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Preview — Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy
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***The following review, such as it is, might be considered spoilerish.
Proceeding cautiously through my long-awaited, chronological rereading of the works of Cormac McCarthy, reading the supplemental materials I’ve picked up over the years, and marveling at things I hadn’t noticed first time around. Isn’t that why we reread anything?
This one, as dark and foreboding as anything he’s written, in several ways, seems the telling of the Anti-Nativity—not the birth of the Anti-Christ, but a birth magn...more
The ancestors had called Europeans “the orphan people” and had noted that as with orphans taken in by selfish or coldhearted clanspeople, few Europeans had remained whole. They failed to recognize the earth was their mother. Europeans were like their first parents, Adam and Eve, wandering aimlessly because the insane God who had sired them had abandoned them.I will always be a fan of McCarthy because of his treatment of the "Western" tradition. Howe ...more
-Leslie Marmon Silko, Almanac of the Dead
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 25:30, KJV
If there were ever a more unprofitable servant to appear in literature, it would be difficult to find one less so than Culla Holme. Brother to Rinthy, he has perpetrated the social taboo of incest. He fears his sin will be found out. When Rinthy's water breaks, he allows her to suffer through labor, refusing t ...more
Look for a man who bares 'his orangecolored teeth in a grimace of lecherous idiocy.' Regard the 'dead gray serpentine of the river' as it flows. See the old crone with the elfin face in the woods. She won't abide a hound dog on the place, but has no qualms with a pig rooting around and sleep ...more
Like The Road, it is dark and sparse, and involves destitute people travelling on foot, looking for food, shelter and hope, but that is where the similarity ends.
This is set much longer ago (before cars) and tells several parallel and occasionally intersecting stories: a woman searching for her missing baby; her brother searching for her; a tinker t ...more
Rinthy Holme has no sooner given birth to her first child than its father, her brother Culla, hoping to rid himself of the incestuous offsp ...more
È la gente che rende duri i tempi. Ho visto tanta cattiveria fra gli uomini che non so perché Dio non ha ancora spento il sole e non se n'è andato.
Avendo letto prima altri romanzi di McCarthy, posso dire che - secondo me - questo è il meno riuscito. Lo scrittore deve ancora raggiungere la piena maturazione letteraria e sviluppare a pieno i suoi temi. Scrive sempre benissimo, non scade mai nel raccontato ma mostra tutto, la natura emana un potere proprio e la violenza è insita ne ...more
I have read several Cormac McCarthy books: The Road, No Country for Old Men, Blood Meridian and Suttree. With the exception of Suttree I have not disliked any of those books and I even gave Suttree two stars (It Was OK) because of the stunning language that turned up regularly.
So Outer Dark was a special McCarthy experience for me. I could actually follow the story: sister has baby; brother abandons baby; s ...more
His early works are compared to Faulkner more than any one thing should ever be compared to another. But the names that kept popping up in my head while reading this were Beckett and Dostoyevsky. McCarthy's philosophical position seems to be a unique mixture of those two, with Beckett (in this instance) being the dominant influence. I say that because with this novel, as with Beckett's, I wasn't left with anything optimistic to take away, as I am w ...more
Il tema è ancora e sempre la desolazione più cieca, nel mondo e negli uomini. E la disperata, irragionevole ostinazione del vivere. Nonostante, appunto, il buio fuori.
Avevo letto La Strada e qualcosa, nonostante la qualità, mi aveva infastidito. Qui meno "effetti speciali", un'eleganza più austera ed un ciglio più asciutto. Uno stile che è co ...more
Started off eventful enough, a young woman pregnant from her brother's seed. And after that things turn dull and mostly uneventful for the next 170 pages. Not to say that nothing at all happens, just that these events seem like, So what? Just round after round of blah scenes. And then, at the 80% mark, things kick into high gear and remain there for the rest of the ride.
One problem, I think, is the main characters never feel completely fleshed out. They're specters ...more
One of them old-timey people from in the bible.
This was as bleak and foreboding as each McCarthy novel I've read so far. Perhaps made all the more enjoyable as I just returned from visiting a very “Child of God like” part of Tennessee. Almost put me off BBQ meat, though...
Hopefully though, McCarthy's works will survive whatever happens along with a sturdy Oxford English Dictionary ...more
Maybe the most horrific scene I have ever read is included. Other books have hinted at similar scenes but this is the only book I can think of that spells it out, not an ounce of pity, just a simple fact t ...more
His earlier Blood M ...more