I seem to be working my way backward through Cormac McCarthy‘s oeuvre. After the stark black-and-white desolation of his post-apocalyptic The Road, this novel’s sepia-colored (or is that dried blood?) Texas landscape seems like an English garden.
That is not to confuse No Country for Old Men with a Jane Austen exhibition of manners. McCarthy’s main antagonist Anton Chigurh does follow his own code of ethics but it is so far divorced from “normal” human behavior to render it unrecognizable.
Or is it? McCarthy’s talent is to consistently cut away the rotten bandage of civilization revealing the festering wound beneath. This book lays out the path that led to the devastation of the next. There is evil among us. There is evil within us. We are so screwed.