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The Sunset Limited

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  6,048 Ratings  ·  619 Reviews
A startling encounter on a New York subway platform leads two strangers to a run-down tenement where a life or death decision must be made.

In that small apartment, Black and White, as the two men are known, begin a conversation that leads each back through his own history, mining the origins of two fundamentally opposing world views. White is a professor whose seemingly e
Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 24th 2006 by Vintage
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Popular Answered Questions

Robert Brooks I believe everyone agrees with White...The smallest bit of introspection and observation proves that out...

The question is; Is his position right?

I believe everyone agrees with White...The smallest bit of introspection and observation proves that out...

The question is; Is his position right?

It is easy to see the world as a dark and dismal existence , lord knows there are plenty of examples we're exposed to daily...But, it all has to do with perspective because the true paradigm is filled with light and beauty, love and happiness...But, alas; thus is freewill...We must all make that decision at one or more points in our lives...Thank goodness for music, art and nature to show us the light...(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Huda Yahya
داخل حجرة متواضعة
لا يكسو عريها سوى منضدة صغيرة تتوسطها

يجلس رجلان
أحدهما أسود البشرة
والآخر أبيض

الأول مؤمن
والثاني ملحد

الأول وجد راحته في حلاوة الإيمان
والثاني يراها مجرد مخدر اختاره الأول كي يعينه على قسوة الحياة

في هذه البقعة الصغيرة من الأرض
تدور مباراة فكرية رائعة
سجال ونقاش ومبارزة
كرة من الأفكار تروح وتجيء بين يدي الاثنين
تاركة عقلك متوهجا

الأبيض كان يحاول الانتحار بأن حاول إلقاء نفسه
تحت عجلات قطار خط "سان سيت ليميتيد"
ومن هنا يأتي الاسم
والذي له أبعاد أخرى كذلك

والأسود هو من ينقذه

هكذا يتعارفا

Rebecca McNutt
Feb 23, 2017 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it
A powerful and philosophical story that questions everything humans hold onto, The Sunset Limited is a cross between science and faith that will make every reader question life and its meanings.
Nov 08, 2013 Szplug rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's better to burn out 'cause rust never sleeps
So here's my first effort to shake off all of that oxidic accumulation garnered across months of melancholic mesmerization over a dropped wiener. It'll evince little in the way of insight or thoughtfulness, but may feature a ten dollar word paraded here and there and which will hopefully go some way, as has been managed before, to aptly demonstrate that Sastrean horseshit can be moderated by ornate modulations lifted from my reviewing betters.

Wayne Barrett
Apr 28, 2016 Wayne Barrett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, 2016, plays
Thought provoking piece. I saw this on HBO with Samuel L Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones and thought it was excellent. The book didn't disappoint.
Riku Sayuj
Mmm Hmmm. McCarthy gone done it. He gone eclipsed Beckett hisslef. Desolation, I like them sound of that trickbag. Yess.

[A full comparative review might happen, though I am not sure I am up to it - Was that the cry of an angel at the end? Was that a re-enactment of Eden, with an angel substituted for the devil? Will man fail in either case? I am not up to it, as I said. All aboard The Sunset Limited. Please.]
Jul 22, 2007 Danny rated it really liked it
This one-act play forces one to consider opposing perspectives on human existence. True to form, McCarthy doesn’t offer peaches and roses. He offers the sad reality of what life means to two very different men. Despite the dark tone, the play reads extremely well, the dialogue is direct and penetrating. McCarthy is one of the best writers of our time.
Kevin Larkin Angioli
Sep 20, 2008 Kevin Larkin Angioli rated it it was amazing
The Sunset Limited is a very powerful piece of literature.
It is a dialogue that is essentially about suicide and religion. There are two characters.
One man, a black man ("black"), had a terrible life and was in jail for years and did horrible things, such as murder and other crimes he never specifies, but now lives with virtually nothing, trying to do God's will and trying to help his brother man. He "rescued" a white Professor of English ("white"), who had tried to throw himself before a train
Oct 16, 2012 orsodimondo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
Due soli personaggi, solo due in scena tutto il tempo. Non hanno nomi, tranne BIANCO e NERO.
Uno dà del 'tu' all'altro, lo chiama 'professore' o 'zuccherino' – l'altro rimane agganciato a un più formale 'lei'.
Ma è quello dei due che vince la partita, secondo me, professore delle tenebre, della morte travestita da giorno.

