"Blood Meridian is a vast and complex sensorium" - James Woods, The New Yorker.
On 14th February 2008 I finished Blood Meridian and it left me flabbergasted, it left me winded. I felt stunned and I felt angry as I realised what was happening in the last chapter. I didn’t want to turn the last pages.
It was painful to finish because Cormac McCarthy's writing has to be read to be believed: it's white hot, graphic and it just doesn't feel like other writing.
Dust stanched the wet and naked heads of the scalped who with the
fringe of hair below their wounds and tonsured to the bone now lay like maimed and
naked monks in the bloodslaked dust and everywhere the dying groaned and gibbered
and the horses lay screaming.
Let's be honest, I don't like "cowboy" stories. Dad loves them, but to me they're sentimental, fake imaginings of America's history. Thankfully, I found that Blood Meridian is as far away from John Wayne as Ted Bundy is from Rainbow Bright. The trouble with Blood Meridian is that as you move south in the novel, as you sink deeper into the 19th century, you stop and say, oh my god, this is what it was like.
I've had to buy this novel three times now. This hasn't been a problem and I've never otherwise bought a book twice. In Waterstones in Edinburgh's Princes Street and in London's Piccadilly Circus eerily the same thing happened: the cashiers looked at the book and looked at me and said "I loved this, have you read his other books..?"