Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy, narrated by Richard Poe

(Unabridged) Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the second work of McCarthy's that I've listened to (as opposed to read) and it confirms what I suspected. McCarthy's stories are meant to be told. There is poetry in his words that is amplified by the human voice. Certainly, any of his books will move you if you read them, but listen to a good narrator (Richard Poe in this case, who annoyed me to stopping The Story of Edgar Sawtelle but seemed perfect for this book) and the story will pull you in as surely as if you were sitting in a room with McCarthy himself. Being immersed in this story can be a challenge, however, because it is extremely violent, dark, and at times down right unpleasant. But it is never gratuitous - the actions of The Boy and the Judge and the rest of the Glanton Gang are the people themselves. This is an epic of a downward spirally journey that will drag you down with it, if you're willing to go.

My only critisism of the story is there's a feeling of disjointedness. It's like McCarthy ran out of steam at one point, found a new track and then plunged back in. Events are described in painfully good detail, but then huge chunks of time pass with almost no narrative explaining what happened. It's a "wait a minute, did I miss something?" moment that passes quickly, but still, it's a break from a great story that you wish didn't happen.

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