Child of God (Picador Books)

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9780330306430: Child of God (Picador Books)
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By the author of the critically acclaimed Border Trilogy, Child of God is a taut, chilling novel that plumbs the depths of human degradation. Lester Ballard, a violent, solitary and introverted young backwoodsman dispossessed on his ancestral land, is released from jail and allowed to haunt the hill country of East Tennessee, preying on the population with his strange lusts. McCarthy transforms commonplace brushes with humanity - in homesteads, stores and in the woods - into stunning scenes of the comic and the grotesque, and as the story hurtles toward its unforgettable conclusion, depicts the most sordid aspects of life with dignity, humour, and characteristic lyrical brilliance. `Demands its reader's attention from the opening sentence' Newsweek `A reading experience so impressive, so `new', so clearly well made that it seems almost to defy the easy aesthetic categories . . . Accomplished in rare, spare, precise yet poetic prose' New Republic 'His prose, unfailingly beautiful and exact, carries us into a dreamworld of astonishing and violent revelation. It is a frightening, entrancing world, which we must finally recognize as our own' Tobias Wolff 'McCarthy is a powerful and talented writer, able to elicit compassion for his protagonist however terrible his action' Sunday Times

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Review:

"Scuttling down the mountain with the thing on his back he looked like a man beset by some ghast succubus, the dead girl riding him with legs bowed akimbo like a monstrous frog." Child of God must be the most sympathetic portrayal of necrophilia in all of literature. The hero, Lester Ballard, is expelled from his human family and ends up living in underground caves, which he peoples with his trophies: giant stuffed animals won in carnival shooting galleries and the decomposing corpses of his victims. Cormac McCarthy's much-admired prose is suspenseful, rich with detail, and yet restrained, even delicate, in its images of Lester's activities. So tightly focused is the story on this one "child of God" that it resembles a myth, or parable. "You could say that he's sustained by his fellow men, like you.... A race that gives suck to the maimed and the crazed, that wants their wrong blood in its history and will have it."

From the Inside Flap:

In this taut, chilling novel, Lester Ballard--a violent, dispossessed man falsely accused of rape--haunts the hill country of East Tennessee when he is released from jail. While telling his story, Cormac McCarthy depicts the most sordid aspects of life with dignity, humor, and characteristic lyrical brilliance.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

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McCarthy, Cormac
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