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View Full Version : I need some Cormac McCarthy recommendations



Adam A
11-29-2007, 07:18 PM
My local library has a stack Cormac McCarthy books. Can somebody please recommend me something similar to Old Country? Great characters w/ extra violence.
thanks!!! :)

William R.
11-29-2007, 07:22 PM
BLOOD MERIDIAN. You'll see parallels between The Judge and Chigurh. I also think it's the next film to be made.

Then get THE ROAD.

OLD COUNTRY, which I think is a great book, isn't as great as those two.

Adam A
11-29-2007, 07:33 PM
BLOOD MERIDIAN. You'll see parallels between The Judge and Chigurh. I also think it's the next film to be made.

Then get THE ROAD.

OLD COUNTRY, which I think is a great book, isn't as great as those two.
Bam! Threw them both on my queue. Thanks!!

Richard W
11-29-2007, 07:50 PM
All his books are masterpieces, but Blood Meridian is the masterpiece of masterpeices. The first page alone puts you into the chilling abyss of the narrator's mind.

Read the border trilogy:
All the Pretty Horses
The Crossing
Cities On the Plain

Read No Country For Old Men.
It will expand in your mind after you've read it, planting roots there.

In the The Road, McCarthy takes leave of southwest America. Or maybe not. It's a cousin of Matheson's I Am Legend, and it is the most horrifying story I've read, spartan, austere, and merciless.

Adam A
11-29-2007, 07:55 PM
spartan, austere, and merciless.
Ohhhhhh SOLD! :cool:

Pete Bogh
11-29-2007, 08:05 PM
The Road is no picnic but it's probably his most accessible book, and also probably his most economically written, with a diamond-hard intensity I haven't found in any of the 6 by McCarthy I've read. It's fucking fantastic and I finished in one day in less than 4 hours. It's like a post-apocalyptic sniper bullet to the face.

No Country for Old Men is worth a read even if you've seen the exceptionally faithful movie adaptation. It's real good, and there's a LOT of important stuff that was (necessarily) omitted, and some critical scenes that play differently in important ways.

Blood Meridian is epic, incredible, and probably the most violent thing I've ever come across. Don't get me wrong, it's beautiful too, but so steeped in wholesale slaughter that it's worth mentioning to someone considering reading it in case that's an issue. Since you're reading this forum, I sorta doubt that violence will be a problem for you.

I find Child of God and Outer Dark to be closely intertwined, and I would save them until after you've read a few others; both share a similar feel and setting, and some of the most harrowing, grotesque and unsettling moments found in any of his work. Outer Dark in particular, is like a greek myth located in America, and has a couple moments of menace that stand out as the most frightening shit I've ever read. I fully expect they wouldn't read that way to anyone else, it's a very subjective thing, but personally, both contain incredibly crafted scenes of tension that just knocked the crap out of me. Child of God - you will believe that a man can actually turn into a Troll. Wonderful, bleak, disturbing. I classify both as exceptional gothic/horror/mythic/westerns.

Suttree is at least partially autobiographical, and while it's not high on my list of favorites, it's essential if you are a fan of his other work. Tell you what, it makes me glad that I'm not fishing a polluted river for my food and money each day. I find it exceptionally depressing.

Currently reading The Orchard Keeper and All the Pretty Horses.
Have fun!

Paul A J Lewis
11-29-2007, 08:10 PM
Not much to add, except to the praise for BLOOD MERIDIAN.

THE ROAD is one of the few Cormac McCarthy novels that I haven't read; from what's been said here, I think I might use what's left of this month's wages to treat myself to a copy of the paperback.

Shane K
11-29-2007, 08:24 PM
Yeah, Ridley Scott is set to direct Blood Meridian, due out in 2009. Doubt it will live up to NCFOM.

George P
11-29-2007, 11:25 PM
Another vote for Blood Meridian. A really dark and twisted western. I shudder to think about Ridley doing the flick. Deserves to be as gritty as hell. I just don't know if he's got it in 'em. Not a big Ridley fan barring the obvious ones.

g.