Unità di tempo e di luogo.
Indicazioni scenografiche ridotte all'osso.
Solo dialogo, uno parla e l'altro risponde, più o meno.
Ha tutta
Mar 15, 2016 Carmine rated it really liked it
Secondo me chi fa domande vuole la verità, mentre chi dubita vuole sentirsi dire che la verità non esiste.

McCarthy, di fronte a te non posso che arrendermi.
"Sunset limited" è devastante nella sua scrittura minimale; le contraddizioni e difficoltà della società occidentale emergono con un'inquietante naturalezza, trasportate dalla cadenzata prosa teatrale imposta dall'autore.

Da una parte un individuo reietto dalla società, detentore della fede come unico riscatto dopo aver toccato il fondo; dall
Vimal Thiagarajan
Pared down and packed with substance - dark dark humour to boot - Can written dialogues get any better? - Ahh, this merciless vortex of hope and nihilism - these chaotic voices in my head - moved? or depressed? - or just fast becoming a McCarthy fan?
Marco Tamborrino
Per me il mondo è fondamentalmente un campo di lavori forzati da cui ogni giorno si estraggono a sorte dei detenuti - completamente innocenti - perché vengano giustiziati. Non è così che la vedo. È così che è. Esistono pareri diversi? Certo? Resistono a un esame approfondito? No.

Il nichilismo non ha mai offerto risposte.
Le domande di questo libro sono due:
Perché il suicidio sarebbe meglio della vita?
Perché la vita sarebbe meglio del suicidio?

È sufficiente una persona che incarni la prima domand
May 12, 2014 Arwen56 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aspettiamo tutti Godot, chiunque o qualsiasi cosa sia. Ma, si sa, Godot ha il brutto vezzo di non arrivare mai. E, nel frattempo, noi ci perdiamo. Inevitabilmente. Tutti. In un modo o nell’altro.

Questo contraddittorio, propostoci da McCarthy, è davvero strepitoso. E’ l’unica prova narrativa di questo autore che mi abbia pienamente convinta, finora. Ripropone i temi da sempre a lui cari, ma qui lo fa, finalmente, con indubbia efficacia.

Imperdibile il film che ne è stato tratto, dall’omonimo tito
Lee Bullitt
Sep 21, 2008 Lee Bullitt rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like stereotypes, sorry just kidding
this was a good book and (I'm sad to say) I had to sympathize a lot with what White had to say, because I often feel the same way. But there were some great things to learn from either character.

BUT, what I particularly DO NOT LIKE is that even though both characters are only supposed to be known as BLACK and WHITE, the author says "the black" whenever Black does something. As in "the black stood up", but just because Black starts calling White "professor" suddenly all his stage directions say "
May 17, 2016 Cody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever been stoned? I don’t mean giggly, ‘who-has-the-munchies?’ high— I’m talking immaculately stoned. Where every single goddamn song is the best song ever written, life is the simplest navigable journey imaginable, and you have figured out that there are no secrets to the universe, only questions to which you have all the answers? (It’s all so simple! Ha!) Yes? Good. Then you’ve already lived this book. Let me explain, but with some personal exegesis.

I spent a lot of my years in vario
May 31, 2013 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una stanza e due uomini.
Questo è bastato a Cormac McCarthy per dar vita al suo libro.
NERO e BIANCO (distinti in base al colore della pelle) intavolano una vera e propria partita a scacchi dove pedoni, alfieri e torri non sono altro che propensioni e credenze dei protagonisti legate alla religione, al modo di viverla e ai motivi per non seguirla.

