Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Book Review: Outer Dark

Outer Dark by Cormac McCarthy
Another one of McCarthy's wandering books, Outer Dark, doesn't disappoint. It is everything you'd expect from him. Rich descriptions, dialogue that sticks in your head, landscapes, fear, and of course unspeakable violence.
Living in the old, tough South, Culla Holme and his sister have a child together. Culla leaves the child in the woods, telling his sister that the child died, but instead it was found by a wandering tinker. While Culla is out hunting work, his sister sets out to hunt the tinker and her child. Culla then takes of to find his sister. Meanwhile, three true villains are terrorizing the area.
The premise itself is tough, especially for a reader with young children, but it is the wandering, the walking, unknowingly, into danger. And somehow surviving. McCarthy rarely spends any time in a character's mind, so we are left to interpret the emotional struggles through the landscapes, the hot sun, the need for food, water, and rest. I'd thought of filling this review with long excerpts of description or snippets of dialogue just to give you an example of McCarthy's skill, but I'd rather tell you instead to just read the book. It's no Suttree, but it's short and a good intro to Cormac McCarthy.

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