Adam A
11-29-2007, 11:41 PM
Thanks for all the cool recommendations! These should be very insightful for all who are plotting their next read. :) ;)

Richard W
11-30-2007, 01:08 AM
Another vote for Blood Meridian. A really dark and twisted western. I shudder to think about Ridley doing the flick. Deserves to be as gritty as hell. I just don't know if he's got it in 'em. Not a big Ridley fan barring the obvious ones.
g.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking.
He'll make it big, loud, and noisy instead of spartan, austere, and quiet, and he'll employ too damn much cgi.
You can't put cgi in Blood Meridian.
He'll miss the metaphysics completely.

On the other hand, he can't screw it up any worse than Billy Bob Thornton did ALL THE PRETTY HORSES.

Thomas Treasure
11-30-2007, 01:19 AM
I also think it's the next film to be made.
Last Ridley Scott interview I read, BLOOD MERIDIAN was a ways away, and his next film is NOTTINGHAM.
I think the next McCarthy adaptation is THE ROAD, directed by John Hillcoat. It was on the short-list of movies that had scripts ready to go right before the strike.

Jeffrey Allen Rydell
11-30-2007, 01:20 AM
Yeah, that's what I thinking.
He'll make it big, loud, and noisy instead of spartan, austere, and quiet, and he'll employ to damn much cgi.
You can't put cgi in Blood Meridian.
He'll miss the mystical dimension completely.

On the other hand, he can't screw it up any worse than Billy Bob Thornton did ALL THE PRETTY HORSES.
I can't agree with that without having seen Billy Bob's cut - you can blame Harvey Weinstein for the gutting it received, as Thornton's cut was well over an hour longer, with a binned score by Daniel Lanois.

Richard W
11-30-2007, 01:31 AM
That's news to me. I didn't know ALL THE PRETTY HORSES had gone through the ringer. Well, I give it the benefit of the doubt, then. The novel is not easy to adapt in any case, with most of the consciousness of the story residing in the horses.

After watching THE PROPOSITION there's no doubt in my mind that John Hillcoat is the wrong director for THE ROAD.

You can see how picky I am.

Randy Thomas G
11-30-2007, 03:41 AM
Blood Meridian is obviously his greatest book, but it is very densely written and may not be the best entry point for some. It is incredibly violent though, so if that's what you like check it out. I don't see how it could be successfully adapted into a film.

I really like Child of God and Outer Dark as well, they are almost like Blood Meridian in novella form. The first is about a hillbilly necrophile serial killer and the second is about a mother wandering the countryside looking for the child she bore with her brother. Both are terrific. The Orchard Keeper, his first novel, seems more of a mood piece, but I'm not sure I entirely 'got' it and may need to revisit it.

I know a lot of others say that Suttree is his best work next to Blood Meridian but I haven't got around to reading it yet.

McCarthy's big influences are Melville and Faulkner, if you haven't read either of them yet I'd suggest starting with Billy Budd and Benito Cereno (part of his Piazza Tales) from Melville and either the short story The Bear or As I Lay Dying to start with Faulkner.

Jay M
11-30-2007, 03:07 PM
I've read all of McCarthy's novels. THE ORCHARD KEEPER struck me as the least of them, the style is too dense for its own good, but it's still worth reading at least once.

My personal choice as the masterpiece is THE CROSSING. This book just blew my mind. It's got all the McCarthy qualities--the violence, the vivid characters, landscapes that are as memorable as the characters, the harshly poetic style.

SUTTREE may put some off at first, and it's long. But trust me, this book will draw you into its world and it won't let go. I can still remember so much of it years later.

I agree with the more popular choices like BLOOD MERIDIAN--it's very good and hard to forget.

The sleeper among his novels might be OUTER DARK. Wow. This book is just amazing. A sustained mood of grimness and despair, yet it's beautiful in its way too.

Glad to see the films are leading to McCarthy's deserved wider readership

J Dewey Wallis
11-30-2007, 06:07 PM
The only two by him I haven't read are Sutree and No Country.

My faves are Blood Meridian and The Road, cannot go wrong with those two. I have a special place for Child of God because I know exactly the area and kind of folks he's describing (its the region where we both hail from).

Aaron G
02-25-2008, 06:32 AM
I just finished THE ROAD and I was bawling my eyes out at the end of it. It's devastating!

BLOOD MERIDIAN is like EL-TOPO meets, CUT-THROATS 9, meets CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST meets fuck I dunno. Jodorowsky should direct it!

