Cormac McCarthy ☆ 9 READ & DOWNLOAD,
Ir annihilation and the kid is the only one who has shown the slightest Hunting Daylight faint scruple when it came to slaughtering so we hopeor his survival and Teachers Pets (Disney Princess) follow keenly hisight Orchestra of Exiles: The Story of Bronislaw Huberman, the Israel Philharmonic, and the One Thousand Jews He Saved from Nazi Horrors for life And did I mention the language Majestic portentous weighty reminiscent of Milton and Blake and the Bible Sparse terse dialogue Sumptuous description Aearless novel that shocks and troubles especially when you realise that this is based on real events on the Texas borderlands in 1848 51 and not again in all the world s turning will there be terrains so wild and barbarous to try whether the stuff of creation may be shaped to man s will or whether his own heart is not another kind of clay Brutal and Poetic at the same timeJust changed it to a Compass of the Heart: A Novel Of Discovery five star what the h This book is monumental Seems like a contradiction brutal and poetic but somehow it works The story is bleak dark bloody but alsoilled with beautiful descriptions of the countryside the desert the people in the book The colorful Judge is some character Tough book not sure I took it all in and had to take some breaks during the read but hey it s Cormac McCarthya grand writer he is It was evening of the Her Highland Rogue following day when they entered San Diego The expriest turned off toind them a doctor but the kid wandered on through the raw mud streets and out pas the houses of hide in their rows and across the gravel strand to the beach Loose strands of ambercolored kelp lay in a rubbery wrack at the tideline A dead seal Beyond the inner bay part of a reef in a thin line like something oundered there on which the sea was teething He suatted in the sand and watched the sun on the hammered ace of the water Out there island clouds emplaned upon a salmon colored othersea Seafowl in silhouette Downshore the dull surf boomed There was a horse standing there staring out upon the darkening waters and a young colt that cavorted and trotted off and came back Based on historical events that took place on the Texas Mexico border in the 1850s we Le grand Meaulnes - Texte abrégé (Jeunes Adultes) follow and witness the grim and bloody coming of age of the Kid aourteen year old Tennessean who stumbles into a nightmarish world where Indians are murdered and the market Wolfie Paints the Town: A Little Wood Story for scalps is thriving They rode on and the sun in the eastlushed pale streaks of light and then a deeper run of color like blood seeping up in sudden reaches laring planewise and where the earth drained up into the sky at the edge of creation the top of the sun rose out of nothing like the head of a great read phallus until it cleared the unseen rim and sat suat and pulsing and malevolent behind them The shadows of the smallest stones lay like pencil lines across the sand and the shapes of the men and their mounts advanced elongate before them like strands of the night rom which they d ridden like tentacles to bind them to the darkness yet to come They rode with their heads down aceless under their hats like an army asleep on the march By midmorning another man had died and they lifted him rom the wagon where he d stained the sacks he d lain among and buried him also and road on Cormac McCarthy s Blood Meridian is unuestionably the most violent novel I ve ever read It s also one of the bestFor those who would consider that a turn off I offer this caveatFor the overwhelming majority of Right Turns: From Liberal Activist to Conservative Champion in 35 Unconventional Lessons fiction that involves a lot of violence the violence itself is an act of masturbation representing either the author s dark impulse or perhaps worse pandering to the reader s similar revengeantasies this might explain why the majority of Blood Meridian Politically Incorrect fans I know personally are men where as the majority of those who ve told me they were unable toinish it are womenDon t get me wrong the violence in Blood Meridian is gratuitous It s both mentally and emotionally exhausting even in a day and age where television and movies have numbed us to such things But unlike say the movie 300 the violence serves a purpose in Beyond Varallan fact the gratuitousness itself serves a purpose Like how the long drawn out bulk of Moby Dick exists to make the readereel the numbingly eventless life of a whaling vessel before it reaches its climactic destination McCarthy is reuently compared to Melville btw Blood Meridian exists to break the reader s spirit Like the mercenaries the narrative ollows the nonstop onslaught of cruelty after cruelty makes us jaded The story brings us to what we think is a peak of inhumanity that seems impossible to exceed and just as we stop to lick our wounds an even perverse cruelty emerges The bile that reaches the tip of our tongue at reading of a tree strewn with dead infants hung by their jaws at the beginning of the book a scene often sited to me as the point many readers stop becomes almost a casual passiveness when a character is beheaded later on We become one of these dead eyed cowboys riding into town covered head to toe in dried blood and gristle The story is based on