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Review of "Blood Meridian"

December 20, 2010 | Comments: 0 | Views: 133

Blood Meridian exists on a level all it's own. A western novel at its core, it fulfills, and then some, all the requisites of the genre. There's bloody action, conflict, violence, gunplay, the wide open spaces of the land of the American Southwest, and just as important, the Mexican Northwest. A masterpiece that hits all the dots; Blood Meridian has lyricism, poetry, narrative, and musings philosophic, intertwined with sheer horror, populated by monstrous characters that are still utterly believable in all their over the top evil. Oh, let's not forget sheer absurdity that comes through as just the facts; just the way it is. The banality of this hell world perhaps is its most disturbing undercurrent.

Published in 1986, "Blood Meridian" is inherently timeless. It is historical. There was a John Glanton and a gang of scalp hunters under contract to the Mexican Governor of Chihuahua. John Glanton was a Texan originally from South Carolina by way of Tennessee, like so many other Texans. He had a very "colorful" background like so many other Texan pioneers. "Blood Meridian is also a cautionary tale on the perils of privatization of military and law enforcement. The outsourcing of the war in Chihuahua against the Apaches ended in disaster. Shades of today's Blackwater and private mercenary groups in the Middle East and now more and more here in the United States.

The historical threads, good and evil; the mythology and fact. Set against a tripartite of a Mexican, Anglo, and Native American back drop...Perhaps the most amazing thing about this novel is that while nothing good really ever happens, Mcarthy trains you not to expect it. And the reader doesn't really care. He's that good a writer.

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