Eric Roberts' Weblog

Blood Meridian

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, I picked up because when I was researching No Country for Old Men, one academic felt they were companion pieces.  Blood Meridian is probably the most violent book I have ever read.  The main character, a fourteen-year-old referred to only as kid, joins a marauding bunch of Indian killers patrolling the area around Texas and Mexico in the 1850s.  Brutally murdering whomever they please, the gang takes the scalp and ears of their victims in the process.  What is so disturbing about the book is the lack of conscience; each violent act is reported in a detached manner as if life, any life, really has no meaning or value.   In the middle of this band of killers there is the Judge, a seven foot, completely hairless anti-christ who studies nature, spouts philosophy, and engulfs all around him in mayhem. Symbolically he could represent so many things.

Thematically, this is a coming of age story.  There is little time to move from innocence to experience, because the innocence is swallowed up quickly.  Yet the kid still performs acts of kindness and honour in a world which sees too few of them.

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