Child of God

Child of God

Book - 2010
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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.
Publisher: London : Picador, 2010.
ISBN: 9780330510950
Characteristics: 185 p. ; 20 cm.

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Nicr Jul 01, 2017

Lester Ballard of rural (very rural) Tennessee. Falsely accused of rape early on. Guilty of other transgressions later. What to make of McCarthy's gothic vision of this lonely, violent and depraved "child of God"? Beautiful prose, naturally. (Not going to let the subject matter affect my rating, though this is no territory I want to revisit.)

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stewstealth
May 28, 2017

A novella describing a lawless character's decompensation. Usual Cormac style though not as lyrical as some of his other novels. Don't read it if you have a weak stomach, this book is not for everybody.

kdwaynec Apr 19, 2016

Weird! Engaging, however, and a fairly quick and easy read from Cormac.

v
Venley
Sep 28, 2015

You need a stomach to read this especially if your a visual reader. Its written fantastically and I doubt to many other authors could pull this type a material off.

DevilStateDan Sep 01, 2015

This is a story of a social misfit in very rural mountainous America in the 50's.
He's a terrible person doing terrible things without an ounce of remorse. The content is pretty confronting so approach with care but if you do read it you'll find #cormacmccarthy doing what he does best; minimalist writing about outcasts & lawlessness on the fringes of society & the survival instincts of the depraved.
Man, this #2015ReadingChallenge is delivering up some rippers! #abookbyanauthoryoulovebuthaventreadyet

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Piemanthe3rd
Jul 12, 2014

Quite simply put: I didn't get it. I didn't get why this was a story at all. An entirely dislikeable character rambling his way through the hills whose mental state seems to diminish more and more as the story progresses. The book seems to get high praises from those who have read it, so perhaps I have entirely missed the point, but to me the book just seemed pointless. I have, up until now, enjoyed everything I have read by Cormac McCarthy so this book was a surprise. It had the same style but none of the same good quality content. Even the writing seemed to suffer under excessive metaphors and similes attempting to describe the simplistic nature of the world in grandiose ways. I would not recommend this book to anyone. Some may find it disturbing, and others, like myself, may just find it uninteresting.

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mariednguyen
Sep 25, 2013

Nor is the novel a "horror story," calculated to make us shudder. But even if that were is intention, it would not be more successful than it is as a statement about cruelty, isolation, inhumanity, etc. It is too self-contained for significant effectiveness on any level, Lester too stupid and Lester's peculiarity too limited. Killing people is awful--and it would be awful for us to watch Lester doing it if we cared about Lester; but even if we did care about Lester, it is very unlikely that our concern would be enhanced by watching him dressing and undressing dead girls and getting on top of them. John Fowles's "The Collector" worked because the collector's victim was alive.

What we have in "Child of God" is an essentially sentimental novel that no matter how sternly it strives to be tragic is never more than morose.
-Reviewed by RICHARD P. BRICKNER

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dumbghosts
Feb 23, 2012

Strange, bizarre, ultimately rather depressing little book told in Cormac McCarthy's usual dry, bare prose. Rape, incest, necrophilia, murder, arson and shopping for women's underwear... you know... the usual.

kindred1 Apr 13, 2011

If you are not afraid to live in the mind of a madman and you think you can stomach the subject matter of this book, then I strongly recommend it to you. However, it is not for everyone. I think it would appeal to those readers who have a passion for true crime or psychological thrillers, and who are not repelled by strong subject matter.

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rhys33
Oct 17, 2010

This is my first McCarthy book, so I'm new to his writing style. I initially found his delivery unusual and hard to follow, particularly because of the inclusion of slang in the character dialogue. The style is quite direct however, cleverly written, and easy to pick up. After the first couple pages, the story flows nicely. He says a great deal using just a few words.

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mariednguyen
Sep 23, 2013

Other: Release date September 29, 2013 (USA)

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