Sunday, April 16, 2017

Child of God, Son of the Devil

First, let me wish each and every one of you a Happy Easter!

Now, on to the book review!

Child of God by Cormac McCarthy left me shivering and not because I was cold. This gritty Southern Gothic novel is slim yet will stay with you for a very long time. In the backwoods of Tennessee lives Ballard, a young man who has been falsely accused of rape. When he is released, Ballard then turns his poisoned mind towards his fellow man and shows them just "what fer". Setting fire to a house means nothing to him, nor does killing people with a blast from his shotgun. He does not live, only merely exists beyond the grace of God yet with the full blessing of the Devil himself. Some of Ballard's actions were evil, while others left me realizing that there was truly something wrong with him mentally. His "end" was suitable for such a life lived.

I got hooked on McCarthy's sparse style of writing while reading No Country for Old Men - the lack of punctuation, the raw feeling exhibited by his characters, the backgrounds that are harsh and unforgiving. After that, I knew I had to read more of his work. Child of God threw me right back into McCarthy's "world" and I loved every minute of it. You are locked into his writing from the first page. Actually, you are strapped into your chair, given no water, and made to look at each scene unfold into its gory beauty. Reading No Country for Old Men was such an experience out West (the film was the same!) and Child of God was the repeat performance in Tennessee.


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