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Goner Message Board / ???? / The new Cormac McCarthy book
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 3:40 am | Edited by: Joe
Sounds killer! Anyone read it yet?

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/08/books/review/Kennedy.t.html?pagewant ed=1&ref=review

Also, his last one, "No Country For Old Men" is 'sposed to be great, too.
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 3:58 am | Edited by: fierydrunk
This was discussed late last night. I have never ever read him. I must be the last human alive who hasn't.
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 4:13 am
Just started it yesterday and so far it feels like the real deal. Sparse, truncated style reads like a journal of someone keeping an eye on someone heading south into pitch black, sub-Blood Meridian territory. Grim as hell, although some terrible beauty in the first 50 pages.

No Country For Old Men was...so-so. More like a begging for a screenplay action/adventure minus the crazy alchemy he can pull off at his best.
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 4:23 am | Edited by: Joe
I'm stoppin' at the next bookstore I see. Speaking of which... any good ones in NOLA?
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 12:11 pm
He's been on a downward slope since Sutree but he's still worth reading. Like some bands, his crap is better than much of the supposed gold thrust upon us.
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 2:55 pm
blood meridian was a great book. ive read it several times. its a twisted violent book. i'm gonna go get the road this week.

no country for old men was ok. the crossing is another good one. i'm partial to his western books b/c i know all that area of new mexico/tx/mx pretty well from spending summers down there with my grandparents in el paso,tx. i need to reread sutree and the east tenn.-based books. he's definetly one of the only folks still writing in that old melville/faulkner style.

also, has anyone read tobacco road by erskine caldwell? if you like southern lit and you havent you really need to. it was written in the 30s and the family he writes about are some of the most depraved people on paper.
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 3:07 pm | Edited by: The Driver
Hell, I'm excited. The man can write. Isn't Blood Meridian post-Suttree? I dug that (and defy someone to film it) No Country For Old Men? jerry's right - looks like the Coens are in post-production...
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 3:39 pm
i cant see how anyone could possibly make a movie out blood merdian but this is from wikipedia:
"It is rumored [3] that producer Scott Rudin, writer William Monahan and director Ridley Scott are working on a film adaptation; however, Tommy Lee Jones owns the rights to film-making of the book [4]. Regardless of who owns the rights, it has not been formally announced as a film project yet."


and it is after suttree. he moved to el paso in the late 70s and started writing his westerns.

i also liked owen wilson's mccarthy wannabe in the royal tennabaums. that was some funny shit.
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 3:59 pm
Tommy Lee Jones was set to direct and rewrite Steve Tesich's adaptation and take a small role in McCarthy's dark Western.

I've no desire to see this happen, but I'd like to have read Steve Tesich's adaptation.
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 5:23 pm | Edited by: hollis brown
This is fiery not my McCarthy-loving husband:

It is difficult to know from descriptions if this guy would be my "thing". I am willing to try, but I have had wariness for some reason for years and people have said they didn't see me getting into "that sort of thing". You never know. I am related to Wm Faulkner, but god knows if I can finish a book by him. Then there are these people that like Dorothy Allison and Flannery O'Connor et al and I absolutely despise that "Southern keerazy" and "White Abusive Freaks" lit who love McCarthy so I have always associated him with that ilk. Am I off base?
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 5:44 pm
Fiery - I'd guess that you're not off base in the sense that if you already associate Cormac McCarthy with a (despised) style of writing you will no doubt find these qualities present and have a hard time getting past your own projections...that said, try Suttree. I found it kinda soulful as opposed to "Southern keerazy"
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 7:40 pm
It seems like he wanted to be Faulkner real bad early on (near ridiculous beatnik-y prose of Outer Dark). I think it's his western book where he really owns the landscape and while never completely ditching the "southern gothic" thing, reinvents it to a large degree.

I would agree it's the kind of thing you'll either love or hate, violent as heck with plenty of the sharpest, most beautiful passages alongside some seriously convoluted "metaphysics." I think that's why film adaptations are doomed to fail, it's all about language and sparking images and indeed a smoldering soul that'll never happen on the screen.
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 10:00 pm
I've only read Blood Meridian. What other Cormac novels would you all recommend?
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 10:42 pm
i really really loved blood meridian. not sure what else to read by him? thats the only one i ever read coz of ex-boyfriends obsession with him. fiery, i think you should try it.
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 11:11 pm
I've only read the boarder trilogy, which starts with all the pretty horses , and I wasn't sure I wanted to start it, cause all I knew was the movie w/ matt damon, but I thought all three of them were really good.

once I started the second book, and realized it was going to be about a totally different set of people, and I'd have to get to the third one to get back to the first book's main character, I knew I would have to follow it through. and the whole thing ended on such a sad note. seems like a pretty pedestrian recommendation, but that's what I'd do.
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 11:15 pm
I must be the last human alive who hasn't.

no, that would be me. i'm slow to read the 20th century
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 11:34 pm
That is my deal. I only read the 20th century when I happen to get into a conversation with dad/male friends/husband about books...and that has led to me enjoying Factotum, Raymond Carver, Gilbert Sorrentino, Don DeLillo and George Pelecanos. So maybe trying Blood Meridian or Suttree isn't that bad of an idea.
Posted: Oct 8, 2006 11:37 pm
Sheeeeit. What am I talking about? I'll read 20th century all day if it is a Jackie Susaan or F Scott Fitz novel!!!!!

