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Suttree (1979)

de Cormac McCarthy

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2,578554,340 (4.16)1 / 242
Cornelius Suttree renounces the values held by his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat among the depraved residents on the banks of the Tennessee River.
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Anglès (51)  Castellà (1)  Italià (1)  Francès (1)  Totes les llengües (54)
Es mostren 1-5 de 54 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Suttree introduces readers to Cornelius Suttree, a man who abandons his affluent family to live among a dissolute array of vagabonds along the Tennessee river.

Suttree is the 1979 semiautobiographical novel written by American author Cormac McCarthy. Set in the slums of Knoxville, Tennessee in 1951, the story follows the episodic experiences of Cornelius “Bud” Suttree, a wayward man from an affluent family who abandons his wife, child and life of privilege to live on a rundown houseboat in McAnally Flats. As Suttree wallows on the fringes of an outcast society, he overcomes a series of eccentric characters and sordid criminals to live the simple life of an impoverished fisherman.
  Gmomaj | Sep 9, 2021 |
This was like reading a Cohen brothers movie. Word of warning though, if you didn't grow up or live in the south, you probably won't get a lot of it. I actually know TWO people named Hog Head. Sad, for me. ( )
  Drunken-Otter | Aug 20, 2021 |
Well, I just finished reading Suttree and I feel exhausted. Maybe I should not use the word “finished” at all, as I feel that I should go back to it once again, slower this time. Actually I have to confess that I have hushed through the last third of this book, because the universe Cormac McCarthy creates has a suffocating atmosphere. The experience that comes to my mind is the memory of trying to learn to deep-sea dive and finding my otherwise mild claustrophobia flaring up underwater, until I just had to come out for fresh air.

Suttree is considerate by many a lighter, more comic book by McCarthy, and I did laugh out loud at some passages (I may never again eat watermelon without thinking of Harrogate – the “convicted pervert of a botanic bent”). But I don’t believe that a few laughs make this book any lighter. The disconnect and marginality of the characters, their incapability to understand the broader world around them – of which Harrogate seems to be the bigger case in point – is all too depressing.

Suttree does remind me of The Road, which also left me with this emotional vacuum in the pit of my stomach. Like the characters in The Road, , I see the characters in Suttree trying to survive day to day while maintaining a glimpse of humanity. In comparison to The Road though, this is a more optimistic book, as a community surrounds the main character here, giving him colorful companionship and friendship. Even if his loneliness remains untouched to the end. An end that is also more optimistic than The Road as if McCarthy decided to give his readers a respite.

I do have to mention McCarthy’s prose. To say that is poetic is just an understatement. It is poetic, but it is also gothic and curlicue. I got tired of running to the dictionary because the richness of his vocabulary eludes me, and I probably missed many of the references that someone more erudite would find. That he does not use commas enervates me to no end. But not a single page goes by that I am not taken back by a sentence, an image.

I intend to keep this book by my bedside, and re-read passages at random for the next while, as I know that I have probably missed much of the subtlety of the language and even details of the many story-lines and characters. Having now come to the end of it, I may now avoid this holler-coaster feeling that prompt me to keep reading and reading it. Some chapters/segments can certainly be read in their own, although I would not call them short-stories, they seem to focus in one or another character or event.

I certainly will read more of McCarthy’s books. I may just need some more time until I digest this one.
( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
Suttree has three flaws, one of too few will care about in this century, one of which too many people will care about for the wrong reasons, and one of which just enough people will care about.

Nobody will care that there is absolutely no development in this book whatsoever. Lay aside the idea that a book must have a plot or character development, fine, but books should develop in some way. This book does not. Nobody will care, because it's very cool to think that books can just be lumps of prose. This is sad.

Too many people will care about the depictions of women and other minorities. Spoiler: they are not all sweetness and light. Suttree is a horrifically violent book, and the violence is not placed in any narrative or developmental context, as it is in his other books. It's just there. Many readers will find this grotesque, disturbing, immoral, and/or oppressive--too many. It is grotesque, disturbing, and amoral, but it's also universal. The book does no favors to its female, gay, or black characters (the lone native American comes off quite well), but that is because that is how those people experience life. Of course, such an argument can only go so far, and some of the scenes do verge on violence-porn. That is a flaw.

Just enough people will care about the absurd chest-thumping of the opening fifty or so pages, during which McCarthy pulls out words that, if not hapax legomena, are pretty darn close, and packs them in pretty tight--sometimes four or five to a sentence. This is also a flaw. McCarthy's prose is already begging to be parodied (I love it, but still), and this doesn't help anyone.

All that said, this is the purest expression of McCarthy's work as prose-writer. On a sentence to sentence level (after the first few score, at least), it's as glorious as anything ever written by an American. It's also hilarious, which is unexpected. A great way for him to say goodbye to the south-east. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
“Mr. Suttree it is our understanding that at curfew rightly decreed by law and in that hour wherein night draws to its proper close and the new day commences and contrary to conduct befitting a person of your station you betook yourself to various low places within the shire of McAnally and there did squander several ensuing years in the company of thieves, derelicts, miscreants, pariahs, poltroons, spalpeens, curmudgeons, clotpolls, murderers, gamblers, bawds, whores, trulls, brigands, topers, tosspots, sots and archsots, lobcocks, smellsmocks, runagates, rakes, and other assorted and felonious debauchees.

I was drunk, cried Suttree.” ( )
  runningbeardbooks | Sep 29, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 54 (següent | mostra-les totes)
"Suttree" is a fat one, a book with rude, startling power and a flood of talk. Much of it takes place on the Tennessee River, and Cormac McCarthy, who has written "The Orchard Keeper" and other novels, gives us a sense of river life that reads like a doomed "Huckleberry Finn."
afegit per eereed | editaNew York Times, Jerome Charyn (Feb 18, 1979)
 
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The author wishes to express his gratitude to The American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
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Dear friend now in the dusty clockless hours of the town when the streets lie black and steaming in the wake of he watertrucks and now when the drunk and the homeless have washed up in the lee of walls in alleys or abadoned lots and cats go forth highshouldered and lean in the grim perimeters about, now in these soothblacked brick or cobbled corridors where lightwire shadows make a gothic harp of cellar doors no soul shall walk save you.
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They are not rooks in those obsidian winter trees, but stranger fowl, pale, lean and salamandrine birds that move by night unburnt through the moon's blue crucible.
How surely are the dead beyond death. Death is what the living carry with them. A state of dread, like some uncanny foretaste of a bitter memory. But the dead do not remember and nothingness is not a curse. Far from it.
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Cornelius Suttree renounces the values held by his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat among the depraved residents on the banks of the Tennessee River.

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