if you liked those others.
They call that book IMPOSSIBLE to make into a movie.
McCarthy come shighly recommended by none other than Harold Bloom--and Bloom says Judge Holden is one of the most frightening characters in all of literature.
Edit: Note to the OP: You have missed a golden opportunity for another Mike Leach thread. You could have titled this: Cormac McCarthy books Mike Leach Might Have Read.
I din't neg you for this oversight---but consider yourself warned.
We need more Mike Leach threads!
Is amazing! Outer Dark is supposed to be good as well, though its one of his earlier works.
I am so happy this thread started, McCarthy is a favorite.
Blood Meridian is great. My favorite of anything he's written.
There are none of his works that I could not recommend. I have read all of his novels, save No Country (because I have seen the movie about 10 times!). Some are aimed more at the dark side of humanity (Blood Meridian and Child of God) while others reveal the light and dark that composes most all of us ( Sutree and the border books).
I love that his works, for the most part, simply provide insight into a characters life for a period of time. No moral preachings or lifelong sagas, just a glimpse into a segment of time. The detail he places into his books is what make them special to me. The running or trot lines in Sutree or the tying of the lobo in All the Pretty Horses, all make the doing of the act as signifiacant as the act itself.
There are two distinct divisions to his work his Tennessee period and the western period. McCarthy grew up in East TN and it provides the setting for his books until Blood Meridian (the exception being The Road which returns to East Tn/Appalachia).
The movie did no justice to the book, fwiw. None at all.
Well most books that are adapted into movies are not done justice on the big screen. But I thought "No Country for Old Men" did about as good of job as you could do. Nowhere near what the book is, but a very good movie. I thought the casting was superb.
The prose just made the book much better for me.
Thanks, that's good to know. I had a friend that told me that it was nearly identical, save for the ending and a few brevity edits. As a matter of fact I was also told that most of the dialogue was straight from the book. I hope that you will now excuse me as I have a friend to kill with a pneumatic device...
I always imagined Jeff Bridges as the Judge.
This "novel in dramatic form" from McCarthy is really really good. I would argue that it may even be philosophically darker than "Blood Meridian."I wish I could see itperformed live
books that make up the 'Border Trilogy' are quite good (All the Pretty Horses, the Crossing, City of the Plain), but out of the three, I would recommend All The Pretty Horses.
They do offer a nice Everyman's Library version that includes all three and is around $15-$20. Can't go wrong.
is phenomenal. I'm about to start the Border Trilogy. My wife loves McCarthy and has read more than I have and she really liked Outer Dark and Child of God.
Blood Meridian makes other literature shit its pants in fear
Read it now
Trees full of dead babbies tend to do that.
Oh my English major nerdery gets to be put on display for a second.
Everyone is right, Blood Meridian is the pinnacle of his career. The Judge is not only the most terrifying, but probably the greatest literary character of the 20th century.
I would recommend Suttree, I enjoyed that quite a bit, perhaps the third or fourth best of his that I've read. The Border Trilogy is incredible too. Don't read The Orchard Keeper. That's probably the only one of his novels that I haven't been a fan of.
It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge. War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and will be
1. The Crossing. My favorite of the Border Trilogy novels.
2. The Outer Dark. Really sets the tone for McCarthy's later works. The blind traveler on the road in The Road appears here first, perhaps.
3. All the Pretty Horses. Ignore that it's a dippy title, and ignore that there was a movie by the same name. This is the funniest of his novels. The ostensible moral of the story:
"A goodlookin horse is like a goodlookin woman, he said. They're always more trouble than what they're worth. What a man needs is just one that will get the job done."
4. Cities of the Plains. The denouement of the Border Trilogy, and the most difficult of the three to like. The symbolic legend to this story, and McCarthy's novels generally, appears at the end of the novel, however. It perhaps works best as a short story, but I can see why it was appended to this novel. It is at once a post-script, a dreamstory, and an allegory.
His other early novels are notable, but not as good as these.
The Road. I loved that book. My first foray into Cormac McCarthy books. It has my favorite line ever in that book. It was amazing.
Would that line happen to be: "Ten thousand dreams ensepulchred within their crozzled hearts"? That is probably one of my favorite sentences in all of his books, if not ever.
and none of the others. The Road is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read. Thanks for the suggestions fellas.
I am dying to read Blood Meridian, and have been ever since I read The Road. It took me years to build up a high tolerance for violence in literature, but I think I'm ready.
But my local library doesn't carry it. Or a lot of other good books. Is it too violent for SoFL retirees, mayhap?
I think Harold Bloom noted in his introduction that it took him a couple of starts and stops before he could finish it, for that very reason.
Specifically avoided watching the film version of the first since I figured they would just fuck it up. Haven't read Cities on the Plain or any of his other stuff.
Came across this interesting bit of trivia on his Wikipedia page:
According to Wired magazine in December, 2009, McCarthy's Olivetti Lettera 32 typewriter was put up for auction at Christie's. The Olivetti Lettera 32 has been in his care for 46 years, since 1963. McCarthy picked up the used machine for $50 from a pawn shop in Knoxville, Tennessee. McCarthy reckons he has typed around 5 million words on the machine, and maintenance consisted of “blowing out the dust with a service station hose.” The typewriter was auctioned on Friday, December 4 and the auction house Christie’s estimated it would fetch between $15,000 and $20,000–it sold for $254,500 (including auction fees.) The Olivetti’s replacement for McCarthy to use is another Olivetti, bought by McCarthy’s friend John Miller for $11. The proceeds of the auction are to be donated to the Santa Fe Institute, a nonprofit interdisciplinary scientific research organization.
I agree with watching the films. I had no choice in No Country (damn Cohen Bros), but I will skip The Road. I don't want Aragorn son of Arathorn fucking up my post-apocalyptic images of Appalachia. I have live in or near the Appalachian Mountains most of my life, so the imagery I have I will keep. Now if I could only keep those damn kids off my lawn!
...can anyone explain to me what "young Blasarius" means?
As to his greatest work, it's hard to choose -- but chapter 10 of Blood Meridian (the ex-priest telling the known story of the judge to the kid) is astonishing.
Crazy coincidence, I just finished The Road yesterday. McCarthy definitely has a very unique and evocative manner of storytelling. The interplay between the characters is often touching and says a great deal about humanity in relatively few words.
I know that he chooses to leave a lot unsaid, but as far as post apocalyptic works go, I've read a few with more memorable ideas and characters (if not more memorable prose) - like World War Z by Max Brooks, which is a totally different kind of novel, but one that I enjoyed immensely.
Somehow I have never read Blood Meridian but will put that at the top of my list.
Blood Meridian is epically brutal. Being fairly soft, it makes me incredibly glad I didn't live in that time/area. There were multiple times where I'd have to put the book down and think to myself "awe shit"
The Road...probably the book I've read the fastest that wasn't required reading. I don't think the movie fucked up too much but it is a very fast-forwarded version of the story.
Saw No Country in the theatre but am letting some time go by before I hit the book.