Tag: Judge Holden

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Posted August 12, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Historical Fiction, Western / 0 Comments

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthyTitle: Blood Meridian (Goodreads)
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Published: Vintage, 1985
Pages: 337
Genres: Historical Fiction, Western
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I’ve wanted to read another Cormac McCarthy book after enjoying The Road so after a long time of sitting on my To-Read shelf; I decided it was about time to give Blood Meridian a go. This is probably McCarthy’s most known book; other than the Pulitzer winning The Road. Narrated by a runaway known as the “the kid”, Blood Meridian follows the Glanton gang scalp hunters as they massacred North American tribes. Judge Holden is the main antagonist and is an intelligent man but terrifying with his constant need for conflict and violence.

I often enjoy books’ aspects from history to make a compelling story; James Ellroy and Hilary Mantel come to mind when thinking of authors that do this well and now Cormac McCarthy. As an author McCarthy is rather brilliant, he knows how to spin an entertaining and intelligent story with wonderful prose for a book of intense violence and bleak environments. I’ve not read many Westerns but if this is anything to go on then I might have to read some more.

Blood Meridian has very environmental and character driven and it was a real pleasure to read. But then there is an aspect of this book that I really didn’t like. The violence and horror aspects of this book is not for the faint hearted, and I tend to enjoy these elements but even for me I feel like maybe Cormac McCarthy took it a little too far; to a sickening level. This is like reading a nightmare; the acts of violence are so intense and evil that even I was disturbed.

This book is not for everyone, it’s a hellish read and Cormac McCarthy brilliance does seem to be drowned out by the blood of Judge Holden’s victims. I couldn’t recommend this book to anyone as it is really intense, but if you think you can handle it, it’s worth reading. The book is fairly dense when comparing it to The Road, but it was still an interesting look at the disturbing nature of Judge Holden and the Glanton gang.