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What Else Are You Reading? > Any Cormac McCarthy fans here?

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Coalton | 3 comments I just started reading the novel Child of God by this author and I've come to love his style of writing. I first became interested in him upon seeing the film version of No Country For Old Men, which is one of my favorite films of all time now, and I plan to read The Road and Blood Meridian sometime as well. His descriptions of setting and his bleak tone are interesting, and being a Southerner myself, I love the way in which he uses accents of characters and the different plains and woods of the South to uniquely affect the story. It is comforting to read, but at the same time, it is deliciously disturbing, due to some of the graphic nature of his writing.

Also, he has begun writing a screenplay to a new movie tentatively titled The Counselor, which is exciting!


Gord McLeod (mcleodg) | 345 comments I read The Road (haven't seen the film) and enjoyed the story, but man is it tough to get through his writing style, especially his punctuation and the lack of quotation marks in particular. It was enough to keep me from reading any more of his work.


Coalton | 3 comments I suppose that's fair. The man's writing can be challenging to comprehend at times, but I feel more rewarded by reading his novels because of it, especially if you go into one of his books as a casual reader. I had the...pleasure...of taking really difficult literature classes in high school and college, so I can guestimate at what he's trying to convey. XD


Gord McLeod (mcleodg) | 345 comments I don't know what his reasons are for writing that way, but I don't appreciate writers who at least appear to be actively trying to make it more difficult to understand what they're saying. It goes against the implicit intent of writing, which is to communicate something.


Matt (nexaean) | 9 comments Coalton wrote: "I just started reading the novel Child of God by this author and I've come to love his style of writing. I first became interested in him upon seeing the film version of No Country For Old Men, whi..."

I actually started the exact same way, and loved it. I decided to jump into other books he had written, I can't remember in which order. One of the first ones after NCfOM was Blood Meridian and it blew me away. Some of the themes in that book are mindbloding! And so incredibly horrible, at times I had to almost force my way through it - but not in a bad way. The Road, and his others, while still giving this bleakness, and the hope in carrying on, just didn't as bad after BM. And it definitely felt rewarding.

My favourite McCarthy though, beyond a doubt, is his Border Trilogy. It touches on the themes we love in the other books mentioned, but isn't as completely up-front with its down-beat tone. There is a whole range of themes touched upon! I also love how the two main characters from the first book, both very different, come together in the third in the way they do.

It completely inspired me to get through University, and his work was pretty much the inspiration for my graduate project His end was peace.. .

I would say, for someone new to McCarthy, that NCfOL is a good start, but also All the Pretty horses (in which there is still several pages of 'chat' from one character on a topic of choice, but not quite on the scale of BM)

Looking forward to the BM film though!


Jill | 34 comments The Road was one of those game-changer novels for me. I hadn't read very much for fun coming out of a four year politics degree and so figured to get back into reading I would just grab a random selection from the book store... I'm even going to admit that I picked up The Road because it had the Oprah book club logo on it.

I loved it - read it in a day and fell back in love with reading. Tried a couple of the others: Outer Dark I wasn't in love with but Blood Meridian, NCFOM and the Border Trilogy were amazing though.


Dan Schwent  (akaGunslinger) I've read No Country for Old Men and Blood Meridian. I like McCarthy but he's not an author I can read back to back books from.


message 8: by Micah (last edited Apr 17, 2012 09:21AM) (new)

Micah (onemorebaker) | 1033 comments Like others in the thread I have read No Country for Old Men and The Road. I read them on audio though so I did not see any of his writing style. I liked the books but don't know if I would ever re-read them. The bleakness at times made me stop reading for a few days just until I could will myself to continue on.

If somebody has not seen the movie of The Road then I would suggest that they do. It was such a great film. Really moved me seeing those characters brought to life like that.


Boots (Rubberboots) | 499 comments I've only read The Road, but when I was reading it I thought it seemed like he wrote it to be a screenplay. All they would have to do is add the name of the speaker in front of each spoken line and it's ready to be made into a movie. I get the feeling that's why his books transfer so well to the big screen.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1033 comments Boots wrote: "I've only read The Road, but when I was reading it I thought it seemed like he wrote it to be a screenplay. All they would have to do is add the name of the speaker in front of each spoken line and it's ready to be made into a movie. I get the feeling that's why his books transfer so well to the big screen. "

me too. The part in The Road where (view spoiler) literally broke my heart as I read it. The descriptions and feeling that Mr. McCarthy gave to those passages just awed me.


