Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book took me a long time to read. Not because it was awful, but because life sorta got in the way and certain elements of the story were too disturbing to read in one sitting like I normally do with books. My friend Josh asked me to read it and even after the first chapter I was starting to feel a little bit off reading it. But after finishing it, that is actually the appeal of the book. It shows what the Western expansion, and US and Mexican genocide against the indigenous populations actual was in all its gritty violent forms.
The violence in the book was gratuitous at times and many of the main characters involved in such awful activity that it didn't deliver any uplifting feeling. The main character, the kid, which the book follows through pure survival instinct and later a PTSD desensitized outlook goes on from one outfit after another falling in with brutal people who in many cases receive official sanction and praise for their brutality. The book is a serious indictment on the romanticism of westerns, manifest destiny, toxic masculinity, and US exceptionalism. To that effect, it was quite amazing and really lives an indelible impact.
The Judge, is a particularly interesting character, because though he is larger than life and the most educated, uses his views of civilization to be the most unsavory of all.
The book is violent and disturbing, but if you can make it through that it is actually quite good and should leave you feeling a bit less proud to be an American.
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