CHILD OF GOD is good.

Cormac McCarthy is the Michael Gira of literature (or vice versa)!

Troy Howarth
02-25-2008, 11:48 AM
I'm half-way through Child of God - you *need* to read this book. It's really something. Thus far, I've read The Road (possibly the finest book I've ever read) and No Country for Old Men. I have Outer Dark and The Sunshine Limited on order.

Adam A
02-26-2008, 10:18 PM
O.K., so now I've read No Country, and Blood Meridian. They both blew my mind...
I'll be checking out every title in this thread. My library [check your libraries] has all of them, so I don't even have to come out of pocket, baby-baby. :cool:

Branden_P
02-26-2008, 10:47 PM
The Road is fantastic, as is No Country for old men. I also really enjoyed All the pretty horses. I heard the movie ruins it, does anyone know if think that. I need to read the crossing when i have some time.

The only thing thats disappointed me was the sunset limited, the dialogue felt to forced.

Steve R
02-26-2008, 10:57 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, here. Never read any of his stuff, but will try out either the Road, Blood Meridain or another. You guys are heapin' the high praise and my taste runs parallel with a lot of yours.

Branden_P
02-26-2008, 11:07 PM
Thanks for the suggestions, here. Never read any of his stuff, but will try out either the Road, Blood Meridain or another. You guys are heapin' the high praise and my taste runs parallel with a lot of yours.
with the exception of my love for meet joe black

Steve R
02-26-2008, 11:17 PM
Branden,
Good memory, buddy! I loved Once. The scales are tipping :D
Steve

Jeffrey Allen Rydell
02-27-2008, 02:11 AM
Full disclosure: I cannot get through "Blood Meridian".

Been trying for years now. Started where I left off, started over, nothing doing. I read a page, realize I didn't absorb that page, and go back. Little over halfway. Haven't tried in almost 2 years. Guess I'd have to start over again. For the 3rd time.

Punctuation on McCarthy's part might help, but overall, I blame me.

Really humiliating.

Aaron G
02-27-2008, 03:29 AM
Full disclosure: I cannot get through "Blood Meridian".

Been trying for years now. Started where I left off, started over, nothing doing. I read a page, realize I didn't absorb that page, and go back. Little over halfway. Haven't tried in almost 2 years. Guess I'd have to start over again. For the 3rd time.

Punctuation on McCarthy's part might help, but overall, I blame me.

Really humiliating.

ROTFLMFAO!! I was the same! I picked it up again nearly ten years later (well after seeing NO COUNTRY) and just persisted and it paid off in a weird way, but there's some scenes that sink in, and others that just babble by, the the overall feeling of Bosch-ian hell that does it, so you have to *survive* or *endure* the whole ordeal to actually get it.

tom foster
02-27-2008, 04:18 AM
Nothing to add really... I've only read The Road, No Country and Blood Meridian. I liked them all, but Blood Meridian was far and away the best. It's one of the best books I've read in recent years. I shudder to think of a film version directed by Scott...

John G.
11-11-2008, 08:20 PM
Just read Cormac McCarthy's first book, THE ORCHARD KEEPER. It is my second book of this author, after his recent NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, and I was surprised at how much he has changed as a writer over the years... aside from some literary quirks (the lack of punctuation and some allusions), it's almost like they were written by two different people. Whereas the latter is defined by its sparse no-nonsense prose and its fast moving action, THE ORCHARD KEEPER is something else. There isn't that much dialogue to be found, and McCarthy spends a lot of time on long descriptive passages of nature and the environment that these characters populate, rather than their actions. I've read that this is McCarthy's most Faulkner-influenced book, and THE ORCHARD KEEPER's heavy emphasis on experimental prose and unique plot structure certainly bears this out.

Randy Thomas G
11-12-2008, 03:01 AM
Full disclosure: I cannot get through "Blood Meridian".


It can be a dense, challenging read but it pulled me in and I loved it.

Jeffrey Allen Rydell
11-12-2008, 01:09 PM
It can be a dense, challenging read but it pulled me in and I loved it.
Stop making me feel dumb! :p

Randy Thomas G
11-22-2008, 08:18 PM
:D:D:D:D