Reviewed by Flavio Collins, Cashier Supervisor at Bookmans Ina

Most people’s perceptions of Westerns skew in a narrow canyon between John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Television shows like Bonanza introduce the West as an idyllic place. Yes, yes, we all live in Arizona. We’ve all been to Old Tucson and/or Tombstone. We know the stories — but do we really? Do we truly understand the horror of the Wild West? We LOVE to romanticize anything and everything concerning horrific circumstances that are otherwise too hard to deal with. It’s a way to cope with the blood that has spilled in the name of race, religion, country and all that controversial whatnot. In this way, romanticism helps censor the truth behind the bloodiness of our country’s history. Cormac McCarthy does the opposite of that in Blood Meridian. Though fiction, this novel presents the honest truth of our desert landscape; blood helped the West grow such that it’s persistently replicated for our entertainment.

Review of Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Blood Meridian follows the story of a young fellow dubbed “The Kid”. This no-name Tennessean runs away from his home in the 1850s and joins an infamous gang of individuals who would venture around the West to scalp Native Americans for money and for fun. The plot is rich with hidden meaning and as ominous as one would imagine.

This book is one of the greatest pieces of American literature. The sheer brutality floors the reader. The writing is poetic, yet reading these travesties leaves the reader feeling hollow. I’ve never had a book screw with my emotions more than Blood Meridian. Imagine having someone burn cigarette holes in your soul.

This book isn’t for the faint of heart. This is a masterpiece. This is a book that can go up against Moby Dick for beauty and excellence. It’ll stand the test of time. It should be read in English classrooms everywhere. Please, for the love of all things amazing, buy this book. Let it destroy you with the thought that we are a dangerous living beings to walk the face of this planet.

“A man’s at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with. He can know his heart, but he dont want to. Rightly so. Best not to look in there. It aint the heart of a creature that is bound in the way that God has set for it. You can find meanness in the least of creatures, but when God made man the devil was at his elbow. A creature that can do anything. Make a machine. And a machine to make the machine. And evil that can run itself a thousand years, no need to tend it.” from Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

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