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Infinite Joe

I like challenging books that make you think, and leave you happy that you did. Typically, I find character driven literary fiction the most satisfying, although I in no way think of myself as a serious literary critic.

Currently reading

Unaccustomed Earth
Jhumpa Lahiri
Progress: 282/333 pages

Blood Meridian, or The Evening Redness in the West

Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West - Cormac McCarthy My first two impressions of this book were that the writing is wonderful (in spite of the almost complete dearth of commas), and that the book contains either depictions of violence (like, really violent violence, the savagey wild-west slaughter-the-Indians type) or lengthy descriptions of the expansive western scenery. There doesn't seem to be much more at first glance. I thought maybe it was just me, but perusing other views and interpretations after the fact, I did come across literary critic Steven Shapiro, who described McCarthy as being "obsessed with open space and language", so score a point for me, I guess.

As for the ending, I really really liked the way it was done, keeping the climactic scene hidden from the viewer, and leaving it to interpretation. Although many people interpret this scene as one of simple violence, I tend to agree with critic Patrick Shaw's assessment, as I had the same thought that he had prior to even reading his statement. Taking the previous scene, which I thought showed the kid’s inability to perform with a prostitute, and the climactic scene, with the townspeople's shock and amazement upon looking in the outhouse (simple violence was never met with this reaction in the book as far as I remember), I would have to agree that there is more to that scene than just violence. I know that sounds cryptic, as I don't want to spoil anything, but if you read the book, you'll see what I mean, hopefully.

As for the point of this novel, I'm not sure there was one, other than to expose man’s violent nature and how we sometimes become anesthetized to it. It was a good book, but nothing spectacular, in my opinion.