About A Bloody Tale
Let’s talk Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. This book has a lot going for it, if’n you’re in the right mood. It requires some getting used to, but once you’re in, I suspect you’ll be fully absorbed.
McCarthy has never been my favorite author, but he’s got a bit and he sticks to it. What I respect is the care that he puts into every word. Trust me, it’s there. The writing is weird and there’s no quotation marks to hip you to the dialogue, so get ready for that barrel of fun. This always used to piss me off. I think I appreciate it more now. I used to consider his stylistic choices to be self-indulgent and pretentious, mostly because I’m an idiot. The style makes sense. My belief is that he’s trying something different. Why not? The lack of punctuation has another benefit—you gots to pay attention or you’ll get off the dirty, miserable track.
So like this Western journey or not, it’s a work worth appreciating. There is a sort of scriptural matter-of-factness to the prose that causes the obscene and violent to smack the reader on the face without warning. Also, I think this is intended. Either that or he just got lucky. Doubt it.
I wouldn’t recommend The Crossing, another of his books that I believe is in this genre, but Blood is a frigging classic for a reason. Classic. It’s not even as old as I am. Wait. That means I’m a classic. Wait. It just means I’m old.
Give it twenty pages. The man describes the hardship of the western life before the advent of all the things we take for granted with raw and brutal force. The descriptions are sometimes perfect. The prose noteworthy. It ain’t exactly a knee-slapper, but there’s truth in this puppy.
Cheers and see you after.