Jason Coleman's Reviews > Child of God

Child of God by Cormac McCarthy
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Jan 13, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: greatest-hits

McCarthy wrote this thing as a detour during the twenty years work on Suttree, and it's as if that novel's comic relief, Gene Harrogate, the midnight melon molester, broke off the main planet of that book and went into an orbit of its own. And on that orbit, this little moon grew darker. Lester Ballard—dispossessed end of the family line, unintentional arsonist turned intentional arsonist, surviving on stolen cornmeal, baloney, and squirrels, serial murderer and prolific necrophiliac—haunts the turnaround where lovers park and the Appalachian caves that are his sanctuary and his womb. He'd mate with the earth itself if he could find a way in.

I used to think this was McCarthy's best novel; re-reading it now, I no longer think so—and I'm not sure what statement it's making, unless it's that we are all just emotional animals and morality is an illusion that will fall quickly away—but it may be his most perfect, if that makes any sense.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 13, 2009 – Shelved
August 15, 2017 – Shelved as: greatest-hits

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