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A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

Suttree by Cormac McCarthy

Suttree - Cormac McCarthy

bookshelves: autumn-2014, tbr-busting-2014, published-1979, north-americas, tennessee, lit-richer, lifestyles-deathstyles, gothic, sleazy, suicide, tick-tock-clocks, teh-demon-booze, storage-box-tbr, slit-yer-wrists-gloomy, ouch, noir, fraudio, families, casual-violence, absolute-favourites, adventure, amusing, author-love, eye-scorcher, gangsters, games-people-play, gulp, period-piece, picaresque, poachers, teh-brillianz, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, washyourmouthout-language

Read from August 03 to September 11, 2014


Narrated by Richard Poe.

Description: Suttree is a semi-autobiographical novel by Cormac McCarthy, published in 1979. Set in 1951 in Knoxville, Tennessee, the novel follows Cornelius Suttree, who has repudiated his former life of privilege to become a fisherman on the Tennessee River.

Opening: Dear friend now in the dusty clockless hours of the town when the streets lie black and steaming in the wake of watertrucks and now when the drunk and the homeless have washed up in the lee of walls in alleys or abandoned lots and cats go forth highshouldered and lean in the grim perimeters about, now in these sootblacked brick or cobbled corridors where lightwire shadows make a gothic harp of cellar doors no soul shall walk save you.

A torrent of fantastic language deep moats this brutal tale of down and outs. It is easy to see why so many watery descriptions ripple around this tale of eking out survival on the River Tennessee at Knoxville and it's not all to do with the fluvial storyline. More so it is the flowing language used to describe the raw happenings that erupt into the white waters of shocking brutality with the severe regularity of a mill wheel furiously slapping and swooshing in flood season.

I know, you are thinking that description is all rather pretentious, more than a little effete if not downright ridiculous. You'd be right, of course, however, read this book and see if you don't just get a smidgeon of the vibe of where I am coming from. The descriptions are almost Dylanesque Thomascy in nature.

There is humour in here too, all of the black variety, and mostly it surrounds the antics of young punk Gene Harrowgate. (Eeew that watermelon moment will take a lot of getting rid of)

"What I done, I got some copper wire..." HAH!

That avuncular apothecary episode fair slayed me.

LATER: Upon checking in at The Official Website of Cormac McCarthy I see there is a tentative affiliation between Cornelius Suttree and Leopold Bloom. Now isn't that a rare thought considering this Suttree is supposed to be semi-biographical. So not Dylanesque Thomascy (but I hear his voice, I do! I do! Trust me!) so much as Jamesesque Joycean.

Cormac McCarthy is an author to re-read in my rocking chair days

Six tickings of a dead man's clock.

5* The Road
4* No Country for Old Men
4* Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West
3* The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2)
3* Cities of the Plain (The Border Trilogy, #3)
3* The Orchard Keeper
5* Suttree