Fresno Bob | 180 comments As the father of 3 relatively young children, "The Road" hit me like no other book has, and I read a lot of grim fiction. I went up to my room intending to read about 30 pages in bed, and ripped through the whole thing, then dreamt about being in the same situation with my 9 year old, very picky eater, son. I was BBQing large scorpions, and he kept looking at me saying, "Daddy, is that all there is?" while I told him, "You need to eat these or you are going to starve to death"

I liked "Blood Meridian" as well, but it was more in the "magic realism" genre for me, I loved the Hemmingway-like sparseness of "The Road"


message 12: by Craig (last edited Apr 17, 2012 11:44PM) (new)

Craig | 13 comments Loved his Border Trilogy and The Road. His pseudo-Biblical writing style can be a challenge though.


Chris Palmer | 61 comments I kept wanting to find a justification for the literary style of The Road. Anything that stylistically different and complex seemed like it really should be for a purpose. To have a meaning to itself. It wasnt the voice of the characters. It wasnt the writings of the characters or anyone who came after them. It was bleak, sure. Did the fire burn the apostrophes and quotation marks? I got the symbolism. The characters and the way they reflect human existence. I was moved. Yet the setting was absurd. Dead ash. I didnt believe in it. There was nothing in the food chain. No one would survive as long as they did. It was postapocalyptic existential fiction for people who werent familiar with a hundred years of postapocalyptic existential science fiction. Pretentious.


Michal (MichaltheAssistantPigkeeper) | 222 comments I've read Blood Meridian, The Road and No Country for Old Men. All excellent, I might add.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1033 comments Chris wrote: "I kept wanting to find a justification for the literary style of The Road. Anything that stylistically different and complex seemed like it really should be for a purpose. To have a meaning to itse..."

harsh


Matheus (Matheuslr8) | 36 comments I've read The Road. It was the first book that I read in English (that was not translated to Portuguese, my first language), and I really enjoy it. The language and the pace can be difficult at first, it’s true, but I think it was necessary to give the reader the feeling of loneliness and desolation. The ending it’s very good.
However, the book was very depressing, with made me afraid of try another McCarthy book… At least for while.


Jack | 40 comments There are very few books as good as Blood Meridian.


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1033 comments Matheus wrote: "However, the book was very depressing, with made me afraid of try another McCarthy book… At least for while. "

welcome to Cormac McCarthy. These are my same feelings about both of his books that I have read. Next up is Blood Meridian but I am not going to start it for a long while due to the reason above.


message 19: by Craig (last edited May 23, 2012 10:46PM) (new)

Craig | 13 comments Micah wrote: "Matheus wrote: "However, the book was very depressing, with made me afraid of try another McCarthy book… At least for while. "

welcome to Cormac McCarthy. These are my same feelings about both of ..."


Brace yourself for the worst, Michah. Blood Meridian is probably his most brutal work. I became a little weary of the Judge, but his depiction of the Old West was very poignant in my opinion.


Alex Ristea (alexristea) | 598 comments I've only read The Road, and liked it a lot.


Alexander | 3 comments I lemmed Blood Meridian years ago, well before the verb "lem" existed. I was so put off by how he used language to distance the reader from the story, that it took me years to pick up The Road. I'm so happy I did. This father/son relationship is extraordinary, and McCarthy's attention to detail is gripping. I'm ready to read more by him; given my past experience, any recommendations?


Micah (onemorebaker) | 1033 comments Alexander wrote: "I'm ready to read more by him; given my past experience, any recommendations?"

The only other McCarthy book I have read was No Country for Old Men. I read it on audio and it was great. But as noted above I have to take my McCarthy in one book doses spread out over time. It was a great book but bleak.

@Craig- Thanks for the heads up. I will start it only when I feel as if life has gotten to good. :)


Craig | 13 comments Micah wrote: "Alexander wrote: "I'm ready to read more by him; given my past experience, any recommendations?"

The only other McCarthy book I have read was No Country for Old Men. I read it on audio and it was ..."


Blood Meridian gives The Road a run for the money but B.R. definitely comes out ahead in terms of a chill factor. If you want some lighter Western reading, you might try Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove. That's also a nice existential (sp?) piece set in the old West.


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Books mentioned in this topic

No Country for Old Men (other topics)
Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West (other topics)
The Road (other topics)
Lonesome Dove (other topics)
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