Blood Meridian, Or, The Evening Redness in the West

Blood Meridian, Or, The Evening Redness in the West

Book - 2001
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"The fulfilled renown of Moby-Dick and of As I Lay Dying is augmented by Blood Meridian, since Cormac McCarthy is the worthy disciple both of Melville and Faulkner," writes esteemed literary scholar Harold Bloom in his Introduction to the Modern Library edition. "I venture that no other living American novelist, not even Pynchon, has given us a book as strong and memorable."

Cormac McCarthy's masterwork, Blood Meridian, chronicles the brutal world of the Texas-Mexico borderlands in the mid-nineteenth century. Its wounded hero, the teenage Kid, must confront the extraordinary violence of the Glanton gang, a murderous cadre on an official mission to scalp Indians and sell those scalps. Loosely based on fact, the novel represents a genius vision of the historical West, one so fiercely realized that since its initial publication in 1985 the canon of American literature has welcomed Blood Meridian to its shelf.

"A classic American novel of regeneration through violence," declares Michael Herr. "McCarthy can only be compared to our greatest writers."
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, [2001], c1985
Edition: Modern Library ed
ISBN: 9780679641049
Branch Call Number: MCCA
Characteristics: xiii, 337 p. ; 20 cm


From Library Staff

SCL_Justin Dec 18, 2018

This is a story about violence and about, well, not about how it changes a person, because the Kid in this tale doesn't really seem to change that much, but about what it is like to live immersed in it, to be a person who seeks out violence and war and what it is like to survive it. This is a wes... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 06, 2019

Violent, surreal, and timeless. I have nothing but good things to say about this book. Cormac McCarthy does a great job of capturing the spirit of the antebellum US-Mexican border, with the adventures of the main character, "the Kid" taking him from Tennessee to Texas and then through Mexico to Arizona and San Diego. The Kid becomes wrapped up with the misadventures of the Ike Glanton Scalper Gang, a group of rowdy Americans hired by the Mexican government to intimidate and assault restless native groups along the border. There was a spirit of violence and opportunism that existed in that period and region of the world that is hard to put into fictional writing, but McCarthy captures it perfectly. The cast of characters is unforgettable, namely Ike Glanton, the founder and leader of the Glanton Scalper Gang, and the enigmatic and supernatural Judge Holden. McCarthy does a superb job of mixing historical fiction and magic realism for a truly unique read. The book makes you question the Kid's perception of reality and by extension your own perception.

SCL_Justin Dec 18, 2018

This is a story about violence and about, well, not about how it changes a person, because the Kid in this tale doesn't really seem to change that much, but about what it is like to live immersed in it, to be a person who seeks out violence and war and what it is like to survive it. This is a western and a good bleak one. I would recommend it to watchers of Deadwood but not to John Wayne fans.

Dec 04, 2018

This book is exhausting. It's hard to read... like the words are hard. I needed a dictionary. But the payoff is great. Some of the passages will stay with me forever. I would almost describe it as cinematic. Anyways, much has been written about this book. It's good, read it.

Nov 24, 2018

All I have to say: I don't recommend reading the forward by Harold Bloom. Not only does he give away the ending, but in casual manner which really chapped my hide.

JCLMattC Apr 23, 2018

Bleak and beyond violent, but rich and textural. It makes his more popular novel, The Road, seem downright warm and fuzzy by comparison. Judge Holden is up there with Hannibal Lecter as one of the most cold-blooded characters in literature.

Nicr Jul 14, 2017

Bleak and harrowing, an epic, poetic masterwork that will haunt the reader forever.

Jun 04, 2017

Quite possibly the most chilling and horrifying book ever written, 'Blood Meridian' is a unnerving glimpse of humanity at its worst during one of the most savage periods in American history. McCarthy pulls back the curtain to reveal the unforgivable evils and trespasses our species made all too often and all too easily in a new world, a novel that shows us the true price we paid in bodies and blood for the expansion of the 'Wild West'.

Mar 06, 2017

Wordy, bloody and unrelenting- this Western is widely acknowledged to be Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece.

Mar 04, 2017

An epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America's westward expansion, Blood Meridian brilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the "wild west." Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennessean who stumbles into the nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving.

Lord_Vad3r Jan 19, 2017

This book is the second most violent and disturbing thing I have read. The Kid lives in a world that is perpetually bloody. The book is aptly named.

Unlike American Psycho I do feel that I may read this again. McCarthy alternates between lyrical beauty, philosophical whimsy, and startling evil and gore. I'm am not sure that a second reading will bring me any closer to understanding the world or humanity. I just feel like McCarthy's message is just beyond the reach of my fingertips. The meaning is there but just needs to be decrypted.

For some reason the scene where the dancing bear gets shot just really disturbed me. And perhaps that little epilogue where the anonymous guy is making holes in the ground while other guys try to make sense out of the random holes is the point. There is no point. No matter how you live your life; whether you're good, bad, or ugly, we all end up at the same place.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Feb 18, 2017

bookreaderman thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Feb 04, 2010

ChaseU thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add Notices
Feb 04, 2010

Violence: Blood Meridian is the most violent book I have ever read written by the bloodiest author I have ever read.

Feb 04, 2010

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SCL

To Top