Suttree

( 36 )

Overview

By the author of Blood Meridian and All the Pretty Horses, Suttree is the story of Cornelius Suttree, who has forsaken a life of privilege with his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat on the Tennessee River near Knoxville.  Remaining on the margins of the outcast community there—a brilliantly imagined collection of eccentrics, criminals, and squatters—he rises above the physical and human squalor with detachment, humor, and dignity.

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Suttree

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Overview

By the author of Blood Meridian and All the Pretty Horses, Suttree is the story of Cornelius Suttree, who has forsaken a life of privilege with his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat on the Tennessee River near Knoxville.  Remaining on the margins of the outcast community there—a brilliantly imagined collection of eccentrics, criminals, and squatters—he rises above the physical and human squalor with detachment, humor, and dignity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Suttree contains a humour that is Faulknerian in its gentle wryness, and a freakish imaginative flair reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor.” —The Times Literary Supplement (London)

“All of McCarthy’s books present the reviewer with the same welcome difficulty. They are so good that one can hardly say how good they really are. . . . Suttree may be his magnum opus. Its protagonist, Cornelius Suttree, has forsaken his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat among the inhabitants of the demimonde along the banks of the Tennessee River. His associates are mostly criminals of one sort or another, and Suttree is, to say the least, estranged from what might be called normal society. But he is so involved with life (and it with him) that when in the end he takes his leave, the reader’s heart goes with him. Suttree is probably the funniest and most unbearably sad of McCarthy’s books . . . which seem to me unsurpassed in American literature.” —Stanley Booth

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in Knoxville, Tenn., in the 1950s, this novel tells the story of a man who has repudiated his well-to-do parents, deserted his wife and is now a river fisherman who consorts with robbers, ragmen and other outcasts. ``McCarthy captures these people's lives and speech with a tough, lyric grace,'' PW commented. (October)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679736325
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/1992
  • Series: Vintage International Series
  • Edition description: Vintage Contemporaries Edition
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 139,730
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.99 (d)

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Better than Blood Meridian?

    No. Not to say it is worse. One cannot compare the two. Blood Meridian is a hyperviolent crusade of remorseless violence and death. Suttree is the complete opposite. Suttree, the novel, revolves around life and its goings on. Sure, plenty of people die within these pages, but that isn't the point of it. This isn't the taking of Knoxville Tennessee, it's just a story about life and its various happenings. When I ask myself which book I enjoyed more, Suttree or Blood Meridian, the only way I can compare them fairly is to compare the characters.

    Judge Holden, Glanton, Toadvine, and, sort of, the Kid, of Blood Meridian are all the standouts the novel has in my memory. But even the standouts of Blood Meridian can't hold a candle to the likes of Gene Harrogate, Callahan, Ab Jones, Oceanfrog, Trippin Through The Dew, the ragpicker, J-Bone, Hoghead, or even Cornelius Suttree himself.

    I know Blood Meridian is the polar opposite or Suttree in its portrayal of human beings. But that doesn't mean I can't like the cast of Suttree more. They are human beings. Just that. They make mistakes, cuss, screw, steal, get in trouble, go to jail...but they also made me smile. I cared for the degenerates of Suttree. I cared for no one in Blood Meridian.

    What it boils down to is this: Blood Meridian is a meditation on violence in the human heart, and just how far we will go to get what we want. Suttree is the feel of a spring breeze coming off a lake, the smell of a warm day rising from asphalt. Suttree is the weeds scratching at your calves as you walk through a field.

    Suttree is all the human components Blood Meridian lacks. And for that I think I may have to say I enjoyed its light on life more than I enjoyed the crimson stains of Blood Meridian.

    Yet, both still stand in my mind as masterpieces.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2003

    Book's don't get much better.

    I never for a moment thought a book could surpass Blood Meridian, but I hadn't reckoned on Cormac McCarthy surpassing himself. Suttree has all the filth, pain, humor, death, backwardness, and awe before the stars of God, of life itself. This is the only book that has ever made me cry. Read it sometime.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2011

    Not better than Blood Meridian...

    I felt like I needed a shower every time I put this book down. McCarthy paints such a vivid picture of the low-lifes and drunks, the lives they lead, and the places that they live. It will make feel like you were there through such clear and hard hitting imagery. If you are a fan of great American literature or a McCarthy fan you will love Suttree, but it is not better than Blood Meridian...sorry. :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2003

    River, Wind, Stone, Heat, Cold, Smells--You're There

    This book grabs you and holds you; I read it over a year ago! The sense of place is amazing. I moved to Appalachia five years ago and assure you he has it perfectly, as it must have been 50-60 years ago. The book is just as amazing in every other way. The character. Miles,hours, days, weeks pass but nothing happens, just being alive! Read it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Magnificent

    Truly one of the greatest novels I've read. The dreamlike prose artfully tells a tragic and humorous story, careful to convey a depth of insight without random, flowery verse. I believe this to be the most successful attempt to obscure the lines between prose and traditional poetry. Highly recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Ty

    This my dorm

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    Hard read

    but glad I finished it.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2006

    vivid and gripping

    If you require a plot to enjoy a book, don't read Suttree. If you enjoy vivid images and characters that wrench emotion out of you, read Suttree. Since I fall in the latter category, I enjoyed Suttree even more than Blood Meridian.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted February 28, 2014

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    Posted September 8, 2009

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    Posted September 24, 2011

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    Posted May 11, 2011

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    Posted January 29, 2011

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