The Unbearable Banishment: Cormac McCarthy can KISS MY ASS

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cormac McCarthy can KISS MY ASS

Several months ago, I picked up a copy of Cormac McCarthy’s latest book, The Road. I was drawn by the tsunami of glowing reviews, all claiming it was his master work and a landmark of American literature. At that time, there was some unpleasant STUFF rattling around inside my head and all Mr. McCarthy’s book did was exacerbate my problems and drag me down into a funk so deep that I had a hard time climbing out. I stopped reading after about 40 pages—something I rarely do.

Flash to now. I hate unfinished business so I picked it up again and guess what? Same result! Every time I read it, it would ruin my evening. What a dreary, depressing, horrifying glop of pulp. Reviewers claim the story is "uplifting." What part would that be? The part where children are cannibalized? Even The Goddess Oprah gave it her blessing.

Cormac McCarthy owes me $14.95. I didn’t finish it. I left it on the train for some other poor sucker. Cormac must be a dark, miserable, wretch of a human being. Oh, and by the way, they made a movie out of it.

Here’s a partial list of characters in the movie courtesy of IMDB:

Amputee Man #1 In Cellar
Cannibal #1
Baby Eater
Well-Fed Cannibal
Woman in Cellar
Cannibal #2
Ghostly Boy

Date night! Don't forget the popcorn and Milk Duds.


Blogger Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

I hope you left a note in the book saying "This book is a heap of shit. Therefore it's yours. Let me know if you get to the end of it" and your email address.

I feel the same with Zadie Smith's White Teeth. I try so hard to read and enjoy like the critics say I should, but I just get SO BORED.

November 19, 2008 at 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have no problem generating my own funk. don't need to pay money for it - thx for the warning!

November 19, 2008 at 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I don't get it either. That Cormac McCarthy is held up as some kind of genuis is one of the great mysteries to me. The spare writing is interesting, but sometimes I sense that that's the only there, there. I'm saying this having read the Border Trilogy, No Country..., and The Road.


November 19, 2008 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Jo: I didn’t leave a warning because I wanted provide him/her with a new benchmark for how overrated a book can be.

I liked White Teeth. Not as much as the critics did, but I enjoyed it.

daisy: I don’t mind a bit of drama. I loved a play named August: Osage County and that had some VERY heavy scenes. But I draw the line a cannibalizing children.

sonny: I hate to make myself look like a walking cliché, but all my sparse prose needs are satisfied by repeated doses of Hemingway and Bukowski.

November 19, 2008 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Digital Fortress said...

I really enjoyed No Country, but just can't get into The Road. I haven't read any of his other books.

It is depressing in that post-apocalyptic way, but I usually enjoy dystopian novels, although, I can't say for sure this is one or not. It's just...I don't know what it is. It just doesn't grab me the way No Country did.

November 19, 2008 at 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get the Cormac McCarthy thing either but I would like his his for getting people to read and worship that kind of shite.

The Road was awful and like you I tried multiple times and couldn't get past the stark and in your face hopelessness. I also like characters with names for some reason. Anyway, perhaps this book was intended for people who have never experienced bleakness? To give them balance.

I hope the person who finds your book is one of those folks - who needs the sunny disposition wiped off his/her face.

November 19, 2008 at 2:52 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

That wasn't on my "to read" list, but it's for sure off of it now. I'll likely pass on the movie too. Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear as my great great grandma used to say.

November 19, 2008 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

rob: Don’t take my word for it! An entire nation (and Oprah) found this book to have redeeming qualities. You never know. You might like it.

digital: A Clockwork Orange is an excellent example of a great post-apocalyptic novel. I think I might have recommended it to you in the past.

annie: I’m actually kind of relieved to hear that you had a problem with the book as well. I read the glowing reviews on the jacket and was feeling completely out of step.

November 19, 2008 at 8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm... I haven't read it but I loved Blood Meridian.

couldn't finish White Teeth

November 20, 2008 at 4:36 AM  
Blogger A Free Man said...

I really like McCarthy, but I had the same feelings about The Road as you did. What? The? Hell? How did Oprah pick it up anyway? She seems to opt for life affirming and there ain't much life affirming there.

December 2, 2008 at 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gutted it out. Let's just say it didn't get better - so you saved yourself more drudgery.

In a way I think it's a fair look at how to survive a tremendous nuclear-like catastrophe.

And the father's savage protection yet sensitive reactions to his feeble son can be, admittedly, extremely moving in their journey.

But it's brutal to the end that actually made me cry a bit. I will never read another book like this again.

An uplifting ending? Not really.

Then I saw McCarthy's interview on Oprah and thought that McCarthy was a SMUG little bitch, to say the least. All that said, Daisyfae's comment made me laugh :)

October 24, 2011 at 9:50 PM  

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