My Confession the uestionably authentic autobiography of Civil War Commander Samuel Chamberlain which recounts his youth with the notorious Glanton #Gang a group of American mercenaries hired by the Mexican government to slaughter Native Americans Whether or not # a group of American mercenaries hired by the Mexican government to slaughter Native Americans Whether or not s tale is true only adds to the mythic uality exemplified by the character of Judge Holden Blood Meridian is really The Judge s story He is larger than life Over seven eet tall corpulent hairless albino described as having an infant like Dona Flor face and preternaturally intelligent He is a murderer child killer pedophile and genocidal sociopath But the uestion that plagues anyone who reads the book is who is he reallyThe easiest conclusion is that he is the devil or some other demon His joyous evil andiddle playing are enough clues to come to that but controversial and less popular is the idea that he is actually the wrathful God of an uncaring universe He s called THE Judge after allHe spends a great deal of time illustrating new discoveries be it an Indian vase or petroglyph only to destroy it when inished
It S Commented That Hes commented that he intent on cataloging all creation When a ellow mercenary asks why he does it he smiles and cryptically replies That which exists without my knowledge exists without my consent The act that the book is rife with biblical imagery implies that he is than a mere symbol of man s inhumanity to man which is not to say that the devil isn t but when the book ends SPOILER ALERT and our protagonist s body is ound shoved into a commode the townsfolk stand staring into the darkened doorway of the latrine eerily mirroring the apostles staring into empty crypt after the resurrection But here there is no ascension no salvation offered Only the Judge who dances to the closing lines He is dancing dancing He says that he will never die After reading Blood Meridian I may never view a western ilm the same way again To be certain it is a masterpiece a rare and uniue work of literature that rises above classification and genre And to be certain McCarthy must be viewed as a great American writer one of the greatest in our time That having been said this book is not or everyone it is painfully brutal violent at it s heart McCarthy s primitive writing style emphasizes this primal bloody landscape like a Jonathon Edwards sermon Glanton and Judge Holden based upon actual persons have been written as archetypal villains The Judge may be a composite of Mephistopheles and Conrad s Mr Kurtz and perhaps even Richard III Strong powerful book Cormac McCarthy s west of absolutes is a wonder to behold Villainous attacks on people devoid a home desecration of the westland listings of all things in the majestic transitory landscape like observations by Darwin at the Galapagos in lush sometimes horrific detail murky human psyches no dialogue and especially that campfire philosophy by which anyone can Remarkable Creatures find some sort of meaning in their modern lives especially if you reortunate enough to inhabit the places which Mr McCarthy describes are all the ingredients of a McCarthy book the way this one is polished symbolic graphic makes it my avorite McCarthy book by arThe apocalyptic landscape of The Road is here but it s thankfully not as literal as that novel about human annihilation after cataclysm If you were shocked by the cannibals eating babies in that one well you ain t seen nothin This ultraviolent account is well researched well versed poetic The Blood Meridian and the act of scalping are one you simply lose most of your head as you look at the very promise the west has had to offer My Heroes Adrift (Hero, favorite line A lamb lost in the mountains cries Sometimes comes the mother Sometimes comes the wolfLawlessness and betrayal reigns supreme Apache attacksamine are omnipresent it is this blood thirst that shocks the reader and at once impels him to continue reading to see what befalls the group of barbarians sinners next The man Chuck and Danielle finished the book He closed the pages tightly together then put oneoot on the Escaping the Endless Adolescence: How We Can Help Our Teenagers Grow Up Before They Grow Old floor then the other then used his hands to push himself up out of the chair and then put oneoot in Dogs Behaving Badly: An A-Z Guide to Understanding and Curing Behavorial Problems in Dogs front of the other until he had walked all the way to the book shelf and then put the book on the book shelf The deer walked in The man whirled around andired once with his pistol and the brains of the deer went Gray Bishop flying out the back of its head and painted the wall a color dark red like blood The man sat down again like a man sitting downI didn t really like the book said the dead deerI reckon I was pretty conflicted replied the man grimlyHis writing style is pretty problematicI reckon his style is perty. G and memorableCormac McCarthy's masterwork Blood Meridian chronicles the brutal world of the Texas Mexico borderlands in the mid nineteenth century Its wounded hero the teenage Kid must confront the extraordinary violence of the Glanton gang a murderous cadre on an official mission to scalp Indians and sell those scalps Loosely based onact the nov. .
