“I can't think of the last time I read a book that repulsed me so much while still keeping me absolutely captivated. I'm not the kind of person who wants to rubberneck while passing a car accident but I guess when it comes to reading this McCarthy novel I am doing the literary equivalent.
I can't help myself, I think McCarthy's writing is so brilliant in it's simplicity. The descriptiveness of his writing is so vivid that I have a mini-movie going on in my head every time I read his books. Child of God was a horror movie.
It is the story of Lester Ballard; a troubled, uneducated man on the fringe of society at the beginning of the novel. Through the book a series of circumstances occurs that lead Lester deeper into isolation and gross depravity. I mean seriously gross depravity! Yet McCarthy manages to keep Lester, well I can't say sympathetic but somehow almost animalistic, stripped down to base emotions that I found I couldn't bring myself to rise to the level of righteous indignation that his actions deserved.
I love a book that begs for serious discussion and that is what McCarthy has done with this book. With Lester's character I see a repulsive character in his manners and his behavior that by far passes anything close to acceptable human behavior. Yet McCarthy calls him "A child of God much like yourself perhaps" right from the beginning of the book just so that statement would stick with me through out the story and kept me shaking my head no, how could Lester be a child of God?”
Icedream wrote this review Friday, July 16, 2010.