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Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy was born on 20 July, 1933 and is an author, playwright and scriptwriter whos work spans a huge selection of genres. His most famous books include The Road and No Country for Old Men - both of which have been adapted into successful films. He is also the author of Blood Meridian, a book often heralded as one of the great American novels.



Cormac McCarthy Books

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    From the author of No Country For Old Men, Cormac McCarthy, The Road has been described by Andrew O'Hagan as "The first great masterpiece of the globally-warmed generation". The novel describes the journey of a father and his young son as they walk alone through a burned and desolate post-acopalyptic America, in search of warmth and a better life. With nothing but a pistol to protect them from fellow human survivors of cannibalistic tribes, this harrowing novel was winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and named the best book of the last 25 years, fiction or non-fiction, by Entertainment Weekly in 2008. It was also adapted into a successful film starring Viggo Mortensen.

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    "Blood Meridian" is an epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America's westward expansion, brilliantly subverting the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the Wild West. Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennessean who stumbles into a nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving. 'McCarthy's achievement is to establish a new mythology which is as potent and vivid as that of the movies, yet one which has absolutely the opposite effect ...He is a great writer' - "Independent". 'I have rarely encountered anything as powerful, as unsettling, or as memorable as Blood Meridian ...A nightmare odyssey' - "Evening Standard". 'His masterpiece ...The book reads like a conflation of the "Inferno", "The Iliad" and "Moby Dick". I can only declare that "Blood Meridian" is unlike anything I have read in recent years, and seems to me an extraordinary, breathtaking achievement' - John Banville.
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    Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, stumbles upon a transaction gone horribly wrong. Finding bullet-ridden bodies, several kilos of heroin, and a caseload of cash, he faces a choice - leave the scene as he found it, or cut the money and run. Choosing the latter, he knows, will change everything. And so begins a terrifying chain of events, in which each participant seems determined to answer the question that one asks another: how does a man decide in what order to abandon his life? '"No Country for Old Men" is a compelling, harrowing, disturbing, sad, endlessly surprising and resonant novel' - Robert Edric, "Spectator". '"No Country for Old Men" is a severed head and shoulders over anything else written in America this year' - "Independent on Sunday". 'A fast, powerful read, steeped with a deep sorrow about the moral degradation of the legendary American West' - Lionel Shriver.
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    With an introduction by Philipp Meyer The wrath of God lies sleeping. It was hid a million years before men were and only men have power to wake it. Hell aint half full. Set in the anarchic world opened up by America's westward expansion, Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy is an epic and potent account of the barbarous violence that man visits upon man. Through the hostile landscape of the Texas-Mexico border wanders the Kid, a fourteen year-old Tennessean who is quickly swept-up in the relentless tide of blood. But the apparent chaos is not without its order: while Americans hunt Indians - collecting scalps as their bloody trophies - they too are stalked as prey. Since its first publication in 1985, Blood Meridian has been read as both a brilliant subversion of the Western novel and a blazing example of that form. Powerful and savagely beautiful, it has emerged as one of the most important works in American fiction of the last century. A truly mesmerising classic. 'A bloody and starkly beautiful tale' Sunday Times 'Unlike anything I have read in recent years, an extraordinary, breathtaking achievement' John Banville
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    This is Volume One of the "Border Trilogy". 'A uniquely brilliant book ...told in language as subtly beautiful as its desert setting. One of the most important pieces of American writing of our time' - Stephen Amidon, "Sunday Times". John Grady Cole is the last bewildered survivor of long generations of Texas ranchers. Finding himself cut off from the only life he has ever wanted, he sets out for Mexico with his friend Lacey Rawlins. Befriending a third boy on the way, they find a country beyond their imagining: barren and beautiful, rugged yet cruelly civilized; a place where dreams are paid for in blood. "All the Pretty Horses" is an acknowledged masterpiece and a grand love story: a novel about childhood passing, along with innocence and a vanished American age. Steeped in the wisdom that comes only from loss, it is a magnificent parable of responsibility, revenge and survival. 'A darkly shining work ...executed with consummate skill and much subtlety - the effect is magnificent' - John Banville, "Observer". 'An exhilarating, exceptional novel' - "Spectator". 'In a single stride it takes McCarthy to the forefront of contemporary American fiction. All the Pretty Horses is indisputably a masterpiece' - "Financial Times".
