The Passenger

Cormac McCarthy

25 October 2022
9781447245834
400 pages

Synopsis

‘A gorgeous ruin in the shape of a hardboiled noir thriller . . . What a glorious sunset song’ – The Guardian

It is three in the morning when Bobby Western zips the jacket of his wetsuit and plunges from the boat deck into darkness. His divelight illuminates a sunken jet, nine bodies still buckled in their seats. Missing from the crash site are the plane’s black box, and the tenth passenger. But how?

A collateral witness to machinations that can only bring him harm, Western is shadowed in body and spirit – by men with badges; by the ghost of his father, inventor of the atom bomb; and by his sister, the love and ruin of his soul.

From the bar rooms 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, and one of the final works by Cormac McCarthy, a true American master.

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