Blood Meridian

The Kid; pen and ink on paper.

Blood Meridian (Or the Evening Redness in the West)

What a damnable, difficult book. It is violence and death and the Book of Daniel if it was about the Old West. If it was an animal it would be obviously, drunkenly, ferociously male, completely bereft of anything to redeem it to the female species save for a bloodied but impressive sense of fate (sorry, Nathan's girlfriend).

It is as western as No Country for Old Men and as doomed as The Road but it has none of their collected sense of impetus and danger. Instead it shows itself like a tintype held up to a campfire, this wondrous but foiling language that you have to squeeze away at with your thumb to only half understand the terrible picture underneath. Beware that this is a gifted author who is not above just making up words, full stop.

The story is about a character we know only as The Kid but he's more like a welcome vantage point than any creature that we could claim to know. He disappears for ages. In his place we get a host of murderers and proto-anarchists, people like Toadvine and the judge and Glanton and the ex-priest, men whose main business is redeeming scalps but who will rob and desecrate as suits them. They traverse a landscape between the Mexico and Texas borders that very quickly reveals itself as a contender for the tenth level of the Inferno.

The ending is a profane mystery with a fable on top. When I finished this book last night my reaction was to reach over and turn out the light.

Comments

  1. Cool post you got here. It would be great to read something more about this topic.
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  2. Oh, you crazy London girls. Now if I can just find my passport ...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have your passport. And I'm keeping it.

    ReplyDelete

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