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    This compelling novel has as its protagonist Cornelius Suttree, living alone and in exile in a disintegrating houseboat on the wrong side of the Tennessee River close by Knoxville. He stays at the edge of an outcast community inhabited by eccentrics, criminals and the poverty-stricken. Rising above the physical and human squalor around him, his detachment and wry humour enable him to survive dereliction and destitution with dignity. '"Suttree" contains a humour that is Faulknerian in its gentle wryness, and a freakish imaginative flair reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor' - "Times Literary Supplement". '"Suttree" marks McCarthy's closest approach to autobiography and is probably the funniest and most unbearably sad of his books' - Stanley Booth. 'The book comes at us like a horrifying flood. The language licks, batters, wounds - a poetic, troubled rush of debris ...Cormac McCarthy has little mercy to spare, for his characters or himself. His text is broken, beautiful and ugly in spots..."Suttree" is like a good, long scream in the ear' - Jerome Charyn, "New York Times".
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    This is Volume Three of the "Border Trilogy". In "Cities of the Plain", two men marked by the boyhood adventures of "All the Pretty Horses" and "The Crossing" now stand together, between their vivid pasts and uncertain futures, to confront a country changing beyond recognition. In the fall of 1952, John Grady Cole and Billy Parham are cowboys on a New Mexico ranch encroached upon from the north by the military. On the southern horizon are the mountains of Mexico, where one of the men is drawn again and again, in this story of friendships and passion, to a love as dangerous as it is inevitable. 'In a lovely and terrible landscape of natural beauty and impending loss we find John Grady; a young cowboy of the old school, trusted by men and horses, and a fragile young woman, whose salvation becomes his obsession ...McCarthy makes the sweeping plains a miracle' - "Scotsman". 'This haunting, deeply felt novel completes one of the literary masterworks of the 1990s' - "Daily Telegraph". 'The completed trilogy emerges as a landmark in American literature' - "Guardian".
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    Set in a small, remote community in rural Tennessee in the years between the two world wars, "The Orchard Keeper" is an early classic from one of America's finest and most celebrated authors. It tells of John Wesley Rattner, a young boy, and Marion Sylder, an outlaw and bootlegger who, unbeknownst to either of them, has killed the boy's father. Cormac McCarthy's debut novel is a magnificent evocation of an American landscape, and of a lost American time. 'The feeling for the land and seasons is so intense as to be part of the story and there are scenes one will never forget ...A complicated and evocative exposition of the transience of life' - "Harper's". 'A true American original' - "Newsweek".
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    By the author of the critically acclaimed "Border Trilogy", "Child of God" is a taut, chilling novel that plumbs the depths of human degradation. Lester Ballard, a violent, solitary and introverted young backwoodsman dispossessed on his ancestral land, is released from jail and allowed to haunt the hill country of East Tennessee, preying on the population with his strange lusts. McCarthy transforms commonplace brushes with humanity - in homesteads, stores and in the woods - into stunning scenes of the comic and the grotesque, and as the story hurtles toward its unforgettable conclusion, depicts the most sordid aspects of life with dignity, humour, and characteristic lyrical brilliance. 'Demands its reader's attention from the opening sentence' - "Newsweek". 'A reading experience so impressive, so 'new', so clearly well made that it seems almost to defy the easy aesthetic categories ...Accomplished in rare, spare, precise yet poetic prose' - "New Republic". 'His prose, unfailingly beautiful and exact, carries us into a dreamworld of astonishing and violent revelation. It is a frightening, entrancing world, which we must finally recognize as our own' - Tobias Wolff. 'McCarthy is a powerful and talented writer, able to elicit compassion for his protagonist however terrible his action' - "Sunday Times".
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    This is Volume Two of the "Border Trilogy". '"The Crossing", together with its predecessor "All the Pretty Horses", towers over most contemporary fiction. An American epic infused with a grand solemnity' - "Sunday Times". Set on the south-western ranches in the years before the Second World War, "The Crossing" follows the fortunes of sixteen-year-old Billy and his younger brother Boyd. Fascinated by an elusive wolf that has been marauding his family's property, Billy captures the animal - but rather than kill it, sets out impulsively for the mountains of Mexico to return it to where it came from. When Billy comes back to his own home he finds himself and his world irrevocably changed. His loss of innocence has come at a price, and once again the border beckons with its desolate beauty and cruel promise. 'McCarthy writes prose as clean as a bullet cutting through the air and constructs tales as compelling as any you will read ...They are stories about people as real as the land they ride and as disturbing as the rituals they enact' - "Daily Telegraph".
