Cormac McCarthy

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Cormac McCarthy

maig 8, 2008, 11:17 pm

Cormac McCarthy is one of my favorite authors. Is there anyone alive, or dead that writes as beautifully as he? I have heard comparisons to William Faulkner, and I just ordered The Sound and the Fury. However, I would like more seasoned opinions. Thanks in advance.

maig 11, 2008, 5:39 pm

I thought you would get more responses -- McCarthy usually spawns strong feelings one way or the other. I have only read The Border Trilogy and Blood Meridian; I am not sure I would use the word beautiful to describe his writing -- overwhelming, awesome, horrific, maybe. He clearly is extremely talented -- but the violence in his novel disturbs me like nothing else can.

I am not sure I am a seasoned opinion, though. Hope you like The Sound and the Fury, be prepared to be confused, patient, and plan to re-read the first two sections -- I think it is worht it in the end - but I wasn't sure while I was reading it. Not really a deep south writer but a modern writer who reminds me of a kinder, gentler Faulkner or McCarthy is Jeffery Lent -- his In the Fall is great.

maig 12, 2008, 1:25 am

There has been some discussion about how to approach Faulkner's work in another thread here:

maig 12, 2008, 10:02 pm

McCarthy is a writer i own 6 books by but regrettably haven't gotten around to reading any of while i can't directly speak from experience about comparisons with Faulkner (though of course it's impossible to read anything about McCarthy without hearing about the comparison and what snippets i've read are pretty Faulkner-esque...) i can say that The Sound and the Fury is one of the absolute best books ever written, and regardless of anything else you should probably read it anyway...that's my opinion anyway...

maig 14, 2008, 11:58 am

Indeed #2, I thought there would be no lack of critique to my question. I have purchased The Sound and the Fury. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for the replies. Keep them coming if they will!

maig 16, 2008, 3:10 pm

McCarthy is my favourite too. For those who haven't read any, his last two, No Country For Old Men and The Road are perhaps the most accessible, before moving on through The Border Trilogy to the others? I recently read Plainsong by Kent Haruf, which was compared to McCarthy in several of the reviews on the cover. He writes beautifully, although I'm not sure the comparison is quite apt. The author Haruf most reminded me of, actually, was Barbara Kingsolver. Gorgeous book, though, you won't lose out by reading it, whoever you think its reminiscent of!

juny 10, 2008, 8:13 am

McCarthy and Faulkner are similar first and foremost because their books are so strongly rooted in "place". You get the feeling with both that their characters are who they are in large part because of where they are. Faulkner deals with the "Old South", and the remnants of that society. McCarthy writes of the "Old West", and its modern residuals. You can't go wrong with either of them. They are both quintessentially American.

juny 7, 2009, 11:19 pm

I will attempt to read Faulkner again in the near future, but I have really come to love Cormac McCarthy. I haven't even read the books set in the West (just received Blood Meridian) but devoured the four novels set in the Appalachians - Child of God, Suttree, The Orchard Keeper, and Outer Dark. They were all so good I'm shocked no one really talks about them when McCarthy is discussed. Those four really spurred me on to read more books set in Appalachia including The Dollmaker, Fair and Tender Ladies, and Out Under the Sky of the Great Smokies.

Editat: juny 8, 2009, 4:59 pm

Grem, you might also enjoy Sharyn McCrumb's ballad novels, which are set in Appalachia and beautifully written. Thanks for mentioning those less-discussed McCarthy novels that are set there... I'll look for them.

(fixed tupos)

juny 9, 2009, 11:11 am

William Gay is indebted to McCarthy, and is quite a good writer.
I'd try Provinces of Night or Twilight. Both are great.

Editat: juny 10, 2009, 11:59 am

The connection with Faulkner is also the occasional long, run-on sentence, bordering on purple. McCarthy's prose is much leaner than it used to be. B.R. Meyer's gives some examples of McCarthy going overboard. A Reader's Manifesto

McCarthy's work seems to be divided according to where he was living at the time. The early works take place in Appalachia, the latter in the southwest.

juny 9, 2009, 9:22 pm

I love both McCarthy and William Gay. I've read all of McCarthy and Twilight and I Hate to See that Evening Sun Go Down by Gay. His latest, The Lost Country is due out this month. And I hate that Stephanie Meyer comes up for Twilight. Ain't that a kick in the teeth.

juny 18, 2009, 2:06 pm

Reading all these posts for the first time tonight is like sitting round a campfire in one of McCarthy's works with a bunch of old friends! Anyone tried Chris Offutt and Tom Franklin? Thanks for the news about another one from William Gay. All great stuff.

Editat: juny 18, 2009, 9:57 pm

Ordered some. Thanks for the recommendations Jim53.

juny 19, 2009, 8:46 am

Just read my first The Road...a great book...kinda like a grown-up version of The Giver

jul. 6, 2009, 5:27 pm

thanks jimsnopes for the Tom Franklin recommendation, I'm about to go out the door to get Poachers from the library. Any other recs? I do like Chris Offut quite a bit- It's been a while since he came out with anything- hopefully we'll have something new by him soon. Speaking of Cormac McCarthy I enjoyed listening to this:

Editat: jul. 12, 2009, 3:40 pm

I enjoyed the Yale lectures on CM, Donald, and look forward to indulging in the others soon. Just read The Scarlet Plague by Jack London and it seems to me pretty likely that Cormac McCarthy knows it too. See my review of The Scarlet Plague. Or are (is?) there a host of other post-apocalyptic novels with men and boys walking to the coast?

nov. 15, 2009, 4:54 am

I've read Offutt's story collections and The Good Brother and his memoir The Same River Twice. He's been writing for Hollywood to make some money for his children's education. I've only read Tom Franklin's story collection Poachers. Poachers is a wicked story.

nov. 17, 2009, 6:15 am

I expect most people have found this WSJ interview, but here's a link anyway. Sometimes a laugh, sometimes serious, always making you stop for a while for a think, like reading his books. Hope the link works.

nov. 17, 2009, 2:46 pm

Free ecopy of The Scarlet Plague by Jack London:

ag. 28, 2010, 3:12 pm

I've read most of McCarthy's works. Suttree is still my favorite and the one that I think about the most.

set. 9, 2012, 6:32 pm

Some more great suggestions. Thanks y'all!

feb. 28, 2014, 8:56 pm

All I can say is, that I've never high-tailed it to Sparknotes, nor any other guides, when reading McCarthy.

Now Faulkner (whom I love), is a different story...

feb. 28, 2014, 9:35 pm

In the 75 Book Challenge Group we're doing an American Author Challenge in 2014 (One author a month...any work you choose). We're doing McCarthy in March, so if anyone is interested in reading along and sharing, the discussion thread for McCarthy is here.

Editat: jul. 21, 2022, 3:24 pm

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