NERO, da quando si è convertito, crede di essere costantemente in missione spirituale; è convinto che ogni persona raggiunta da Dio sia obbligata a tras
May 04, 2011 Jeremy rated it it was amazing
This doesn't have the same meat to it that Mccarthy's other dramatic works do. The Gardener's Son and the Stonemason are bother informed by this really keen sense of place, but the sunset limited has this enforced sort of anonymity to it. Which makes sense given its stripped down parable-ish nature. But that's also what makes it more jarring and gives it it's dark edge. White's last two monologues are probably among the bleakest things Mccarthy's ever written. Even The Road, with it's obvious ap ...more
Jul 29, 2007 Russ rated it liked it
Recommends it for: yes
I have been reading a lot of Cormac Mcarthy these days. If you did not already know, he is a very good writer. I picked this up just after finishing The Road. Sunset Limited seems like one part of a very large idea that has been germinating in McCarthy's demented but somehow tender mind.
Ksenia Anske
Mar 02, 2016 Ksenia Anske rated it really liked it
This was a delight, a quick smudge of darkness, with some humor in it, and some tough questions. One long string of dialogue for you to swallow up and then sit and stare and ponder.
Apr 23, 2017 Celeste rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana
Un dialogo teatrale tra un professore bianco ed un uomo di colore.
McCarthy piega i dialoghi al suo volere, rendendoli vivi e pulsanti. Sembra quasi di vederli, questi due uomini in conflitto tra loro e con loro stessi. Una forza evocativa fuori dal comune.
Jan 12, 2008 Jesse rated it it was ok
I guess it was bound to happen some time. Cormac McCarthy finally disappointed me.
The entire play/novel is a single conversation between two men, identified as Black and White, at a table in Black's apartment. It opens in medias res, after Black (who is black) just saved White (who is white) from leaping in the path of a train, The Sunset Limited, in an attempted suicide. The ex-con Black tries to convince White that suicide is not the solution, telling his own story of Christian redemption. Wh
Jul 15, 2015 Francesca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Il mio primo McCarthy in assoluto, un amore a prima vista.
Questo testo teatrale, questo dialogo serrato tra due personaggi, indicati solo con il nome di BIANCO e NERO, che ti spinge in una direzione per poi cambiarla e ribaltarla una volta arrivati alla fine.
L'argomento trattato, quello religioso, quello dell'esistenza o meno di Dio e Gesù, è difficile e complesso e l'autore lo sviscera attraverso uno scambio di battute al fulmicotone e senza via di scampo
Aya Hesham
التنميط هو أساس العنصرية، لذا فهدم العنصرية يقوم على كسر الصورة النمطية وإخراج الشخص تمامًا من هذه الصورة "الغير حقيقية" ووضعه في صورته "الحقيقية"، لا أن تضع الشخص في صورته النمطية وتضيف بعض "الإختلافات" كما فعل ماكراثي هنا..

المسرحية هي حوار طويل بين شخصيتان فقط ،بلا اسم يشير لهما الكاتب طوال المسرحية بالرجل "الأبيض" و الرجل "االأسود"
:الشخصية السوداء
مجرم سابق "لكنه" مسيحي مؤمن بوجود إله
غير متعلم ويستخدم الفاظ بدائية "لكن" فكره قيّم
فقير "لكنه" راض تمامًا عن حاله
:الشخصية البيضاء
Dec 14, 2010 Paola rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Questo minuscolo libricino non mi lascia in pace.
Una moderna riflessione, stile Cormac, sull'esistenza di dio, sul senso della vita, sulla fede o non fede, sulla giustizia divina.
Mi rimanda a Giobbe, (l'archetipo, dell'uomo che si interroga su quanto scritto sopra), seduto sul mucchio di immondizia al margine del villaggio mentre con un coccio si gratta una specie di rogna e si domanda perché dio si accanisca così contro di lui servitore fedele e migliore dei giusti, e se tutto questo abbia un
Jan 20, 2009 Helen rated it really liked it
I first heard about this book a little over 6 years ago, when a friend of mine was reading it at a writers' retreat. He said it was very different from McCarthy's other books, and interesting in the fact that it's a novel, written as a play. He didn't say much of anything else about it, but I put it on the list to read, eventually.

Well, that friend has since died, and I wish he hadn't, because I've now read the book, and I wish I could talk to him about it further, because in many ways, it was
Christian, Kelanth, Scala
Questo libricino è davvero un colpo duro. Stringato, essenziale, spartano negli ambienti, spartano nei personaggi, niente fronzoli, niente compromessi, come McCarthy ci ha abituato.

