Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015 Week 1 (1/11/2015) Book Review - Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

One of the resolutions I made for 2015 was to read more. A good amount more. To the point where I'm going to attempt to read a book a week. I'll come clean and say that I started this book in 2014, but hey it's 2015 now and I finished it within the first week! Convenient!

These book reviews are pretty much going to be unfiltered -- I won't be editing these. They'll be a one-take thing because I feel like it will make the review seem like more in my 'voice'. Also, maybe because I'm lazy.

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy is about the United State's expansion to the (wild) west. It follows a 14 year old from Tennesee and the things he sees. I'll say outright that this is not a pleasant book -- it is very gruesome. Easily the most graphic book I've read... maybe ever.

The reason for this is because the kid ends up in a ragtag band of soldiers that get paid for killing Indians -- they scalp them and trade them in for money, clearing the way for western expansion. Eventually they just kill everything and everybody, because scalps are scalps right? :(

The story follows multiple characters in the book, the main one not actually being The Kid, but arguably a man named Holden aka 'The Judge'. The author makes it out that this guy can do anything he wants with unparalleled skill -- from making bullets out of dirt, to copying pieces of art in his scrapbook and immediately destroying it. The guy's nuts. I've read discussions about there are comparisons between Judge and Satan, which I can understand now after completing the book. The Judge is just a reprehensible villain.

It's weird because he's such a bad guy, but I was captivated whenever the book focused on him. It may be the suspense -- I honestly didn't know what he was going to do. A good comparison would be the Joker from Batman (Heath Ledger version, RIP).

“Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.”- Judge Holden
I enjoyed this book, but I will say Cormac's apparent disdain for punctuation and appetite for complex vocabulary made some parts difficult to get through. There were multiple occasions where I would read something and not know what I read (lmao). I had to get through them via context. This is the 2nd book of his I read, The Road being the first. I really liked The Road, more so than Blood Meridian.

I'll give this a 4/5, just because the way it made me feel weird.


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