Brutally violent, Blood Meridian is the story of one teenage runaway in the nineteenth-century American South, as a sadistic gang unleashes its massacre across the desert land. It is the work that sealed Cormac McCarthy's reputation as one of the twentieth century's greatest writers – his magnum opus.
‘[A] brilliant, uncompromising work of fiction – imagine if the authors of the King James Bible, their hands guided by Satan, wrote a western’ – The Times
Through the hostile landscape of the Texas–Mexico border wanders the Kid, a fourteen year-old Tennessean who is quickly swept up in the relentless tide of blood.
A group known as the Glanton gang hunt Indigenous Americans, collecting scalps as their bloody trophies. At the centre of this violence stands Judge Holden: a massive, hairless man, mysterious if not supernatural, erudite and cold-blooded. He is singularly extreme in his sadistic violence.
But the apparent chaos is not without order – the Glanton gang, too, are stalked as prey.
Read as both a brilliant subversion of the Western novel and a blazing example of that form, it is a powerful, mesmerizing and savagely beautiful novel – and one of the most important works in American fiction of the last century.
‘In Blood Meridian, McCarthy reaches the peak of his style: spare and ornate at once, repetitious but endlessly readable’ – Guardian
Praise for Cormac McCarthy:
'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
‘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
'[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
Part of the Picador Collection, a series showcasing the best of modern literature.