So, maybe I need to clarify "contemporary".
Posted: Oct 9, 2006 7:31 pm
Read Child Of God, it is disturbing as hell. Suttree is amazing as is Blood Meridian. I like Outer darkness as well. The Border Trilogy books have some great moments, but are not as powerful as some of those others.
Posted: Oct 9, 2006 7:43 pm
I second 'Child Of God', after, of course, 'Blood Meridan'. I thought Suttree sucked, but not as much as his last new one. McCarthy is all about Slotkin's "Regeneration through violence"
Posted: Oct 9, 2006 9:30 pm
one of my fav books ever is the crossing. he seems to play around with alot of post-structuralist ideas in that book without fucking up the book.
Posted: Oct 11, 2006 4:32 pm
I picked up "The Road" and "No Country For Old Men" two days ago. I started with "No Country..." just so I can see what all the negative fuss is about- seems ok so far (but I'm only 60 pages in). It reminds me A LOT of "The Killer Inside Me" by Jim Thompson.
Posted: Oct 11, 2006 11:44 pm
a friend sent me this today...

WIRED Issue 14.10 - October 2006

Think Tank Cowboy

HIGH ABOVE SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO, in a remote building surrounded by piñon trees and sagebrush, a woman's voice crackles over an intercom. "Hello everyone," she coos, "time for tea." Intricate Native American rugs cover the floors. Cristo prints hang in the lobby. But this is no southwestern day spa. Nobel Prize-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann wanders into the kitchen alongside a paleobiologist from the Smithsonian. Books on subjects like linear systems and dynamics in human primate societies line the library shelves.

Afternoon tea is one of the enduring conventions of this unconventional place, the Santa Fe Institute. Since its founding in 1984, the nonprofit research center has united top minds from diverse fields to study cellular biology, computer networks, and other systems that underlie our lives. The patterns they've discovered have illuminated some of the most pressing issues of our time and, along the way, served as the basis for what's now called the science of complexity. Support for the revolving cast of about 35 investigators, who generally stay between three and six months, comes from corporate and private sources. Perhaps the most surprising discovery lurking inside SFI is the gray-haired man in cowboy boots and jeans nibbling on a cookie in the kitchen. He's Cormac McCarthy, the acclaimed and reclusive novelist, who has quietly become the institute's unlikely muse. "As a writer, he represents what we want our scientists to be," SFI president Geoffrey West says. "He's a maverick."

McCarthy, 73, is known for his literary explorations of violence and the American West in books like All the Pretty Horses and Blood Meridian. But he has more in common with the researchers than his fans might think. McCarthy harbors a deep interest in science, and he admires his SFI colleagues' willingness to take risks. "These are people who aren't afraid to color outside the lines," he says.

McCarthy first learned about SFI from Gell-Mann, whom he met in 1989 at a dinner for MacArthur genius grant recipients. The writer soon began hanging out at the institute, where he found many other like minds. By day, geeks ran computer simulations of stock markets and bird flocks. By night, they discussed the connections over blue-corn enchiladas. "You walked in and the place hummed," McCarthy says. In 1999, he left Texas for Sante Fe to be close to the institute.

While he insists that his chief duties are "to take tea and have lunch," McCarthy has become a fixture at SFI. On any given day, you might find him copyediting a scientist's manuscript or at the typewriter working on his own books. Spending time around the researchers has, he says, "made me more rigorous." Indeed, his most recent novels – including the new postapocalyptic thriller The Road – have been praised for their lean power.

McCarthy kept an office at SFI until December, when he temporarily gave it up, he says, because he was "having too much fun" – and not getting enough writing done. But he's hardly given up on the place. Though he has granted only two interviews in his long career, he's meeting with me, in part, to help spread the word about the institute. The family is aging, he says, and new blood is needed. "If there are young people out there doing interesting things," McCarthy says, "they should be here."

After tea, the researchers return to their work on complexity, but a more simple problem catches McCarthy's attention. Down the hall, two scientists are pushing a photocopier up a makeshift ramp. McCarthy excuses himself, squeezes in beside them, and puts his weight behind the machine.

– David Kushner
Posted: Oct 13, 2006 6:01 pm
So, after about 200 pages, I have this to say about "No Country For Old Men": It's fine. I mean, the plot is definitely a bit Hollywood goofy, but the writing is nice and tight and the set pieces vivid. Let the old make his money with a movie option, no big deal.