Silly he just strings a bunch of them declarative statements together like the man did this then the man did that etc but they don t paint no picture they re done totally unevocative of anything I reckon it don t take no skill to just state in excessive detail what someone is doing It takes artistic skill to say it in a way that done bring it to life or the reader and he don t done really do that I reckon it s some sub Hemingway shit he s doingIt s not all bad thoughI reckon some some of the images t were pretty powerfulAnd the judge is a memorable characterI reckon he s the only one though All the rest of them there charac ers ain t real memorable like he done put no effort into em cause he spent all his time on the judge And that there whole novel was allwhatdjacallit structureless and stuff And real repetitiv tooI read that he doesn t see why people like Proust and James because he thinks all novels should be about life and death thingsI reckon that s cause he s too obsessed with subject matter and not enough with style and artThe dead deer nodded and walked out The man slowly got up again by putting one oot then the other on Breathless Uniue Brutal There are many words that could be used to describe Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy For me this was my second time through and I liked it ar better than my irst reading Judge Holden John Job Glanton Toadvine and the kid are all Liar fantastic characters I shudder to think that the horrors visited upon the Indians and Mexicans and homesteaders were all based onact The apocalypse described in The Road is not too Noir far a cryrom the hellish country on the US Mexico border which has not really changed if we exchange the scalper mercenaries Renovate: Changing Who You Are by Loving Where You Are for the drug cartels and yet the descriptions and language of Blood Meridian is beautiful to me The symbolism here is uite strong and one wonders whether the author is a nihilist like his characters or if there is really some redeeming uality buried deep inside mana true American masterpieceI would read The Border Trilogy afterinishing Blood Meridien I have not tried Suttree or Child of God but they would have a hard time to top this one There are two ways to evaluate a book as Gaffer far as my unlearned mind can concoct at the moment Stylish literarylourishes sometimes cloud our judgment when it comes to evaluating the plot itself which is after all the reason why the book existsThis book is well written If I m a 11th grader and I need to do a book report I m drooling over the blatant symbolism dripping Circumstantial Evidence from each page The scene is set admirably though the repetitive nature of our brave hero s wanderings at least it s with symbolic reason lead to a paucity in novel adjectives by the 13th desert crossing There are only so many ways one can say that it s hot dry and empty And dry Boy that sun sure is strong I m there I m with you all right it sucks around here phew the sun s really beating down today And there are a lot of bones Dead things abound OK I get itThen there s the story line Explain to me again why I m interested in the wanton marauding of a band of depraved demons So we enjoy the dashing of infants into rocks because of the supposed literary merits of the work We can bashsplatterexpose brains of whatever happen upon crucified corpses and ignore any modicum of human decency because the book is about something deeper But you say and without uotes you say it that s what it was like Oh yeah It was like that Says who Why do you want to believe that it was like that As bad as humankind is our reality is not that despicable though our souls may be Why do we have to playollow the leader behind our impish pied piper pretending an enlightened understanding of some grandiose truth while all we really do is sate our own personal blood lusts I wonderBy the way if neglecting uotation marks somehow makes the book classier why not just go all out and remove spaces between words You better believe I won t be speed reading the repetitive descriptions of how tired everyone is if there aren t any spaces Why stop there periods are Lone Star Justice: The First Century of the Texas Rangers for two bit hacks too You re not a real author until you slaughter aew hundred non innocents nay no one is innocent while neglecting a basic courtesy to the reader Who knows I don t speak Spanish maybe I m just missing the point entirely How do you say layed skin in Spanish The wiki page or manifest destiny has a picture of a painting by John Gast depicting an angelic A Chicken in Every Yard: The Urban Farm Store's Guide to Chicken Keeping figure personification of America purposefully drifting towards the west her pristine white robes and blonde curls billowing in the breeze a book nestled in the crook of her arm Airborne she awakens stretches of barren craggy terrain to the magical touch of modernization The landscapes she leaves behind are dotted by shipyards and railways and telegraph wires strung on poles but to her left the canvas shows a murky abyss skies darkened by smokerom volcanic eruptions and Island of the Lost Horses (Dora and Friends) fleeing native Americans gazing up at theloating angel in alarmWhenever I think of Blood Meridian rom now on I hope my mind conjures up this same image not because both painting and novel provide perspectives albeit contrary on America s ambitious mid 19th
