Out on 13 June 2024

Outer Dark

Cormac McCarthy

13 June 2024
256 pages


A dark, nihilistic tale, Cormac McCarthy's second novel Outer Dark sees brother and sister wander separately through a countryside scourged by three terrifying and elusive strangers.

In an unspecified place in Appalachia, sometime around the beginning of the twentieth century, a woman named Rinthy bears her brother's child.

The brother, Culla, abandons the baby in the woods, and tells Rinthy that he has died by natural causes. When she sees his grave empty, she sets forth alone to find her son.

Wracked by sin, Culla too leaves for the countryside. He will be haunted by The Trio, punishers and murderers, as the novel moves towards its eerie, apocalyptic resolution.

Part of the Picador Collection, a series celebrating fifty years of Picador books and showcasing the best of modern literature.

'A profound parable that ultimately speaks to any society in any time' – Time

Praise for Cormac McCarthy:

‘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

'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

'[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

McCarthy is a master stylist, perhaps without equal in American letters . . . In his hands, everything is done with consummate skill.
A master in perfect command of his medium
A true American original.