Reason for reading: Having liked The Road I decided to read another book by McCarthy. This is considered by most to be his masterpiece. I had been wanting to read it since I purchased it and was finally able to fit it in.
Quote: “The judge placed his hands on the ground. he looked at his inquisitor. This is my claim, he said. And yet everywhere upon it are pockets of autonomous life. Autonomous. In order for it to be mine nothing must be permitted to occur upon it save by my dispensation.”
In 1849, the kid drifts through the south eventually finding himself in Texas. Here he takes up with a band of soldiers who have decided to enter Mexico with the purpose of winning property and fortune. The group is almost immediately slaughtered save a few including the kid. He soon takes up with the Glanton gang who roam Mexico murdering Apaches for their scalps and committing other atrocities.
This is an extremely violent novel. McCarthy makes no effort to condemn nor celebrate the violence. It is a fact of life, an event of the time period. The gang acts violently as though it is their calling. They are human and humans make war.
Whereas the prose in The Road is sparse, here McCarthy displays an incredible ability to describe events and surroundings in unique but vivid ways. Every sentence is full, there is not one wasted line. This is a book that must be processed, not just read.
This is most certainly one of the best books I have read, it would be nearly impossible for McCarthy to top this novel. I find it difficult to write much about this book, in fact I dreaded writing this review. It is something that must be experienced. For some the violence will be too much, but it is an incredible read. I can certainly see myself reading this book several more times over the years.
I refer you to a review of this book over at Bibliolatry. Unlike me, Bibliolatrist did not struggle to produce the words needed to praise this book.