Friday, August 18, 2006

Fast, ferocious, and unfair literary judgments: Cormac McCarthy

Sorry, people, but:

All the Pretty Horses is a Boys' Adventure Story tarted up with a leaden and unconvincing use of Faulknerianly florid landscapes and Hemmingwayinly terse dialogue. The protagonist learns about life and love and loss and death and blahdy fucking blah. You people are insane for liking it.

Blood Meridian shows us how ferocious and brutal life is in such a way that we think, hey, this isn't like real life--in spite of its long stretches of tedium real life is, on the whole, much less boring. The closing sentence is sorta classic, but it's sure as hell not worth slogging through three hundred-plus pages to get to. And who are we fooling, kids? The stand-out character, "The Judge," could easily have been created by a misanthropic fifteen-year-old.

Anyway, that's all the McCarthy I've read, because life's too short. Basically, I'm having a hard time thinking of another contemporary author so overrated. I have to admit, though, that the description of his new one, coming this Fall, has me sort of intrigued. It'll probably just turn out to be really annoying (Blood Meridian's description makes it sound interesting too), but I suppose I wouldn't be totally averse to trying just one more.


Anonymous Anonymous pontificated to the effect that...

Did you ever read The Road? And if so, what did you think of it?

7:15 AM  

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