Una sola convinzione: "o hai una ragione per vivere, «zuccherino», o il Sunset Limited è la fuori che ti aspetta". Passa tutti i giorni e sfreccia a centotrenta all’ora. Un uomo, Nero, pregno della fede di Dio, «sa che c’è Gesù in questa stanza» perchè si è ritrovato con il corpo cucito a metà e Dio l'ha salvato; un
Kirk Smith
Jan 01, 2014 Kirk Smith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Headline: CORMAC MCCARTHY HAS A SENSE OF HUMOR. I always wished it could be true and now I have found it. This is too good to describe. Best thing in a year. It all begins with a failed suicide attempt and is then a debate between a theist and an atheist with one mans life as the forfeit or prize. The dialogue is both deeply serious and absolutely hilarious at the same time. If you have any patience for a believer/nonbeliever battle this is incredibly good. I always suspected that Cormac is a ge ...more
Cody Gardner
Feb 22, 2013 Cody Gardner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Sunset Limited is fascinating - some of McCarthy's best work, and that is saying a lot. His use of dialogue in this book is nothing short of brilliant. He is able to take two opposing world views, examine them, and bring them to a climax that forces the reader to consider what he himself truly believe all through the conversation of two characters. I have a suspicion that McCarthy and I would differ on some important worldview issues but I have nothing but respect for this man. One of the be ...more
May 22, 2017 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking is an understatement.
Mariano Hortal
Publicado en

(Del lat. involutĭo, -ōnis, acción de envolver).
1. f. Acción y efecto de involucionar.
2. f. Detención y retroceso de una evolución biológica, política, cultural, económica, etc.
Comienzo con la definición de una palabra que me viene a la mente con ciertos escritores actualmente, el caso más sangrante es quizás el que me ocupa en esta reseña. Me refiero al grandísimo Cormac McCarthy. Está claro que quien lea por primera vez al escritor
Feb 08, 2014 Reid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Reid by: Daniel Villines
This is a great dialogue. It really does resonate, including swipes at western civilization, racism, classism, free will, and intellectual elitism, not just suicide, religious belief, and free thinking. If you ask me, Mr Black kicks Mr White's ass all the way back to the Sunset Limited, ie, Mr White lost this game of the Dozens big time, despite the fact White thinks he won and Black thinks he himself lost. Not that I can't relate to the major depressive Mr White - I was Mr White last year, but ...more
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Cormac McCarthy is an American novelist and playwright. He has written ten novels in the Southern Gothic, western, and post-apocalyptic genres and has also written plays and screenplays. He received the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for The Road, and his 2005 novel No Country for Old Men was adapted as a 2007 film of the same name, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

His earlier Blood M
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“I don't believe in God. Can you understand that? Look around you man. Cant you see? The clamor and din of those in torment has to be the sound most pleasing to his ear. And I loathe these discussions. The argument of the village atheist whose single passion is to revile endlessly that which he denies the existence of in the first place. Your fellowship is a fellowship of pain and nothing more. And if that pain were actually collective instead of simply reiterative then the sheer weight of it would drag the world from the walls of the universe and send it crashing and burning through whatever night it might yet be capable of engendering until it was not even ash. And justice? Brotherhood? Eternal life? Good god, man. Show me a religion that prepares one for death. For nothingness. There's a church I might enter. Yours prepares one only for more life. For dreams and illusions and lies. If you could banish the fear of death from men's hearts they wouldnt live a day. Who would want this nightmare if not for fear of the next? The shadow of the axe hangs over every joy. Every road ends in death. Or worse. Every friendship. Every love. Torment, betrayal, loss, suffering, pain, age, indignity, and hideous lingering illness. All with a single conclusion. For you and for every one and everything that you have chosen to care for. There's the true brotherhood. The true fellowship. And everyone is a member for life. You tell me that my brother is my salvation? My salvation? Well then damn him. Damn him in every shape and form and guise. Do I see myself in him? Yes. I do. And what I see sickens me. Do you understand me? Can you understand me?” 113 likes
“You give up the world line by line. Stoically. And then one day you realize that your courage is farcical. It doesn't mean anything. You've become an accomplice in your own annihilation and there is nothing you can do about it. Everything you do closes a door somewhere ahead of you. And finally there is only one door left.” 83 likes
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