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

4.4 out of 5 stars 181 customer reviews

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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: 14.7 x 2.6 x 21.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 181 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #112,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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.


"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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
To put it plainly, BLOOD MERIDIAN is like nothing that I have ever read before; any serious attempt at gaining a contextual understanding of this text will require multiple readings, with English and Spanish dictionaries in hand.

Multilayered with symbolism and meaning, and masterfully crafted with bilingual verbosity and unorthodox syntax, Cormic McCarthy presents a nightmarish reality where moral law is a cipher in toto.

So far, I have read this sublime offering by McCarthy only once; I definitely intend to read it again.  However, truth be told, BLOOD MERIDIAN is not an easily digestible piece of pap writing; it is a hauntingly graphic work of historical fiction that requires ample time for rumination and ancillary study.

Without question,  BLOOD MERIDIAN is one of the most brutal pieces of literature that I have ever read.  Set in the U.S./Mexican borderlands, in the immediate aftermath of the Mexican-American war, McCarthy vivid portrays an inhospitable, lawless region where extreme violence is the modus operandi, and benevolence is nearly non-existent. 

I reiterate, the unflinching levels of violence portrayed by McCarthy are tantamount to "total war":  American soldiers scalped, disemboweled, and sodomized by Comanche warriors; Apache infants' heads dashed against rocks until their brains spill out; genitals severed and stuffed into victims' mouths; men skewered over fires and burned alive; children abducted, raped, and murdered... 

At the epicenter of this panoply of blood lust is the Mephistophelian antagonist  known as Judge Holden, or "The Judge" - a seven foot tall, completely hairless, Caucasian leader of a band of vicious criminals that has been commissioned to collect Apache scalps.
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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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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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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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