Brutally violent, Blood Meridian is the story of one teenage runaway in the nineteenth-century American South, as a sadistic gang unleashes its massacre across the desert land. It is the work that sealed Cormac McCarthy's reputation as one of the twentieth century's greatest writers – his magnum opus.
‘[A] brilliant, uncompromising work of fiction – imagine if the authors of the King James Bible, their hands guided by Satan, wrote a western’ – The Times
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.
A group known as the Glanton gang hunt Indigenous Americans, collecting scalps as their bloody trophies. At the centre of this violence stands Judge Holden: a massive, hairless man, mysterious if not supernatural, erudite and cold-blooded. He is singularly extreme in his sadistic violence.
But the apparent chaos is not without order – the Glanton gang, too, are stalked as prey.
Read as both a brilliant subversion of the Western novel and a blazing example of that form, it is a powerful, mesmerizing and savagely beautiful novel – and one of the most important works in American fiction of the last century.
‘In Blood Meridian, McCarthy reaches the peak of his style: spare and ornate at once, repetitious but endlessly readable’ – Guardian
Praise for Cormac McCarthy:
'His prose takes on an almost biblical quality, hallucinatory in its effect and evangelical in its power' – Stephen King, author of The Shining and the Dark Tower series
‘McCarthy worked close to some religious impulse, his books were terrifying and absolute’ – Anne Enright, author of The Green Road and The Wren, The Wren
'[I]n presenting the darker human impulses in his rich prose, [McCarthy] showed readers the necessity of facing up to existence' – Annie Proulx, author of Brokeback Mountain
Part of the Picador Collection, a series showcasing the best of modern literature.
Blood Meridian is his masterpiece . . . An astonishing sanguinary epic dealing with the Indian wars of the 1840s in West Texas and Mexico . . . Unlike anything I have ever read in recent years, an extraordinary, breathtaking achievement
John Banville, author of The Sea
A bloody and starkly beautiful tale
Stephen Amidon, Sunday Times
Possibly the greatest American novel of the past 25 years
Aleksandar Hemon, author of The World and All That It Holds and The Lazarus Project