On abandoning Blood Meridian

Have abandoned Blood Meridian on p285 of 353 – a pretty hefty investment of time in any book. So why have I stopped with only 60 pages to go? It is relentlessly bleak*. No, not like The Road. In The Road we get to travel with the kid and his dad, and yes it’s all a bit bleak and post-apocalyptic but, but … nothing really bad ever happens. Blood Meridian? Rewind 150 years, flip to the other side of The Road, and follow another kid and a bunch of mercenaries on a ‘nightmare odyssey’ along the US/Mexico border.

I chose this book to take me out of my comfort zone. Vague memories of Westerns on the telly. US election coming up. ‘Brilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel’. OK. And yes, it’s a brilliant book – poetic and savage at the same time.

In the meantime I wonder if there’s a film. I discover … not yet, though someone has bought the rights. I am not surprised, how to do the book justice? Dan Ozzi at Word and Film ventures a cast list.

Maybe I just need a bit of down time before I finish it. Sure McCarthy had to stick his head in a bucket of ice for a month or two when he finished writing it.

This morning I give in and check out Jim Crace’s digested read of Blood Meridian at The Guardian. Spot on Jim. Back to my to-read pile. Open Ragnarok. The Norse gods may fuck around with stuff but usually for good reason.

* In retrospect not ‘bleak’. BRUTAL.

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