Texas-Mexico border, 1850s. Indians are the common enemies and hunters are paid for Indian scalps. The book follows a kid from Tennessee across the land, trying to survive, hunting and being hunted.
“See the child. He is pale and thin, he wears a thin and ragged linen shirt. He strokes the scullery fire. Outside lie dark turned fields with rags of snow and darker woods beyond that harbor yet a few last wolves. His folk are known for hewers of wood and drawers of water but in truth his father has always been a schoolmaster. He lies in drink, he quotes from poets whose names are now lost. The boy crouches by the fire and watches him”.
McCarthy writes beautifully, yet this book is so violent I could feel it in my stomach. He leaves nothing to the imagination when it comes to the slaughtering of villages and it is not a pleasant read for the faint-hearted like me. This book has also had me dreaming of arid desert and creatures living there.
It was a brilliant read, but I still favour the Road when it comes to McCarthy. And I have the Border trilogy to look forward to.