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A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind.
They have nothing but a pistol to defend themselves against the men who stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food and each other.
A masterpiece that will soon be considered a classic. * Herald * You will read on, absolutely convinced, thrilled, mesmerized. All the modern novel can do is done here. -- Alan Warner * Guardian * So good that it will devour you. It is incandescent. * Daily Telegraph * One of the most shocking and harrowing but ultimately redemptive books I have read. It is an intensely intimate story. It is also a warning. -- Kirsty Wark * Observer Books of the Year * McCarthy conjures from this pitiless flight the miracle of unswerving humanity. Gripping beyond belief. -- Chris Cleave * Sunday Telegraph * The first great masterpiece of the globally warmed generation. Here is an American classic which, at a stroke, makes McCarthy a contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature. -- Andrew O'Hagan
ISBN: 9780330513005 ISBN-10: 0330513001 Series: Picador Classic Audience:
Number Of Pages: 256 Published: 1st March 2010 Publisher: Pan Macmillan Country of Publication: AU Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.3
Weight (kg): 0.23
Edition Number: 1
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
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.