A sunken jet, a missing body, and a salvage diver entering a conspiracy beyond all understanding. The Passenger is a dark, hallucinogenic novel from Cormac McCarthy, the legendary author of Blood Meridian, No Country for Old Men and The Road.
'What a glorious sunset song . . . It’s rich and it’s strange, mercurial and melancholic' – Guardian
1980, Mississippi. It is three in the morning when Bobby Western zips the jacket of his wet suit and plunges into the darkness of the ocean. His dive light illuminates a sunken jet, nine bodies still buckled in their seats, hair floating, eyes devoid of speculation. Missing from the crash site are the pilot's flight bag, the plane's black box – and the tenth passenger.
Now a collateral witness to this disappearance, Bobby is discouraged from speaking of what he has seen. He is a man haunted: by the ghost of his father, inventor of the bomb that melted glass and flesh in Hiroshima, and by his sister, the love and ruin of his soul.
Traversing the American South, from the bars of New Orleans to an abandoned oil rig off the Florida coast, The Passenger is a breathtaking novel of morality and science, the legacy of sin, and the madness that is human consciousness.
'The Passenger shows that McCarthy belongs in the company of Melville and Dostoevsky, writers the world will never cease to need' – New Statesman
The Passenger is book one in its duology. It is followed by Stella Maris.
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
An appealing piece of work . . . gripping, with plenty of reflection and evocation
The Passenger is like a submerged ship itself; a gorgeous ruin in the shape of a hardboiled noir thriller . . . What a glorious sunset song . . . It’s rich and it’s strange, mercurial and melancholic
A moving and characteristically disconcerting addition to the oeuvre of one of America’s greatest writers