century pursuit of extending its rontiers But because Cormac McCarthy destroys thispursuit of extending its rontiers But because Cormac McCarthy destroys this little piece of Imperialist propaganda so completely and irredeemably in His Masterpiece That All masterpiece that all of the image henceforth will merely serve to magnify the irony of this representation If John Gast s visualized panorama seeks to establish the legitimacy of the American Dream vindicates the Godgiven right of determining the oundations of civilization then McCarthy s vision of American Progress brutally mocks the same and depicts the wild west as a lawless hunting ground submerged in a moral vaccuum Here there is no line of distinction between predator and prey Heads are scalped entrails ripped out limbs dismembered ears chopped off as trophies of war Apaches Mexicans Caucasian men women and children are skewered bludgeoned crucified and raped alike and so routinely and relentlessly that after a while the identities of victim and perpetrator blur into each other and only a dim awareness of any moral consideration
remains at the periphery of our consciousness The barrel of the gun and the sharpness of the blade speakat the periphery of our consciousness The barrel of the gun and the sharpness of the blade speak the universal language of might over right and all humanly attributes are silenced into submission 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 ull Hear me Ye carry war of a madman s making onto a oreign land Ye ll wake than the dogs There are no protagonists here Only creatures of instinct shambling along sun scorched sand dunes mesas and buttes pueblos and haciendas gravel reefs and dusty chaparrals oblivious of the passage of time or the context of their grotesue exploits unhesitatingly leaving a trail of mutilated corpses carcasses and torched Indian villages in their wake Jaded as one becomes On the Right Side of a Dream from all the savagery one does occasionallyeel some measure of empathy or the kid but then he vanishes often among the eatureless Operation Iceberg : The Invasion and Conquest of Okinawa in World War II faceless individuals of Glanton s gang of scalp hunters as they embark on a destination less journey across the cruel hostile terrain of the US Mexican borderlands In course of their blood soaked gory uest which McCarthy chronicles in exuisite turns of phrase the identities of all the members of the banduse together to symbolize something much profound and terrible to comprehend all at once the primeval human affinity Arrows of the Night: Ahmad Chalabi's Long Journey to Triumph in Iraq for bloodshed which devours all distinctness of personality Only the ageless Judge Holden towers over the other characters as the Devil s advocate with his lofty oratory on the primacy of war and his unabashed exhibitionism and seeming invincibility war is the truestorm of divination It is the testing of one s will and the will of another within that larger will which because it binds them is therefore Michelin Green Guide Normandy forced to select War is the ultimate game because war is at last aorcing of the unity of existence War is god In the last ew pages when the Kid and the Judge parley in a sort of ace off I inally came to realize the real reason why the ormer is deprived of his centrality in the plot and relegated to the status of a mute presence in the background As the eternal representative of the debilitating voice of morality which is always drowned out by iercer cries or carnage the Kid s internal sense of right and wrong too What Every American Should Know About the Rest of the World fails to resist the evil within The Devil s cogent arguments no matter how preposterous at times negate all sporadic pricks of conscience If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now Wolves cull themselves man What other creature could And is the race of man not predacious yet The way of the world is to bloom and tolower and die but in the affairs of men there is no waning and the noon of his expression signals the onset of the night Needless to say this is the grim rationale that underpins all the interminable slaughter And such a solemn message leaves one with a lingering suspicion that if we peeled away the glossy veneer of democracy modernity and the daily grind of mechanistic endeavours and reduced any society of humans to its bare bones McCarthy s apocalyptic vision of an amoral world is the only thing that might remain a perpetual heart of darkness A conjecture as staggering in its enormity as it is bone chilling Perhaps a conjecture with a modicum of truth to it. El represents a genius vision of the historical West one so iercely realized that since its initial publication in 1985 the canon of American literature has welcomed Blood Meridian to its shelfA classic American novel of regeneration through violence declares Michael Herr McCarthy can only be compared to our greatest writers From the Hardcover editi. ,
