Saturday, August 22, 2015

Five top books that will drop you into the depths of despair

Jason Sizemore is the editor of five anthologies, author of Irredeemable and For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small Press Publisher, a three-time Hugo Award loser, and an occasional writer. For he tagged five books that will entertain and drop you into the depths of despair, including:
Blood Meridian, or The Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy

Frankly, I could fill this list with at least two more McCarthy novels: No Country for Old Men and The Road. But Blood Meridian is the most interesting of the three to me. The threadbare plot follows fourteen-year-old ‘The Kid’ as he travels through the wilds of Mexico with the scalp hunters John Joel Glanton and the monstrous Judge Holden.
The men as they rode turned black in the sun from the blood on their clothes and their faces and then paled slowly in the rising dust until they assumed once more the color of the land through which they passed.
Some critics cite Blood Meridian as the pinnacle of contemporary fiction. Naturally, that is a debatable stance. But McCarthy’s novel stands as an incredible indictment of senseless violence, in particular, those acts of evil committed in the name of America and Christianity. The Judge will haunt your dreams for weeks after you finish the last page.
Read about another book on the list.

Blood Meridian is one authority's pick for the Great Texas novel; it is among Robert Allison's top ten novels of desert war, Alexandra Silverman's top fourteen wrathful stories, James Franco's six favorite books, Philipp Meyer's five best books that explain America, Peter Murphy's top ten literary preachers, David Vann's six favorite books, Robert Olmstead's six favorite books, Michael Crummey's top ten literary feuds, Philip Connors's top ten wilderness books, six books that made a difference to Kazuo Ishiguro, Clive Sinclair's top 10 westerns, Maile Meloy's six best books, and David Foster Wallace's five direly underappreciated post-1960 U.S. novels. It appears on the New York Times list of the best American fiction of the last 25 years and among the top ten works of literature according to Stephen King.

--Marshal Zeringue