5 Best Cormac McCarthy Books

BookSummaryClub Blog 5 Best Cormac McCarthy Books

Cormac McCarthy is one of America’s greatest writers. With a writing career of over sixty years, McCarthy chronicles the vicious and darkest parts of America’s past in his novels. 

To understand McCarthy’s contribution to the world of literature, we’ll explore five of the best books by Cormac McCarthy in this article. Read on!

  1. Blood Meridian (1985)
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Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West
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Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Cormac McCarthy (Author) – Richard Poe (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 05/16/2007 (Publication Date) – Recorded Books (Publisher)

Blood Meridian is McCarthy’s fifth novel, and this book portrays the horrifying epic of the American West. Published in 1985, the book focuses on the painful experience of the young protagonist known as “the kid.” McCarthy’s protagonist, a ruthless runaway, grows to be a member of a notorious group called the Glanton gang. They’re a group of outlaws who were infamous for murdering across Texas and Mexico.

  1. All the Pretty Horses (1992)
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All the Pretty Horses: The Border Trilogy, Book One
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All the Pretty Horses: The Border Trilogy, Book One
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Cormac McCarthy (Author) – Frank Muller (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 08/07/2013 (Publication Date) – Recorded Books (Publisher)

The novel All the Pretty Horses is McCarthy’s first famous novel. The book follows the story of two men, John Grady Cole and Lacey Rawlins, who travel from Texas to the U.S.-Mexico border on horseback. 

There, the cowboys find a ranch where they can display their skills and expertise and live out their purpose – it’s also where one of them finds love. 

The novel is a beautiful yet heartbreaking one. Sure, there’s an absurd amount of violence in this book. Still, it’s pretty different from the rest of Cormac McCarthy’s book because of the infusion of romance, especially in how McCarthy describes the flowers, landscapes, and horses.

  1. No Country for Old Men (2005)
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No Country for Old Men
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No Country for Old Men
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Cormac McCarthy (Author) – Tom Stechschulte (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 8 Pages – 07/22/2005 (Publication Date) – Recorded Books (Publisher)

McCarthy initially wrote this novel as a screenplay, which explains why he didn’t employ his usual writing style. Nonetheless, it succeeds in portraying the dark side of the American West. 

This novel delves into the nightmarish outcome of a drug deal gone wrong at the Texas-Mexico border in the 1980s. The book focuses on a chase between a Texas sheriff and a sociopathic killer. As usual, the theme of violence appears in the book alongside other themes like isolation and masculinity.

  1. The Road (2006)
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The Road
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The Road
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Cormac McCarthy (Author) – Tom Stechschulte (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 03/15/2007 (Publication Date) – Recorded Books (Publisher)

Cormac McCarthy’s novel, The Road, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2006. In this book, you can feel the shadow of death hovering around the father and son as they struggle to survive in an ash-covered and destroyed America. 

The pair traveled by foot with no protection safe for a revolver and bullets that could last just two rounds. Father and son fight their way to stay alive; they fight against cannibals and marauders. 

This novel may be one of the gloomiest McCarthy has ever written, though there’s an edge of tenderness, especially in the way he depicts the love shared between the father and son in the novel. 

  1. The Passenger and Stella Maris (2022)
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The Passenger Box Set: The Passenger, Stella Maris
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The Passenger Box Set: The Passenger, Stella Maris
  • Hardcover Book
  • McCarthy, Cormac (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 608 Pages – 12/06/2022 (Publication Date) – Knopf (Publisher)

McCarthy published his final novels in 2022. The Passenger and Stella Maris were his first books since The Road. These books explore different emotions, such as loss, longing, and grief. 

The Passenger follows the story of a 37-year-old diver who discovers a sunken jet in the deep sea. The diver also hasn’t forgotten the death of his sister, a math prodigy who died by suicide. 

In Stella Maris, McCarthy tells the story of the sister. The novel follows the story of a young woman as she decides on her life while in a psychiatric facility. The books have to be read in the correct order to comprehend the message McCarthy is trying to pass across.

Conclusion 

Despite Cormac McCarthy’s novels mainly portraying violence, it manages to pump the reader’s blood, making them feel that Adrenaline rush while they read through the suspense-filled pages.

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