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Outer Dark (1968)
af Cormac McCarthy
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Både bra och dålig. Lättläst och svårläst. Kommer nog behöva läsas igen för att förstå boken till fullo. ( )
I largely prefer [[Cormac McCarthy]]'s work set in the desert Southwest to that set in the South, but reading him is a delight, even in the darkest of stories. And [Outer Dark] is solidly dark - a man impregnates his sister and abandons the baby in the woods; the child is picked up by a local tradesman, who takes it and gives it over to someone else; the mother goes on a Odyssean quest to find her baby when she discovers her brothers deception; and her brother follows on his own quest to find her; all the while, a chorus of violent wraiths is stalking them. There is more than a minor reflection of McCarthy's later novel, [The Road], but it's only the seed and this book doesn't suffer by comparison.
McCarthy gives the reader a fascinating glimpse into the lives and minds of people who have lived in the back woods of Appalachia for generations - people whose lives seem aimless and with little or no opportunity to question the authority that governs them and which keeps them in their perpetual state of ignorance and poverty. McCarthy’s masterful prose is poignant, at times hilarious, at times breathtaking and heartfelt in its depiction of what some must endure.
A dark and sad and violent book. I'm very impressed with the way McCarthy captures dialect, and his use of language and his style. Not a good book to read if you want cheering up, but a very well written book that makes me want to read more of his work.
By this, his second novel, most of the McCarthy greatness is present, but he still had to shed a few of the sillier stuff that was dragging him down--most importantly, his belief that people can still be shocked by incest, the murder of the innocents, and infantophagy. Yes, the former is meant to put this squarely in Greek tragedy territory, but the latter (only hinted at, even here) as been de rigueur since Swift, and the murder of innocents functions much better in Blood Meridian, where instead of being the 'terrible' climax, it simply suffuses the entirety of the book/universe.
But that can be ignored. This is my second time through Outer Dark, and it really is an excellent novel: memorable scenes, an accurate depiction of childbirth and its after-effects, and much, much tighter than Orchard Keeper. This might be the place to start with McCarthy, in fact.
The originality of Mr. McCarthy's novel is not in its theme or locale, both of which are impressively ancient. It is his style which compels admiration, a style compounded of Appalachian phrases as plain and as functional as an ax.
This stark novel is set in an unspecified place in Appalachia, sometime around the turn of the century. A woman bears her brother's child, a boy; he leaves the baby in the woods and tells her he died of natural causes. Discovering her brother's lie, she sets forth alone to find her son. Both brother and sister wander separately through a countryside being scourged by three terrifying and elusive strangers, headlong toward an eerie, apocalyptic resolution.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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