Child of God

Child of God

by Cormac McCarthy
3.7 63


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Child of God by Cormac McCarthy

In this taut, chilling novel, Lester Ballard--a violent, dispossessed man falsely accused of rape--haunts the hill country of East Tennessee when he is released from jail.  While telling his story, Cormac McCarthy depicts the most sordid aspects of life with dignity, humor, and characteristic lyrical brilliance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679728740
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/28/1993
Series: Vintage International Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 88,763
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Cormac McCarthy is an American novelist, screenwriter, and playwright who has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. A number of his works have been adapted into films, including All the Pretty Horses, The Road, and the four-time Academy Award–winning No Country for Old Men.

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Child of God 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Child of God is indeed a disturbing book. I live in rural Virginia and have known many people who have lived for generations in the same world dipicted in this book. This deliverance-esque way of life is very real, although it may seem foreign to most people. The actions of Lester Ballard may be ghasty and horrible at times, but are also undeniably quite humorous. This book is very much what you might imagine the life of Edward Gein might have been- a man who is generally thought of as the town dullard and goofus, maybe a little wierd- who has an entirely different life unbeknownst to the people with whom he has lived with his entire life. I found this book, funny, horrible, and very thought provoking. This is a book that shows you a very well-drawn picture of a sad and hopeless man, and what his life is like. This picture may not be pretty, but it is real- and it shows you a different aspect of life that you may not have realized was there. This book stays in your mind for a long time, and I would only recommend it to people who are interested in expanding their knowledge and broadening their point of view. If you are looking for a book that is comfortable and relaxing, you should stick to All The Pretty Horses.
the_white_bull More than 1 year ago
"It was was was that..." Most of you didn't even understand this novel and have no business reviewing it. That McCarthy created a character who, in spite of all the crazy, depraved things he does, still evokes our sympathy or at least not our outright ire, is amazing. Lester is definitely a memorable character, his actions are an abomination and unforgiveable, and yet Cormac's point that Lester, too, is a child of God still shines through. That takes a master's touch. For those of you who distilled this down to some kind of titillating horror show--read Harry Potter and leave grown up fiction to grown ups.
Call_me_Felix More than 1 year ago
This was the first book by Cormac McCarthy I decided to check out and it certainly hasn't been my last. Reading McCarthy is like reading poetry; the lines flow with such unique and tangible imagery that you forget you're reading fiction. He does an amazing job at capturing the environment and time period of the characters in Child of God, and allow the reader to experience a lifestyle they have probably never been exposed to. The content is not for the faint of heart - the lead character is an anti-hero, to say the least. Yet in spite of Ballard's dark deeds, McCarthy is skilled enough to somehow make us feel for Ballard's circumstance and palpable loneliness. I would highly recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Child of God' goes deep down and explores the depths of human perversity and insanity. Lester Ballard is a demented individual living in the eastern hill country of Tennessee who has been falsely accused of rape. After a very brief stint in the clink, he begins committing savage acts against his fellow man. Overall, this is an interesting and gripping novel, but very stomach turning and graphic. The novel is very well written and features stunning imagery. I liked the chapter where the town sheriff, deputy and an elderly man named Mr. Wade are rowing a boat down the flooded town streets. I thought their conversation was interesting and a little surreal. Overall, a good book to read. Beware though, it's not for those who don't like to read about gruesome and sinister things.
SavageBS More than 1 year ago
First of all, this is a very dark book, creepy and depressing throughout! The book centers around a lonesome man by the name of Lester Ballard, he's a little bit (Hannibal Lecter) and a little bit (Ed Gein). Lester finds a dead girls body, instead of telling someone, he takes her home. After the first one, Lester can't stop! The story in "Child of God" takes awhile to really get going, but the last half of the book is a page turner! Highly recommended to all McCarthy fans! Amazingly this McCarthy book was written in 1973! Wow! Great short read that takes you to a dark, dark place!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written, but extremely disturbing story. Tackles acts of violence and perversion that are very unsettling. With all that being said, the story truly sticks with you long after you're through.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another eloquently written novel by McCarthy. If you love his bleak, straightforward prose and his dark subjects, you will love all of his novels, including this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
McCarthy has a writing style that will spoil you. He puts you into the story like no other author I know of.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lester isnt a good person and at some parts I found myself questioning if I really wanted to finish this book but in the end i decided to stick with it and what I found surprised me. I started to pity Lester and wish someone would have helped him. He did unspeakable, nasty things but he just wanted love really. He was still a child of God. Maybe Im crazy, but this is my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The reason there is no "suspense" is because Mccarthy wrote in the southern gothic style. The whole genre consists of no real suspense, no climax. Faulkner also wrote in this way, and while many people consider him a fantastic writer, we find no real suspense in his works either.
Craig Rot More than 1 year ago
The wit and pace of his middling works, the infectious tone and dialogue of Suttree, and the stark and discomfitting humanity of his darker works.
jkeenen More than 1 year ago
It would seem to be quite a challenge to wrote a story about a man who murders women and keeps there bodies in a series of tunnels in a way that a reader could tolerate, non the less enjoy. However, Cormac McCarthy manages to do this for the most part. He never apologizes for the way Lester Ballard acts, and doesn't really try to explain it in a way that would make it understandable or forgivable. However, it's still possible to enjoy the story of this strange man. Also, the sections that tell the story from the point of view of the others who live in the town he's tormenting adds variety and some aspects of mild humor (though I wouldn't consider the story a comedy). Any book that can tell such a morbid story in a way that can be enjoyed, and forces the reader to think about how enjoying it makes them feel, is surly a good read. And the short length means anyone can get into it and finish in just a few days.
SoCalMom More than 1 year ago
Cormac McCarthy is quick to the point in this short tale. I rather enjoyed this book. <br> Lester Ballard is one creepy guy running around the hills of Tennessee disposing of bodies as he sees fit. Well, not disposing of, rather displaying and using them for his freaky needs.
Irving_Washington More than 1 year ago
You can't beat Cormac McCarthy for aesthetic beauty. Lester Ballard is evil and at the same time pitifully likeable. Nobody steps in saying he is the bad guy. The dialect is itself a work of art, like most of McCarthy's novels, it shows you the characters more than any physical detail.

Child of God is a short story, in my opinion. A small, fast story that will linger long after you've read the last page.

It's deranged and hysterical. One of my favorites.
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DeadMuleJohn More than 1 year ago
Although I can't deny the beauty of McCarthy's writing, I don't find any suspense and only the bare bones of a plot in any of his books. Child of God is no exception. The story consists of beautifully crafted snapshots of Lester Ballard's madness and eventual destruction, but suspense? No. It is thought provoking as to the courses madness can take and the form in which it reveals itself. Maybe the Ballad of Lester Ballard would have been a better title. Also, it's a short, quick read. The 3 stars are for the brevity of the novel