The Gardener’s Son: Diagnosing America’s Psyche

Cormac McCarthy’s The Gardener’s Son is a poignant and eloquent story that explores the schizophrenic breakdown of the American psyche caused by a legislated diet of capitalism.  In it, McCarthy examines the privileged class, contrasting the values of those born into wealth with those who have earned it.  He also documents the compartmentalization of Christian […]

Blood Meridian: The Epilogue

  Blood Meridian (or the Evening Redness in the West) is widely regarded as Cormac McCarthy’s finest work.  Though he won the Pulitzer Prize for The Road, and The National Book Award for All the Pretty Horses, it is Blood Meridian that critic Harold Bloom boasts is “worthy of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick”.  The novel is a rich […]

All The Pretty Horses: Cormac McCarthy’s Postmodern Pastoral

  Cormac McCarthy’s All The Pretty Horses is among his most popular works, and for good reason.  Though it may not be as epic in scope as Blood Meridian, the work is an expertly executed novel that marries the pastoral with the western and manages to create a narrative that weaves feminism, ecocriticism, and existentialism together […]

Cormac McCarthy’s Outer Dark: Language, Gender, an Thomas Hobbes

  Published in 1968, Outer Dark was Cormac McCarthy’s second novel, and is consistent in spirit with the dark, nihilist undertones of most of McCarthy’s work.  The narrative tells the story of a young woman named Rinthy who has had a child by her brother Culla.  Whilst Rinthy is laid up in bed after giving […]

Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God: Thoreau’s Nightmare; America’s Reality

Though Suttree, The Crossing and Blood Meridian may be the novels that best exemplify the skill of Cormac McCarthy’s skill, but Child of God is a smaller sample that is just as engaging in parts.  In it McCarthy tells the tale of a Lester Ballard, a young man who is raised without parents and finds himself isolated from […]

The Counselor: A Disappointing Masterpiece

There is not an author, living or dead, whose work I enjoy more than Cormac McCarthy‘s, so when I first saw the trailer for The Counselor, I decided to stave off suicide for a few months until I saw the film.  Regretfully, the film was disappointing (don’t worry, I’m still staving off suicide in anticipation […]

1000 Books In 10 Years: Vol. 249: Winter’s Bone, by Daniel Woodrell

The cover of Winter’s Bone suggests that there is a profound “and haunting… lineage from [William] Faulkner to [Daniel] Woodrell” which “runs as deep and true as an Ozark stream”.  This is perhaps a bit optimistic (and in the author’s defense, he aligns himself more with James Agee and Flannery O’Connor than he does with […]

1000 Books In 10 Years; Vol. 96: The Sunset Limited, by Cormac McCarthy

Since Cormac McCarthy is likely my favourite author, it seemed only fitting that I included at least one of his works in my readings this year. The Sunset Limited is certainly a piece worth reading and works as a kind of antithesis to Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus, where, rather than the narrative voice convincing the […]