Y'know sometimes buying a book on a whim reaps great benefits. As soon as I purchased this book and started getting...moreFull review here
Y'know sometimes buying a book on a whim reaps great benefits. As soon as I purchased this book and started getting into it I knew I was going to enjoy it.
As stated above this book is a very dark and grim book that deals with the dark nature of humanity and how in McCarthy's eyes is (or rather was considering this takes place in the 80s) getting worse.
The plot centres around a man named Llewellyn Moss who one day when out deer hunting comes across a scattering of dead bodies and broken cars, most importantly though amongst all the wreckage he finds a satchel full of money. Feeling greedy, he takes it. Generally this was bad move on his part as this means that an unrelenting force of death called Anton Chigurh is hunting him down. Them two in turn are being searched for by the authorities and the ageing Sheriff Bell. So it's essentially a wild goose chase between those three. But to merely call it a "wild goose chase" is a vast understatement.
By far the most interesting character is Anton, one of the most chilling and scarily unpredictable villains in the whole of literature. Anton is from what I've read meant to be more of a symbol than a character. An embodiment of an idea if you like, in this case death. Someone/thing that doesn't necessary have a bias to who he/it kills , but will kill you anyway. An unstoppable killing machine that is bearing down on his victims that cannot and will not be halted. He's truly a character who plays into the darkest recesses of human fear.
We never get any real reason for his killings (which is better, as it makes him far more ambiguous and mysterious), but the explanation we do get is rather weird. It seems that rather than he wanting to kill people, he feels he has to, as if this is the natural course for him regardless of whether he wants to or not. Yeah, it's a twisted way of looking at things to say the least. But it makes him far creepier as a character as a result of that.
But even if he is the most interesting character that doesn't mean the rest aren't, far from it. Even the most incidental character is still full of well-developed characteristics and personality and is still as detailed and interesting as the main ones.
The novel itself is written very oddly. There are no speech marks for dialogue and the sentences lack any kind of punctuation. It makes for very weird reading first time and I wasn't sure if I liked this at first, but I actually really admire the McCarthy decided to say "fuck you" to grammar. It's a fresh approach to writing that hasn't been done before.
Also, the southern dialect is written superbly in this book. It is so fantastically rich and strong you'll find it near impossible not to read occasional words aloud in a southern accent.
I didn't know about Cormac McCarthy before this book. Now I do, and I sure as hell am glad I found him. I look forward to reading more of his work in the future. (less)
Okay folks, I've got it. Possibly the most ground breaking discovery in all of literary criticism. You ready for it? Okay...Sherlock Holmes, was the o...moreOkay folks, I've got it. Possibly the most ground breaking discovery in all of literary criticism. You ready for it? Okay...Sherlock Holmes, was the original Scooby Doo. Now, now, now, here me out. Just think about it, there's the sotry of a sighting of legendary ghost hound, they go to desolate place far away in the middle of nowhere and stay in scary big mansion, there's a local friendly guy who is so nice and charming he could never, ever be a possible suspect, the local friendly guy turns out to be the culprit and ghost turns out to be a fake. Everyone goes home and laughs merrily about the whole affair. See? The signs are obvious, man.
Anyway, this is my first foray into the Sherlock Holmes world, and I generally think it's a good introduction to it. There's Holmes mocking Watson for his oh-so inferior deducting skills, people being amazed at Holmes' deduction skills, Holmes being all mysterious and two-steps ahead of everyone, causal name-dropping of really interesting sounding cases that are never reported. All the good stuff.
The plot itself moves along really well. Unlike many 19th century books, the language and elaborate descriptions doesn't interfere or hamper with the development of the plot, and for that reason it goes along really well. There's never really a dull moment, and your thoughts are always concerned with "what's going to happen next?",which is what you want really from a mystery/crime book.
Other than that, there's not too much to talk about here. The book isn't really lapsed with any deeper themes or messages, so there's not really anything I can get my teeth into. Although really, I wasn't really expecting that, so it's no real disappointment. What this book does do however, is be damn enjoyable Sherlock Holmes novel, which I guess is all that really matters in the end.
So for an introduction to the Holmes canon, I say it's excellent. I intend next to read "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes". (less)