Cormac McCarthy is a contradictory writer to me. His work at once speaks of academic brilliance while his choice of using often archaic words indicates an incredible vocabulary. I can see that he truly does know how to write. Yet his decision in every work I have read to date to throw off convention and write with the bare vestiges of punctuation and grammar stuns me. I find it particularly contradictory when one line features the word dont without an apostrophe and the next line features won't with an included apostrophe. Now I don't know about anyone else but I was told from an early age (and I mean six or seven) that incorrect-use or no-use-of punctuation was considered bad writing in prose (poetry has no such limitations). And I don't mean to sound like a broken record again but how is it that Cormac McCarthy ignores such conventions and somehow his writing is considered beautiful? Is this perhaps the prime example of George Orwell's doublethink in action?*
Either way by this point I must state that I find McCarthy's particular choice of style to be overused and gimmicky. It grabbed me once when I encountered his style in [b:The Road|6288|The Road|Cormac McCarthy|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320606344s/6288.jpg|3355573] and again in [b:No Country for Old Men|12497|No Country for Old Men|Cormac McCarthy|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1375288637s/12497.jpg|2996445] but by my third McCarthy the lack of convention's become an old and overused idea. And certainly in Blood Meridian I find myself unimpressed by the substance of this work. This appears a case of the book containing far more surface than substance for me and as such it's merely an okay work but not overly impressive.
I wanted to like this book. I thought as I began to read the first fifteen pages that perhaps here was a McCarthy novel I would properly appreciate, rather than find average as with No Country for Old Men
. The novel sadly proved highly repetitive for me by the end, that said. The story became a sort of repetitive plot of travelling, killing Indians, drinking and then more killing of other individuals. I found myself drifting through this book utterly desensitised to the violence. If McCarthy's aim was to indicate that violence is evil then it did not work out that way to me. The sheer amount of violence merely served to make me numb to its horror. And which of course raises a second question: why does everyone rave about the beauty of this book when it is merely full of stark horror, bleak environments and depraved characters (particularly the judge)? Is McCarthy challenging the idea of beauty through juxtaposing those two elements of death and poetic description?**
Ultimately the problems I had with this novel were the same problems I had with The Road. While I could enjoy the storyline of this novel slightly more I found it an average work. I'm certain that there are better and certainly more enjoyable Westerns available that I could read. But then again I'm yet to find a western I've truly enjoyed.
I will admit that there are aspects of this book I did enjoy. McCarthy appeared to state that just because you have the strength to kill a man doesn't make it right. And this was certainly a resonating idea. And I also applaud McCarthy's talent at describing the environments of his characters. I felt as if those landscapes were real and before me. However ultimately the harrowing nature of this book; the vile and unlike-able characters; the seemingly senseless violence; and again the minimal use of convention combined to make me find this book an okay read. Perhaps it is a memorable read but it was a novel I simply could not love. But that said I never force my opinions upon another person and I respect that they won't do the same to me. I found the book to be like this yet others may like (and clearly do) like McCarthy's style and his stories. I'm just not a fan at this moment as I prefer the rich, flowery, conventionalised works of authors such as [a:Jane Austen|1265|Jane Austen|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1282032472p2/1265.jpg], [a:Charlotte Brontë|1036615|Charlotte Brontë|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1335001351p2/1036615.jpg] or [a:Edgar Allan Poe|4624490|Edgar Allan Poe|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1315307900p2/4624490.jpg].
*See [b:1984|5470|1984|George Orwell|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348990566s/5470.jpg|153313]
**His descriptive ability is the one thing that truly appears poetic to me