Spilledemptiedwrung outsoul rippedthat pretty accurately sums up my emotional composition after inishing this singular work of art Ironically I m sure I only absorbed about 10% of the message McCarthy was conveying in this epic exposition on war violence and man s affinity The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War for both Still even with my imperfect comprehension I was shaken enough by the experience that though Iinished the book days ago I m just now at the point where I can revisit the jumble in my head enough to sort through how I Experiencing the Resurrection: The Everyday Encounter That Changes Your Life feel Oneeeling I have is that Cormac McCarthy is word smithing sorcerer and a genius of devious subversion He s taken the most romanticized genre in American literature the Western and savagely torn off its leathery sun weathered skin in aid of showing an unflinching unparalleled depiction of man at his most brutal and most violent This is man as world devourer Oddly enough in subverting the Western motif McCarthy may have written its ultimate example I tend to agree with Harold Bloom s assessment when he says It culminates all the aesthetic potential that Western iction can have I don t think that anyone can hope to improve on it it essentially closes out the tradition Well said Mr Bloom PLOT SUMMARYCHARACTERSBased at least partially on real life events the story is set around 1850 immediately after the end of the Mexican American War and takes place in the borderlands between the two countries that stretches rom Texas to California The narrative ollows a young teenager known only as the kid who runs away rom his Babes in Toyland: The Making and Selling of a Rock and Roll Band father in Tennessee after his mother dies See the child He can neither read nor write and in him broods already a tasteor mindless violence All history present in that visage the child the The Meaning of Star Trek father of the man After engaging in a number of notably violent occupations including bison hunterskinner and as a soldier in an irregular army borderland goon suad the kid eventually hooks up with a group of scalphunters led by John Glanton historically known as the Glanton Gang The rest of the storyollows the kid and his exploits with the Glanton Gang as they cut a swatch of violence across the borderlands that is unlike anything you are likely to have read about before However the narrative of the kid and the Glanton Gang are simply there to give McCarthy s story a Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt framework to work through a context This is not a novel about the history of the borderlands or the atrocities that were committed there That is incidental to its purpose McCarthy uses the lawlessness and extreme carnage of the period and the horrific events that transpire as a microcosm to explore the nature of war violence and man s unrivaled capacityor unmitigated depravity Not a beautiful subjectbut soooooooo beautifully done This brings me to Judge Holden aka the Judge one of the most memorable literary igures I have ever come across He s also among the most amoral depraved sadistic and remorselessly cruel individuals I have encountered in my reading In the character of the Judge McCarthy has distilled and personified the ultimate expression of war and violence He is a manifestation of pure evil a spokesman or the belief that war is man s calling and his purest state is to be an instrument Frommer's Irreverent Guide to Walt Disney World for violence Fun guy huhThe Judge s philosophy is that War is god man s purpose is to be its ultimate practitioner and any attempts to civilize or reform this aspect of man are doomed toailure Moral law is an invention of mankind or the disenfranchisement of the powerful in avor of the weak Historical law subverts it at every turn He preaches that only by embracing and celebrating man s capacity or violence can man attain his true potential If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now Wolves cull themselves man What other creature could And is the race of man not predacious yet This you see here these ruins wondered at by tribes of savages do you not think that this will be again Aye And again With other people with other sons The Judge is described as huge completely hairless and very pale He speaks multiple languages is well versed in classic literature and has extensive knowledge of many of the natural sciences Throughout the story the Judge is shown as almost otherworldly He is depicted accomplishing seemingly miraculous deeds and having special insight into events He appears not to age despite being seen over a span of 30 years In addition everyone who rides with him recalls seeing the Judge earlier in their life and always at a time of great violence I came to see him as the Muse of War and Violence Here is a great description rom the end of the book where the kid muses on where the Judge came Sometime After Midnight from A great shambling mutant silent and serene Whatever his antecedents he was something wholly other than their sum nor was there system by which to divide him back into his originsor he would not go Whoever would seek out his history through what unraveling of loins and ledgerbooks must stand at last darkened and dumb at the shore of a void without terminus #Or Origin And Whatever Science # origin and whatever science might bring to bear upon the dusty primal matter blowing down