Can't wait to start "The Road."
Posted: Oct 13, 2006 6:45 pm
Somewhere I heard that he wrote No Country For Old Men in just a few weeks which might account for the vaguely phoned-in feel of it. Still much better than most, particularly in the genre this particular novel settles into.

The Road is fucking good, I think. Lean, mean and transcendent.
Posted: Oct 18, 2006 2:45 am
Started The Road, and wow, yeah. So far so... fucked.

Also, not McCarthy but McCarthyesque- I saw that movie "The Proposition"- the one that Nick Cave wrote. Lean, mean, not totally transcendent, but close. Reminded me a lot of Blood Meridian.
Posted: Oct 18, 2006 3:36 am
Finished the second half in one shot over the weekend and I think it's got some of the author's finest moments, many understated passages that just kill.

It's hard to imagine where McCarthy could go from this one as it feels like the final act, literally.
Posted: Oct 18, 2006 4:16 am
i liked the proposition far more than i was expecting.

i liked the road, too, although i thought the very end, after the particuarly sad note, seemed a bit tacked on.

i thought no country for old men got a bit, um, silly, but i am really looking forward to the coen brother's adaptation (even if their last few movies sucked bigtime).
Posted: Oct 18, 2006 5:16 pm
Finished reading The Road and I'm almost halfway through Blood Meridian. I'm suprised I hadn't had any exposure to this author before. So far I'm really enjoying it. Thanks for the tip. I'll let you know more about what it made me think later.
Posted: Oct 18, 2006 5:40 pm
I bought Blood Meridian ages ago, but was put off by his disdain for the quotation mark. This thread made me pick it up again - I feel like an ass for not getting through it the first time. Thank you Goner Board!
Posted: Oct 18, 2006 9:04 pm
Jesus Christ, The Road is brutal, relentless, and depressing, I loved it. I just reread the crossing as well, I liked it more than I remembered. Great book.
I really enjoyed the Proposition as well, even my wife dug it and that sort of movie is usually is not her bag. The soundtrack is great for long drives.
Posted: Oct 19, 2006 4:40 am
Man- just finished the Road. Really, really, really good. The bits about the father's past with the wife/mom are great- subtle, unexpected, just enough to give insight into who they may have been. And the kid's use of sort of grown-up sounding phrases. Man, just everything. Definitely on par with Blood Meridian. Crushing.
Posted: Oct 21, 2006 4:39 pm
all i ate while reading the border trilogy was beans, tortillas and eggs. very engrossing books.
Posted: Oct 21, 2006 4:41 pm
similar vein, check out tommy's lee's movie, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
Posted: Oct 23, 2006 4:55 am | Edited by: Jay
just got done with the road. i read it in two days. now i'm afraid that if i sleep i'm going to die. i also might eat my kids.
Posted: Oct 23, 2006 11:16 pm
"The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada"

This was very good
Posted: Nov 26, 2006 5:27 pm
Apparently the rights to The Road have been bought and preparations are being made for a movie. The interesting thing is that John Hillcoat has signed on to direct. I felt like he did a great job with the Proposition and he has been working with Nick Cave since the Birthday Party, so he may actually be able to capture the bleakness, evil and humanity at work in the book or at least I hope. Thought this might interest a few of you.
Posted: Nov 26, 2006 8:21 pm
I can't wait to read "the Road". "Child of God" is probably the best book I've ever torn through. I was oddly aroused...
Posted: Nov 26, 2006 11:01 pm
I felt like he did a great job with the Proposition and he has been working with Nick Cave since the Birthday Party, so he may actually be able to capture the bleakness, evil and humanity at work in the book or at least I hope. Thought this might interest a few of you.

oh thats exciting. i loved the proposition
Posted: Nov 27, 2006 10:59 am
I just finished the road- great,great,great book. I couldn't stop reading and I've read a lot of the passages again and again. The only complaint that I have is that I don't understand why the end has to be that fast.He could have wrote 10 pages more after......,before.......

I started blood meridian yesterday and I already don't want to do anything else than read it.When I'm finished I'll read Sutree- which one should I read after that?
Posted: Nov 27, 2006 6:48 pm
Read Child of Darkness it is great. I just reread the border trilogy and really enjoyed them. Especially The Crossing, that book is amazing. I loved The Blood Merridian and Suttree about as much as any books I have read.
Posted: Nov 27, 2006 8:46 pm
I just got this version of the Border Trilogy that combines the three books in to a single, (relatively) compact hard cover volume. I'm excited to start 'em.

Good news about the movie, too. The Proposition was so McCarthy-esque... it should be a good fit.
Posted: Nov 28, 2006 7:01 am
just as a warning, cities of/on the plain is by far the weak link in the trilogy.
but the crossing is a book i go back to alot.

which one should I read after that?
the border trilogy.
Posted: Nov 28, 2006 10:55 am
Thank's. I've already ordered it.
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