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Blood Meridian  - Cormac McCarthy

Paperback

Published: March 2010
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Blood Meridian is an epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America's westward expansion, brilliantly subverting the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the Wild West.

Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennessean who stumbles into a nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving.

'McCarthy's achievement is to establish a new mythology which is as potent and vivid as that of the movies, yet one which has absolutely the opposite effect ...He is a great writer' - "Independent".

'I have rarely encountered anything as powerful, as unsettling, or as memorable as Blood Meridian ...A nightmare odyssey' - "Evening Standard".

'His masterpiece ...The book reads like a conflation of the "Inferno", "The Iliad" and "Moby Dick". I can only declare that "Blood Meridian" is unlike anything I have read in recent years, and seems to me an extraordinary, breathtaking achievement' - John Banville.

About The Author

Cormac McCarthy is the author of ten acclaimed novels, most recently The Road. Among his honours are the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

"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

ISBN: 9780330510943
ISBN-10: 0330510940
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: March 2010
Dimensions (cm): 20.0 x 12.9  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.27

Cormac McCarthy


Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island on July 20, 1933. He is the third of six children (the eldest son) born to Charles Joseph and Gladys Christina McGrail McCarthy (he has two brothers and three sisters). Originally named Charles (after his father), he renamed himself Cormac after the Irish King (another source says that McCarthy's family was responsible for legally changing his name to the Gaelic equivalent of "son of Charles").


Before his first novel, The Orchard Keeper, was published (1965 — McCarthy's editor at Random House was Faulkner's long-time editor, Albert Erskine), McCarthy had received a traveling fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1965, using this money, he left America on the liner Sylvania, intending to visit the home of his Irish ancestors (a King Cormac McCarthy built Blarney Castle). While on the trip, he met Anne DeLisle, a young English singer/dancer working on the ship; they were married in England in 1966. Another grant was given McCarthy in 1966, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant (1966-68). He and Anne toured southern England, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain. Then they settled on the island of Ibiza, which was a kind of artist's colony at the time. Here, McCarthy completed revisions of Outer Dark.

Child of God was published in 1973. Inspired by actual events in Sevier County, it garnered mixed reviews, some praising it as great, while others found it despicable.

In 1979, McCarthy published his fourth novel, Suttree, a book which had occupied his writing life on and off for twenty or so years. It was said by many to be McCarthy's best work to date, and some critics still maintain that it is his finest novel. However, the book drew some negative reviews, too. At least one reviewer (who wrote for the Memphis Press Scimitar) was roundly rebuked in a letter to the editor written by novelist and historian Shelby Foote.

Blood Meridian was published in 1985, but received little review attention at the time. Now, however, it is considered a turning point in his career. Some critics prefer his recent western writing, of which Blood Meridian was the first example. Others feel that he has strayed too far from his roots, that his westerns lack something. But Blood Meridian, followed closely by Suttree, is now generally regarded as McCarthy's finest work to date. McCarthy did extensive research for the novel, and it is based quite heavily on actual events. The author visited all the locales of the book and even learned Spanish to further his research.

All the Pretty Horses, the first volume of The Border Trilogy, was published by Knopf in 1992. Unlike McCarthy's earlier books, this one became a publishing sensation, garnering many excellent reviews. It became a New York Times bestseller, and sold 190,000 copies in hardcover within the first six months of publication. It finally gave McCarthy the wide readership that had eluded him for many years.

McCarthy edited a play he had written in the mid-1970s, which was published in the summer of 1994 by Ecco Press. Called The Stonemason, the tragedy explores the fortunes of three generations of a black family in Kentucky. Shortly after the publication of The Stonemason, Knopf released the second volume of The Border Trilogy, The Crossing. The book features the tale of Billy Parham's attempt to return a trapped she-wolf to its home in the northern Mexican mountains and the tragic consequences of his adventure.

The third volume of The Border Trilogy was published in 1998; Cities of the Plain, unites John Grady Cole, the main character of All the Pretty Horses, with The Crossing's Billy Parham, and centers on Cole's doomed relationship with a Mexican prostitute. Not as well-received by critics as the first two books in the Border Trilogy, Cities of the Plain is nonetheless notable for its epilogue, which reaches back to Suttree in its imagery and simultaneously casts the entire Border Trilogy in a new and fascinating light, unifying the previous two volumes of the trilogy.

McCarthy continued writing; his next novel, No Country for Old Men, was published in July 2005 from Alfred A. Knopf.

Visit Cormac McCarthy's Booktopia Author Page