Outer Dark

Outer Dark

4.0 21
by Cormac McCarthy
     
 

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Outer Dark is a novel at once fabular and starkly evocative, set is an unspecified place in Appalachia, sometime around the turn of the century. A woman bears her brother's child, a boy; he leaves the baby in the woods and tells her he died of natural causes. Discovering her brother's lie, she sets forth alone to find her son. Both brother and sister…  See more details below

Overview

Outer Dark is a novel at once fabular and starkly evocative, set is an unspecified place in Appalachia, sometime around the turn of the century. A woman bears her brother's child, a boy; he leaves the baby in the woods and tells her he died of natural causes. Discovering her brother's lie, she sets forth alone to find her son. Both brother and sister wander separately through a countryside being scourged by three terrifying and elusive strangers, headlong toward an eerie, apocalyptic resolution.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Vintage will rerelease these previous novels from McCarthy to coincide with the paperback appearance of All The Pretty Horses : Outer Dark is a mysterious tale of an Appalachian family, while Child of God , also set in the hill country, tells of a violent ex-convict. (July)
Library Journal
To coincide with the paperback release of McCarthy's National Book Award winner, All the Pretty Horses ( LJ 5/15/92), Vintage is reissuing these two earlier novels. Relating the story of a mother's search for her lost child, Outer Dark was described by LJ 's reviewer as a ``novel full of horror and pathos'' ( LJ 9/15/68). Child of God tells an equally bleak story with characters that comprise a ``sad human compost heap'' ( LJ 1/15/74). For serious fiction collections.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780880010641
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/01/1984
Pages:
242

Meet the Author

Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island in1933 and spent most of his childhood near Knoxville, Tennessee. He served in the U.S. Air Force and later studied at the University of Tennessee. In 1976 he moved to El Paso, Texas, where he lives today.  McCarthy's fiction parallels his movement from the Southeast to the West—the first four novels being set in Tennessee, the last three in the Southwest and Mexico. The Orchard Keeper (1965) won the Faulkner Award for a first novel; it was followed by Outer Dark (1968),  Child of God (1973), Suttree (1979), Blood Meridian (1985), All the Pretty Horses, which won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award for fiction in 1992, and The Crossing.

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The Outer Dark 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As McCarthy's books seem to be, depressing as all heck. This book was a page turner, I am glad I read it but it left me with such a feeling of dispair. The book's dialect was hard to read at first but once you get the hang of it the pages turn faster and faster. End result is a excellent book but again, it is not a hopeful or peaceful happy book. It is typical McCarthy. But again, I keep thinking about this book though I read it a month ago. Which would tell me it was worth the read and worth the price of the book. Just put these books in the middle of the good books with happy endings so you don't totally depress yourself. I recommend this book because after reading one will be THANKFUL for what they have and THANKFUL they did not grow up with the same issues.
Guest More than 1 year ago
McCarthy gets flack for description, but this is a novel of 'outer' landscapes. It is refreshing, at least for me, to read a novel that isn't consumed with psychological realism, and that is more concerned with painting a landscape and fully peopling it. Imagine a handful of Chaucer's pilgrims gone mad--if they weren't already--and lost in Appalachia. Then, throw in a trio of ravaging maniacs who roam the wilds and threaten all in their path. The book's story-arc is straight-forward and easy to follow. There are no flashbacks here, probably because, as Culla and Rinthy continually tell us, there is nothing to flashback to. A very enjoyable and quick read that serves as a precursor, in theme, imagery, and character, to Blood Meridian.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cormac McCarthy's Outer Dark is a beautiful, yet chilling novel. This haunting tale of two outsiders wandering the woods, one searching for her child and the other searching for his sister, hooked me from the first sentence. A gorgeous novel that is so much more than a 'western.'
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the darkest of McCarthy's Apalachian novels.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have been a fan of Cormac McCartys writing for decades. Loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read,tragic
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hacyco More than 1 year ago
This book is as bad as THE ROAD is good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
OK, I've read a lot of McCarthy now (finished Outer Dark yesterday), and I've honestly concluded that there's not as much to this author as most people think. His excitement value is high, his literary value rather spurious at best. His books are amazing and spellbinding in terms of their sentences and their scenes. Their plots are gripping--page-turners, even. But in terms of the grand, Christian parallels and world views they try to evoke, I feel they come off largely hollow and desultory. At best, they are very generalized illustrations of certain Christian ideas (the world as a place of evil, for instance). Some have commented that his characters are not ever fully developed. I believe this is true and that it owes largely to their being used in his project of illustrating and exploring grand ideas in his fiction. Furthermore, I think his amount of description is excessive, often to the point of frustration. It's GOOD description, I'll grant you, but Lord, so much! Perhaps a third of all of his books involve a character or group of characters walking somewhere, while the narrator describes everything he/she/they see. This landscape is artificially described by this removed narrator in terms that help it add to the sense of evil, darkness, or whatever else McCarthy is trying to describe in the book. The landscape means nothing to the characters themselves. This seems to me a rather convenient and facile move on McCarthy's part. You really FEEL the fiction here. 'I'm literature!' it screams. I believe that if a reader honestly pins down WHY he or she likes this author, he/she will have to admit it has to do mostly with plot and suspense. There's just a big thrill factor here. And to me this is rather unsettling. If you are going to read McCarthy, I say, read his new book, The Road, and save the rest of your reading time for someone else.