Friday, March 21, 2014

Child of God by Cormac McCarthy

Oh golly. Not for the faint of heart or squeamish, this one. As much as I love all things McCarthy, dark as they often are, Child of God will not go down as one of my favorites. The writing, of course, kept me glued to the page, and the story did have elements of his later book Sutreea book I loved, but the scant 200 large-type, short-chapter pages felt more like a Hitchcock or Poe horror story of the kind I read as a teenager at Halloween than anything I would devote energy to absorbing now. As with most McCarthy books I'm sure there is a lot going on under the very weird surface here, but it was all to short and undeveloped for me to find.

(back cover)
Falsely accused of rape, Lester Ballard - a violent, dispossessed man who haunts the hill country of East Tennessee - is released from jail and allowed to roam at will, preying on the population with his strange lusts. His everyday actions are transformed into stunning scenes of the comic and the grotesque. And as the story hurtles toward its unforgettable conclusion, McCarthy depicts the most sordid aspects of life with dignity, humor, and characteristic lyrical brilliance. 

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