The Orchard Keeper

The Orchard Keeper

by Cormac McCarthy
3.8 19

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The Orchard Keeper 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Irving_Washington More than 1 year ago
I read this, McCarthy's first novel, after No Country For Old Men, The Road, Blood Meridian, Child of God, and Outer Dark, and I think it suffers by comparison.

The writing isn't as honed as his other novels. Though there is one passage in the end that made me love the book. It's a real glimpse at the true beauty of McCarthy's mind.

The Orchard Keeper is not a bad book by any standard, it's just not his best, as it is his first.

The novel and its three main characters move sluggishly through their world and their lives. At some points it will grab you with a sentence or a passage. But there are also long draughts of well written nothing. Landscape descriptions, while well worded, get old. I know he is describing what no longer exists, and maybe when I read it at a different time in my life I'll be able to appreciate it more, but as of now it is just too all over the place at times to really stick in my mind.

There is humor and the omnipresent sense of foreboding that permeates in every McCarthy story. If you are a McCarthy fan such as myself, then definitely check this one out for you own perspective.

I think I liked it more than No Country For Old Men, but only for the writing. The Orchard Keeper has no identifiable pace or plot, and it is very easy to get lost at times. I don't have a problem with the no plot thing, or even the no pace thing. They work fine if done well. And while The Orchard Keeper is a precursor to McCarthy's true talent, it is also his flaws clawing at you the entire way through.

All said, it's still better than ninety percent of the books published today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The life that is no longer in the Tennessee hills, with its bootleggers, it's hound-dog hunting, its freedoms and its wildness, runs its last miles through the experiences of an old man of the mountain, a bootlegger, and a young boy. Their stories interlace and tell how it was, good and bad, the old man a mythic figure for what we all have lost.
Busterdawg More than 1 year ago
I am sure that if I had read this book before I read McCarthy's other wonderful books, I probably never would have read the other books by this author. This was a dreadful pointless book that I could find no meaning too. Of the 200 or more books that I have read in the past 3-4 years this was the worst.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cormac McCarthy addresses the dying out of a pre-industrialized society in this book. One boy finds himself between the two ways of living and his relationship to both ways is told in this book. It reminded me much of Faulkner in style. Excelent read.
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BookmarkCP More than 1 year ago
I don't know what Mr. McCarthy was trying to communicate. The characters were introduced in a mish-mash fashion and I never knew who he was talking about. In a whole chapter about a cat, he injects a murder in the last paragraph. He is highly verbose and descriptive but has a good command of his vocabulary. This author was highly recommended to me and I might give him one more chance but it won't be until I read something else that tells me a story that I can understand and enjoy. I found the author persnickety and, frankly, he managed to bore me to death.
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