He's one of my favorite authors, and being from the southwest I can relate to the landscape and the aura that he uses, and a lot of his books have been made into movies lately. This excites me because I'd like to see Blood Meridian (my all time favorite book) and terrifies me because of the potential disaster and mockery this could make of his books.
What's anyone else's thoughts?
He's one of my favorite authors. I can just imagine the lengthy opinions people have on him.
No Country For Old Men is my favorite book.
We go from Chuck to Cormac. That's interesting. Both different styles.
Supposedly "The Counselor" is the newest film by McCarthy, it's got Michael Fassbender (whom I'm really starting to enjoy) but I'm completely unfamiliar with story itself.
McCarthy is, similarly to David Foster Wallace, someone whose stories I really enjoy though I think 80% of their actual writing is purely just taking the piss. McCarthy in a less endearing way.
No Country for Old Men, it's good because the plot is perfect. That's why the movie is basically the most amazing thing ever. I don't think I'd ever read the book again now that there is a film version that's pretty much the same exact thing minus the endurance test that his prose can be. I could not get through The Road due to the pace, prose, and tone. I have not yet seen the movie. I think this fully encompasses the conflict I have regarding the enjoyment of Cormac McCarthy.
The Road is one of the most beautiful things I've ever read.
Once I was about thirty pages into The Road I knew I was reading a masterpiece - too bad I thought the movie was an utter let down, even if it did have big shoes to fill.
It had Charlize Theron in it. I like that.
I actually liked the whole movie. But I really liked Charlize.
Is this the same McCarthy that we labled the And guy?
Same guy. The Road is brilliant (which is a strange word choice for a book that has no color in it). The prose is as sparse and stark as the world is. The words and the world are a perfect match. It's really an amazing thing to have word choice so precise that it constantly reflects the themes and actions of the story. A writer might do that for a short story, but for a whole damn novel?
Also, the movie has
who is my favorite actress.
(although after Winter's Bone, Jennifer Lawrence is closing in on her)
Let's not give percentages for how much of his writing is enjoyable, because my percentage would be completely different (and then we start again with "taste" and all that). I do think McCarthy is a genius and is a good example of someone who really crafts his writing (as I said in another thread). The writing is astonishing.
No Country for Old Men and The Road were written, I think, with movies in mind, so they are a bit closer to scripts than other books he wrote. I'd say read Blood Meridian, Suttree, The Crossing (which I'm reading right now). Or Child of God, even, which is his earliest book I think (with possibly the most perverted character). All the Pretty Horses is a bit more accessible, which is why it's used more in lit classes. One of the most solid writers alive.
McCarthy does the best job out there of writing in the voice of each of his main characters without needing the first person POV to do so. That's quite the trick to pull off and he does it better than anyone I've read. Yet, he's one of those writers where you can hear someone read one sentence and midway through that one sentence, you know who they're reading.
No Country, The Road are great books, but Blood Meridian is in a class all its own. The violence is so vivid and brutal yet not a single word of it is superfluous.
I believe No Country was originally written as a script, but nobody wanted it so he turned it into a novel, which then ironically was an oscar winning film.
ah, circular irony
Weren't we talking about Charlize?
Howie, look her up on Youtube in Funny or Die clips.
I can see why some people don't care for his style. To me it is simple and elegant...I mean in The Road he rewrote the language of nothing. As a writer I'd love to figure out a way to rewrite the language of anything.
These phrases changed the way I wrote:
"With the first gray light he rose and left the boy sleeping and walked out to the road and squatted and studied the country to the south. Barren, silent, godless"
""The clocks stopped at 1:17. A long shear of light and then a series of low concussions." <---this alone builds an entire world out of nothing. I am still unsure how he packed so much into such a small space.
"There is no God and we are his prophets."
The point is, it isn't flamboyant, overly flashy and there is something deep and slow about his writing which I think tends to be lacking now. Dan Brown be damned.
"The clocks stopped at 1:17. A long shear of light and then a series of low concussions."
