Sunday, March 20, 2011

Just Read: Suttree by Cormac McCarthy

I think most everyone who reads my blog knows I'm a big fan of Cormac McCarthy.    I've not read all his books however.  I've read all the novels since Blood Meridian but until I picked up Suttree I had not ready any of his earlier books.

I've actually been trying to finish this novel for at least 5 years.  I normally devour his books but this one was a chore.  It wasn't that it was bad but rather I found it difficult.  Cormac's way with words is high art; genius of the first degree, but damn, he can be bleak.  The titular character was so down trodden his day-to-day existence so difficult that the novel made me feel bad.  The last novel that did that to me was Hesse's Steppenwolf and there's certainly parallels to be drawn between the novels.  Isolation and depression imbue both. 

I'm happy I read it and I can see why people consider it one of his finest novels but I'm also happy it's now in my rear-view mirror and no longer nagging me from the unfinished book pile.   I have another of Cormac's early novels: Child of God sitting on the shelf unopened.  A book about a pedophile and necrophiliac.  I'm not sure I dare to start.
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