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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
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
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. How ...more
-Leslie Marmon Silko, Almanac of the Dead
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
With 'Outer Dark', he transcended the labels and comparisons, defining himself as the greatest prose stylist of his generation, framing the rough structure for his dark personal vision of America... pop ...more
― Cormac McCarthy, Outer Dark
I keep reading Cormac McCarthy to find a single crack of light in his dark, grotesque lyricism. 'Outer Dark' was unconventional and amazing. The story was allegorical without being stiff, it was regional without being provincial. Like most of McCarthy's work it is Biblical in its power and intensity.
In 'Outer Dark', McCarthy is throwing chert boulders at the dark center of ...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
It reminded me somewhat of his book "The Road" but only in that Holmes was out looking for his sister who was roaming the country trying to find their baby, and in their search they we ...more
Here, in this forested glade lorded over by Moloch, I could remain evermore. I place Outer Dark in one of the medaled positions of McCarthy’s entire body of work—it’s that extraordinary. There is an ephemeral otherness to the whole affair that renders it an uncommon jewel of a novel (and a bit of an outlier in comparison to his other books): you’re required to do a lot of the heavy-lifting and connect some dots yourself. As I don’t mind working for my keep, that’s more than ...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
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...
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 n ...more
Hopefully though, McCarthy's works will survive whatever happens along with a sturdy Oxford English Dictionary ...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
His earlier Blood M ...more