"The clocks stopped at 1:17. A long shear of light and then a series of low concussions."
That's so good.
I just read that and think he's trying to dupe the whole literary world, "I'm gonna write like this and you're gonna take it and fuck you and eat my shit." There's something malicious going on behind those prettied up sentences. What's he trying to prove?
Renfield, I think you should trust that people like him for a reason, not because they were so successfully duped. If that's the case, every writer with a large fan base has succeeded in "duping" those people. Can you just say his writing is not what you like to read?
I hope he's trying to dupe the world. That would be an awesome masterplan. I need a masterplan. Hmmm... maybe I'll steal poodles or something. No, that doesn't sound right. World conquerer? Nah.. too Dr. Doom. I'll figure something out.
No I can't, because I like his work, it is what I like to read. I'm not doubting anyone's motives for reading him. I am speculating on McCarthy himself, though, so if that offends some diehard fans I apologize. I could be the only one that wonders these sorts of things, about why he does what he does. And while I am railing on his Fuck You to literary conventions, I'd admire it too.
I guess the reason he does what he does is the same as mine. He likes the way it sounds or looks. It just sort of feels right.
Finished The Road today. Can't wait to crack open No Country For Old Men.
Ren, I may have misunderstood you (as usual, I read parts of threads in a hurry because that's about how much time I have, sadly). But I think any writer can try to dupe the world by creating a unique writing style. I do think he spent a lot of time refining his work, and as Matt says, he probably wrote it the way it sounded good to him. It seems there are a lot of people who also like what he does, and many like more than 20% of what he does. I personally like to read heavily chiseled writing (if the person is successful at it), and I honestly don't think he does it just to make it pretty. He probably is a perfectionist.
What I meant by 80% taking the piss is that the actual process of constructing the text is contrived less out of clarity and more effective deliveries of information but out of a manipulation of the reader's sequential process of information, and basically intellectual masturbation, if you know what I mean? Which is why I compared this literary tic to David Foster Wallace, who does similar things out of experimentalism and playfulness, and I expect a little spite for the literary status. The main difference, I feel, between the intent of each writer is the tone behind their uses. I'd suspect McCarthy is more an architect with a handful of twisted ideas, maybe not a perfectionist from what I think the progression of his little tricks is from book to book.
No worries on misunderstanding me, my interrogative mind and lower class way of talking when I put out conflicting ideas for sake of debate usually just makes me sound like a prick, so it's my fault. I'm genuinely interested though, and I'd rather talk a little deeper on authors and subjects I like than just the superficialities. Thanks for sticking through.
I'm neither a huge fan nor a hater. Here's what I've read.
The Orchard Keeper (the best he's done, I think.)
Child of God (Utter shit, but entertaining.)
No Country for Old Men (Possibly one of the most infuriating novels I've read, and I consider it a "bad" novel.)
Blood Meridian (A grower. I've reread it and it's a fine book.)
All the Pretty Horses (Enjoyable, but a bit trivial, unconvincing.)
The Road (Sentimental, overdone even for such a short book.)
The Sunset Limited (Great as an HBO film.)
In response to the initial post -- I think a Blood Meridian film would most likely fail (artistically, regardless of box-office success.) I think it's close to un-filmable, not because of the violence, but due to the fact that some of the most profound moments in the book are not entirely tangible events, moments rooted in language and which wouldn't benefit from visual depiction.
What's the bravest thing you've ever done?
I got up this morning.
That exchange ( prob not verbatim ) between the father and son was amazing and one of the reasons The Road is a classic! And I don't think the movie used it, or some other key, poignant exchanges - like why the father went back to the ship.
I personally did not find the story overly sentimental, it had heart, but the right dose of it.
I cannot see how Blood Meridian could be made into a film at all. It would take some kind of weird Coen Brothers / Tarrantino pairing to even attempt it. Even then it would probably fail. Just like The Road did.
This whole discussion makes me want to reread The Road.