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Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West Hardcover – Jan 2 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; New edition edition (Jan. 2 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679641041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679641049
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 3.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #36,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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"The men as they rode turned black in the sun from the blood on their clothes and their faces and then paled slowly in the rising dust until they assumed once more the color of the land through which they passed." If what we call "horror" can be seen as including any literature that has dark, horrific subject matter, then Blood Meridian is, in this reviewer's estimation, the best horror novel ever written. It's a perverse, picaresque Western about bounty hunters for Indian scalps near the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s--a ragged caravan of indiscriminate killers led by an unforgettable human monster called "The Judge." Imagine the imagery of Sam Peckinpah and Heironymus Bosch as written by William Faulkner, and you'll have just an inkling of this novel's power. From the opening scenes about a 14-year-old Tennessee boy who joins the band of hunters to the extraordinary, mythic ending, this is an American classic about extreme violence. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

"McCarthy is a writer to be read, to be admired, and quite honestly—envied."
—Ralph Ellison

"McCarthy is a born narrator, and his writing has, line by line, the stab of actuality. He is here to stay."
—Robert Penn Warren

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Corey Lidster TOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 6 2014
Format: Paperback
Blood Meridian is unquestionably the best novel ever written by anyone, anytime, anywhere, about anything. More important than the Bible multiplied by the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, with a heaping tablespoon of Faulkner drizzled over The Killer Angels.

[These assertions were tested using: a 1st edition; a centrifuge; gas chromatograph and mass spectrometer; a fingernail from the writing hand of a literary critic from the New York Times Book Review; the blood of the world's most erudite chicken -- whom I had personally educated using the standard method involving audiobooks and telepathy; Satanic Death Rituals, although my attempts to resurrect Cormac McCarthy ran aground when I discovered he was still alive; a homemade voodoo curse I assembled using spare parts from the Necronomicon and Cat Fancy magazine; and most importantly, frozen yogurt. In the end, I found that actually reading the book worked almost as well.]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harrison Koehli TOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 28 2010
Format: Paperback
Widely considered to be McCarthy's masterpiece, Blood Meridian explores the same themes which reached a wide audience in his more recent works The Road and No Country for Old Men (Vintage International), both adapted for the screen in recent years. McCarthy presents a world of chaos, violence, and inhumanity, a bleak landscape peopled by mercenaries, malice, and violence. But just as his desolate vision and descriptions of the horrific violence which characterized the much mythicized "Old West" are interspersed with expertly rich and poetic language, what at first appears to be a cynical and wholly amoral worldview holds something deeper nestled within.

The book follows the fictionalized exploits of the historical Glanton gang, a group of mercenaries hired to kill Apache Indians in Mexico after the Mexican-American wa. Throughout the book stands the enigmatic and frightening character of Judge Holden, who many reviewers see as the personification of evil and perhaps the Devil himself. While the Biblical tone of the book definitely suggests this interpretation, McCarthy is as always saying something about the very real manifestations of evil in a world often viewed through rose-colored glasses. Holden is in fact a typical, if exceptional, psychopath. He is ruthless, remorseless, intelligent and malicious. He is larger than life and embodies the psychopathic worldview. (See
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Pangburn on Aug. 21 2003
Format: Paperback
"The thunder moved up from the southwest and lightning lit the desert all about them, blue and barren, great clanging reaches ordered out of the absolute night like some demon kingdom summoned up, the mountains on the sudden skyline stark and black and livid, like a land of some other order out there whose true geology was not stone but fear."

Based on historical sources, written in an Old Testament style all its own, laced with gallows humor, synchronized with stellar and cosmological references, aglow with bright literary references to Melville's MOBY DICK and Conrad's HEART OF DARKNESS. It has been highly praised by such diverse literary figures as Harold Bloom, Stephen King, Donna Tartt, Steve Hamilton, and Madison Smartt Bell. To get some inkling of the brilliance of this novel, see John Sepich's NOTES ON BLOOD MERIDIAN or go to the Cormac McCarthy website.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bruddy Dahl on Nov. 20 2001
Format: Paperback
I recently saw Harold Bloom, the famous literary scholar from Yale, on a television show where he stated that Blood Meridian was the greatest work of any contemporary American author. I agree. I can't think of anything I've read that even comes close to this novel. First, you have the prose style, which is so controlled and crafted and at the same time flows so naturally that it must have taken years to develop. It reminded me of a missing book from the bible: hypnotic, enigmatic, ancient and at the same time, familiar. I kept thinking of the ocean when I was reading it because of the vastness of the landscape he describes. It seems as if the characters are on a journey, but they're not, unless they're circling further and further down into hell.
I think the familiarity of the novel comes from it's relation to violence from a Christian standpoint. There's no doubt that McCarthy intends to have us react to this book from a moral perspective and yet at the same time be fascinated with it's violence. The setting, the wild wicked west, is a part of the American psyche that still takes forms today in our action films and tv shows that feed our hunger for blood and murder. By taking us back to our roots, stripping away the restraints of our Judeo-Christian values, MCCarthy steeps the story of death and evil in biblical prose and washes it with blood so that we see our dark selves reflected in all our ugliness.
I compare this work to the works of the great Russian novelists ,Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, who always went for the big questions, What is life?, Who is God?, What is morality? and the American Moby Dick which encapsulated a universe. When you read books like these a lot of what appears on the bestseller lists seems so meaningless.
This is a book you simply stand in awe of if you're a writer or ever thought of being one.
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