First: some background. Two years ago, I reviewed American Psycho for Cannonball Read 5, and had the immense fortune of seeing that review published on Pajiba. Yay! In the comments section, someone suggested that I needed to read Blood Meridian, to get some perspective on the physical revulsion that American Psycho had filled me with. This year, I decided to see for myself.
I decided the best way to review this book would be to share my real-time Goodreads status updates, because that best captures the uncapturable experience of reading Blood Meridian for the first time (if only I had thought to have my husband take pictures of my face while I was reading the scalping parts). Enjoy:
Page 18: “There is a dried heart for show-and-tell. This will be fun.”
Page 99: “Hey, look, a scalping.”
Page 165: “When a judge offers to dandle you by a campfire, JUST SAY NO.”
Page 193: “A dog just entered the story. Oh no. OH NO.”
Page 205: “A quiver made of Ocelot skin? Babou would not approve (Also, I have Sterling Archer in my head squealing, “Babou? He remembers me!!!”)”
Page 221: “The description of a ‘falstaffian militia’ might be my favorite thing about this book so far. Anything related to Falstaff makes me squee.”
Page 268: “And now a man is on fire. I think this book is the REAL version of A Million Ways to Die in the West.”
Page 305: “If Anton Chigurh and Varys had a lovechild, it would be the judge.”
Overall review: This was one of the most visceral, provocative books I’ve ever read. McCarthy knows how to draw out the extremes of human nature.
Blood Meridian was one of the most expansive, interesting books I’ve ever read. But it destroys any and all good feelings you might have harbored about the American West.