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    This handsome edition of McCarthy's completed Border Trilogy in one volume gives the reader one of the most important works of American fiction of the last decades. McCarthy's work is far more than a western, but crosses the borders between fiction and philosophy, the real and the world of dream. With influences ranging from the traditional western; the coming-of-age story; the courtly romance; classical tragedy; and magical realism, McCarthy's masterpiece is a work to be read and read again. This new volume containing all three of the novels, All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, and Cities of the Plain, is a welcome addition to the canon of McCarthy's works in print.
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    By the author of the critically acclaimed "Border Trilogy", "Outer Dark" is a novel at once mythic and starkly evocative, set in an unspecified place in Appalachia sometime around the turn of the century. A woman bears her brother's child, a boy; the brother leaves the baby in the woods and tells her he died of natural causes. Discovering her brother's lie, she sets forth alone to find her son. Both brother and sister wander separately through a countryside being scourged by three terrifying and elusive strangers, headlong toward an eerie, apocalyptic resolution. 'McCarthy is a master stylist, perhaps without equal in American letters ...In his hands, everything is done with consummate skill' - "Village Voice". 'McCarthy has made the fabulous real, the ordinary mysterious' - "New York Times". 'A profound parable that ultimately speaks to any society in any time' - "Time".
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    A startling encounter on a New York subway platform leads two strangers to a run-down tenement where a life or death decision must be made. In that small apartment, 'Black' and 'White', as the two men are known, begin a conversation that leads each back through his own history - mining the origins of two diametrically opposing world views, they begin a dialectic redolent of the best of Beckett. White is a professor whose seemingly enviable existence of relative ease has left him nonetheless in despair. Black, an ex-con and ex-addict, is the more hopeful of the men - though he is just as desperate to convince White of the power of faith as White is to deny it. Their aim is no less than this: to discover the meaning of life. Deft, spare, and full of artful tension, "The Sunset Limited" is a beautifully crafted, consistently thought-provoking, and deeply intimate work by one of the most insightful writers of our time. '"The Sunset Limited" grips from the very first page' - "Financial Times". 'The author at his best, meditating on life, suffering and religion' - "Shortlist". 'It's remarkable that Cormac McCarthy could revive the antique genre of the philosophical dialogue as convincingly as he does here. His prose bites' - "Evening Standard".
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    The Gardener's Son is the tale of two families: the wealthy Greggs, who own the local cotton mill, and the McEvoys, a family of mill workers beset by misfortune. Two years ago, Robert McEvoy was involved in an accident that led to the amputation of his leg. Consumed by bitterness and anger, he quit his job at the mill and fled. Now, news of his mother's terminal illness brings Robert home. What he finds on his return stokes the slow burning rage he carries within him, a fury that ultimately consumes both the McEvoys and the Greggs. This taut, riveting drama was Cormac McCarthy's first written screenplay. Directed by Richard Pearce, it was produced as a two-hour film in 1976 and received two Emmy Award nominations. This is the first UK publication of the film script in book form.
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    Lester Ballard, a violent, solitary and introverted young backwoodsman, is released from jail and allowed to haunt the hill country of East Tennessee, preying on the population with his strange lusts. McCarthy transforms commonplace brushes with humanity into stunning scenes of the comic and the grotesque, and as the story hurtles toward its unforgettable conclusion, depicts the most sordid aspects of life with dignity, humour, and characteristic lyrical brilliance. This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60% of the author's work and as low as 30% with characters and plotlines removed.
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    "Blood Meridian" is widely recognized as the masterpiece of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy. It is an historical epic, a compelling reinterpretation of the Western, and one of the great American novels of the twentieth century. It tells the story of a teenage runaway known only as 'the kid', who falls in with a group of notorious outlaws: the Glanton Gang. Violent, direct and extraordinarily powerful, the novel traces the destiny of 'the kid' as he falls further and further from grace, and into the clutches of the mysterious and demonic Judge Holden.
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    With an introduction by Rachael Kushner. In the vanishing world of the Old West, two cowboys begin an epic adventure, and their own coming-of-age stories. In All the Pretty Horses, John Grady Cole's search for a future takes him across the Mexican border to a job as a ranch hand and an ill-fated romance. The Crossing is the story of sixteen-year-old Billy Parham who sets off on a perilous journey across the mountains of Mexico, accompanied only by a lone wolf. Eventually the two come together in Cities of the Plain, in a stunning tale of loyalty and love. A true classic of American literature, The Border Trilogy is Cormac McCarthy's award-winning requiem for the American frontier. Beautiful and brutal, filled equally with sorrow and humour, it is a powerful story of two friends growing up in a world where blood and violence are conditions of life.