Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cormac McCarthy

      I am on a Cormac McCarthy kick lately. Have read The Road which I wanted to do before seeing the movie. He is a master with words--terse, unadorned style that even scorns the use of quotation marks. The Road is not even adorned with names for its characters--simply The Boy and The Father. Still, McCarthy is extremely readable. In this work the world, or at least our country, has been decimated--assumedly by a terrible war.  There are loving references to The Mother as The Father muses about the past. She was the first to succumb to the 'Bad Guys.' Now father and son are on the road struggling for survival, a warmer climate and a safe haven from just about every creature they encounter. It is a tender portrayal of love, an uplifting tale of fierce determination and a horrifying window into what could be.

        I've also finished McCarthy's first novel in his Border Trilogy--All The Pretty Horses. Same voice as well. A coming of age story about two boys who grow up in Texas on neighboring ranches in the forty's. Soon after they leave home seeking something greater than themselves they pick up a much younger boy--a mirror of themselves. Their journey brings them to the doorsteps of resentment, cruelty, greed and love and not all of them return home to talk about it.

       Cormac McCarthy was born in 1933, the third of six children, in Rhode Island. When he was four his parents moved to Knoxville TN where they continued to raise their children as Catholics. He was named Charles after his father but changed his name to Cormac ("Son of Charles") after the Irish King. Some say his parents actually changed his name. Not sure which is the case. He attended the University of Tennessee for two years then entered the Air Force for four. He returned to the University, published two stories in its literary magazine. In 1960 he moved to Chicago and worked as an auto mechanic while he wrote his first novel, "The Orchard Keeper," published in 1965 by Random House.


オテモヤン said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Louise said...

I have only read The Road, but I really liked it, but have been curious to know if his other works were "worth it". Now I think I will find that first book of his. Thanks for reviewing.

Jacqueline Carney said...

Thanks Louise. Just about finished with The Crossing, 2nd in the border trilogy. He is such a master--very inspirational for me as I tend to get very wordy!

Love to know what you think of his other books.