out of the millennia will discover no trace of ultimate atavistic egg by which to reckon hisof the millennia will discover no trace of ultimate atavistic egg by which to reckon his Whatever the Judge s true nature he is singularly compellingTHE WRITINGOne uality of McCarthy s writing that amazes me is that it is both ire and ice Eyes Behind the Lines: L Company Rangers in Vietnam, 1969 for the soul His uniue style combines both i sparse but deeply layered prose similar to Hemingway ie short seemingly straightorward sentences that upon School Dazed further inspection can mulch up your insides with iilowery image heavy descriptions that are almost Shakespearean in their melodrama The combination can be devastating and it s why I am so sure I only absorbed a raction of what McCarthy was saying on the irst read Almost every sentence if you go back and re read it can be
chewed slowly to increase the amount the amount meaning and lavorslowly to increase the amount the amount meaning and lavor This is the kind of book I think you should read once and then subseuently re read a chapter at a time over a much longer period At least that was my impression Much of Blood Meridian is written rom a dream like yet hyper alert state of consciousness No not dream like like nightmarish as McCarthy constantly transforms the settings into aspects that call to mind classical visions of hell Here are a just a ew uick examples I picked out They rode through a region where iron will not rust nor tin varnish The ribbed rames of dead cattle under their patches of dried hide lay like the ruins of primitive boats upturned upon that shoreless void and they passed lurid and austere the black and desiccated shapes of horses and mules that travelers had stood afoot These parched beasts had died with their necks stretched in agony in the sand and now upright and blind and lurching askew with scraps of blackened leather rom the Cooking for Company: All the Recipes You Need for Simple, Elegant Entertaining at Home fretwork of their ribs they leaned with their long mouths howling after the endless tandem suns that passed above them The riders rode on I love that last sentence The riders road on It s just so Hemingway Here s another On the dayollowing they crossed the malpais afoot leading the horses upon a lakebed of lava all cracked and reddish black like a pan of dried blood threading those badlands of dark amber glass like the remnants of some dim legion scrabbling up out of a land accursed shouldering the little cart over the rifts and ledges the idiot clinging to the bars and calling hoarsely after the sun like some ueer unruly god abducted rom a race of degenerates CONCLUSION In sum a truly sublime experience After reading No Country or Old Men I was not sure that McCarthy would ever be able to My Wifes Affair floor me like he did in that book I was mistaken Round two with McCarthy hasound me once again knocked to the canvas with my brain reeling I d be hard pressed to choose a winner between the two but this one definitely has become the newest addition to my list of all time Dîwana Jan favorites 60 stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION This is Jane Austen antimatter Trying to convey how this was so different to anything I ve ever read it occurred to me that it was like a huge black vortex that would suck early nineteenth century marriage plot novels into the void It s the complete obverse of sweet girlie stuff no lurve no irony I wonder if Cormac McCarthy has a humour mode If he does he certainly wasn t in it writing this no insightful self discovery or examination of the human heart No this is bleak and bloody gory and grisly there are bludgeonings and beheadings shootings and stabbings and skewerings and scalpings and piles and piles and piles of corpses as ailm I wouldn t have been able to stand it How could I stand it here Well it was usually over pretty uickly He doesn t dwell long and lovingly on every detail radical and dramatic images burn on the mind s eye but no prurient poking and puddling Nasty brutish and short Stomach churning but not or too longThen there is little in the way of plot Characters Bad worse or imbecile So what pleasures does it afford pleasures that can compensate or the horror Or is it the horror that becomes pleasurable Yes that is the worrying thing obviously the language is a wonder and can make up or much but there is a very troubling phenomenon The reader begins to take on the reasoning of the charismatic satanic Judge Holden this is a game in which the stake is life itself There is only life or death nothing else And the Glanton gang is so evil that we can take joy in the. The ulfilled renown of Moby Dick and of As I Lay Dying is augmented by Blood Meridian since Cormac McCarthy is the worthy disciple both of Melville and Faulkner writes esteemed literary scholar Harold Bloom in his Introduction to the Modern Library edition I venture that no other living American novelist not even Pynchon has given us a book as stron.