by Cormac McCarthy

Reviewer Rating:
5

Review

Blood Meridian is an absolutely epic novel depicting the violence and depravity that accompanied America’s westward expansion. It brilliantly combines the conventions that make up the traditional Western novel and the mythology of the "wild west". In fact, literary critic Harold Bloom takes it a step further and notes that the book "culminates all the aesthetic potential that Western fiction can have…it essentially closes out the tradition.” And it does so, quite literally, with a bang.  

Being one of the most violent books I’ve ever read, it left me mentally and emotionally exhausted. The landscape of the story is the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, and traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennessean who stumbles into a nightmarish world where scores upon scores of innocents (and a few guilties) are slaughtered in cold blood. The result is a narrative world that forces us to examine predatory human violence, which is far older than we care to imagine and acts as a vital piece to understanding the puzzle of the American psyche.

It's well worth the effort. 

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