Cormac McCarthy: Now an Oprah Author

Oprah just picked The Road.

Wow. That’s gutsy. The Road is a dark, dark, dark post-apocalyptic work, from all that I’ve read about it. (Check out Adam Walter’s reaction.)

I just finished reading McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men, which is the subject of the next Coen Brothers film. And I kept thinking, all the way through, “This could have been written by the Coen Brothers. This feels custom-made to be the third and concluding chapter in the trilogy that begins with Blood Simple and Fargo.” Right down to the dialogue between the husband and wife whose marriage is the center of the story, you can just hear the Coens’ personality bleeding through.

Oh, and speaking of blood… yikes.

So I can’t wait for the film. And I’ve already ordered McCarthy’s The Road at the local library. This will be the first time I’ve read an “Oprah book” along with the rest of Oprah’s nation.

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  • noneuclidean

    Blood Meridian is a tough read, but it is not at all McCarthy’s hardest. His first book, The Orchard Keeper is a beast to wade through. IMHO it’s like Faulkner without the heart. Good read Blood Meridian, it’s easily his best and probably the best work of fiction written in the last 30 years. Seriously. But then again, I did just finish writing my thesis on it, so I’m a bit biased.

  • Christian

    Thanks for the warning, Adam. I’ll give the audio of “The Road” a shot, but if it doesn’t take, I’ll try to grab the book.

  • Adam Walter


    It’s not just you. The fella who does the No Country audio book is horrible. His narration is okay, but he’s just awful at voices. I listened to his reading of Kent Haruf’s Plainsong, and it was painful. Unfortunately the same guy does The Road. Try the actual books. Also, Blood Meridian is one of McCarthy’s notoriously difficult books; I get the sense that it’s best to try that one only after you have several McCarthys under your belt.

  • The Cubicle Reverend

    Hey Jeff,

    Have you ever read this?

    Seems a certain Fantastic 4 star was rescued from a cult. Whish they went into more detail.

  • Christian

    I tried “No Country for Old Men” last month on audio, and gave up after disc 2. I had lost the thread of the story, couldn’t figure out who was who. It’s easy to go back in a paper-and-ink book for clarification, but more of a pain to do so in audio form.

    I’ve now got “The Road” on hold, in audio form. It’s the book I wanted to read anyway, before a friend recommended “No Country.”

    I hope “The Road” works well. I’m sure it’s me, not McCarthy, but I also gave up about a third of the way through “Blood Meridian.”

  • Jeffrey Overstreet


    I thought the dialogue between the husband and wife was very funny at times.


    I loved “Time of the Wolf.” I thought it was spellbinding in the theater. When the screen went black, I thought it was terrifying. Maybe it loses something on video…

  • Geoffrey S. DeWeese

    I read The Road recently. It was very interesting – like a combo of poetry and Stephen King. I really liked it (though it took me a bit to get used to the unusual prose style). Honestly, the story is more akin to the Road Warrior type then to anything I’d expect in a book recommended by Oprah. I am pretty curious how that is going to go over with what I think is her audience. Or maybe I’m not giving her audience credit enough.

    Remember recommending a french film called something like the time of the wolf? Something had happened in France and we follow a family trying to survive in a dangerous lawless world. I thought it was terribly boring. Long shots in the dark with no dialogue or sound but straw – that is a bit much for me! But a film of The Road, while a similar concept, would be very interesting if done by the right director and not turned into a horror movie.

    Look forward to hearing what you think of the book Jeff.

  • Adam Walter

    The one thing about No Country that is un-Coen-esque (if I can coin that ugly word) is its complete lack of humor. There’s a picture of Mr. McCarthy in my dictionary, right next to the word “bleak.” So… can the Coens do this film without injecting some of their own brand of humor–and if they can’t resist that, will it change the character of the story too much?

    And I have no doubt that Oprah’s audience is going to have a violently negative reaction to The Road. Cool!

  • noneuclidean

    This isn’t that strange. McCarthy’s style (particularly his earlier stuff) is very similar to Faulkner. And if Oprah can put out Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, The Road isn’t too far behind. Oprah bothers me, deeply, but I have to be thankful that she’s helping people to read great literature. Oh, and just go buy the Road, you won’t be sorry. It’s utterly amazing.

    P.s. The author’s name is Cormac (with no “k”).

  • Alex Vitus

    I don’t know if you are interested in this; but, here is an editorial from a Magazine by a Catholic Movement I am involved with: