Book cover
Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West
Cormac McCarthy

This is a periodic re-read for me. A much harder book to grok on first reading than McCarthy’s more straight-forward Border Trilogy, but an even better book. (And I adore the Border Trilogy). It has one of the great opening lines: “See the child. He is pale and thin.” And from there it drives hard, never relenting until the inevitable bloodletting, and the even more inevitable dance.

The character of The Judge is one of the great characters in English literature. A monster, a phantom, a philosopher. He is horrifying in spite of or because he is in some sense just Mankind stripped of pretense.

Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.

It is a dark and unsparing view of the human condition.

Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.

I believe it is a fact that McCarthy based the novel loosely on Moby-Dick, and I think McCarthy is about the only living writer who could pull something like this off.

Fair warning: Blood Meridian is exceptionally violent and full of language that, while entirely authentic, may upset some people.