Cormac McCarthy is an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He is known for his distinctive writing style and his themes involving survival, the dark side of human nature, and the inevitability of death. Some of his most notable works include 'The Road,' 'No Country for Old Men,' and 'Blood Meridian.' His novels are often set in the Southern United States and the American Southwest, and he has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for 'The Road' in 2007.
This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.
Set in the mid-19th century, this novel follows a violent teenager known as "the Kid" as he joins a group of Indian-hunters led by the enigmatic and brutal Judge Holden. The narrative is a gruesome depiction of the lawless American West, filled with philosophical musings, vivid descriptions of the harsh landscape, and brutal, relentless violence. The story explores themes of human nature, morality, and the inherent chaos and brutality of life.
2. The Road
In a post-apocalyptic world, a father and his young son journey through a desolate landscape, struggling to survive. They face numerous threats including starvation, extreme weather, and dangerous encounters with other survivors. The father, who is terminally ill, is driven by his love and concern for his son, and is determined to protect him at all costs. The story is a haunting exploration of the depths of human resilience, the power of love, and the instinct to survive against all odds.
This novel follows the journey of a young Texas cowboy who, after his grandfather's death, ventures into Mexico with his best friend in search of a life of freedom and adventure. Their journey becomes complicated when they are arrested and imprisoned, and the protagonist falls in love with the daughter of a wealthy ranch owner. The book explores themes of love, loss, friendship, and the harsh realities of life.
Set in 1950s Knoxville, Tennessee, the novel follows the life of a man who has renounced his former existence of privilege to live among society's outcasts on the river. He is an educated man, who has chosen a life of fishing and surviving on the fringes of society. The narrative is filled with his encounters with various characters from the underbelly of the city, including criminals, prostitutes, and other outcasts. Despite his attempts to isolate himself, he finds himself drawn into the problems and tragedies of those around him.
This novel is a gripping tale of a cat-and-mouse chase set in the harsh landscape of 1980 Texas. After stumbling upon a drug deal gone wrong and a suitcase full of money, a Vietnam War veteran finds himself pursued by a relentless hitman. As the veteran attempts to keep himself and his wife safe, a local sheriff struggles to keep up with the increasing violence and brutality of the modern world. The narrative explores themes of fate, conscience, and circumstance, painting a bleak and riveting picture of the human condition.
6. The Crossing
"The Crossing" is a novel set in the late 1930s and early 1940s that follows a young man named Billy Parham and his brother Boyd. The story primarily revolves around their adventures in the United States and Mexico, including their encounters with a wolf, horse traders, and a Mexican outlaw. The narrative explores themes of loss, survival, and the harsh realities of life, set against the backdrop of the American West and the Mexican wilderness.
"Cities of the Plain" is the conclusion to a trilogy set in the post-World War II American West. The story follows two cowboys, John Grady Cole and Billy Parham, who work on a ranch in New Mexico near the Texas border. Cole falls in love with a Mexican prostitute, which leads to a tragic confrontation with her pimp. The novel explores themes of love, friendship, and the fading of the old West.
8. Child Of God
The novel follows the life of a dispossessed, violent man living on the fringes of society in the mountains of Tennessee in the 1960s. After being expelled from his community, the protagonist descends into a primitive state of existence, seeking shelter in caves and gradually surrendering to his most base and animalistic instincts. His isolation and alienation lead him to commit a series of heinous acts, including necrophilia and murder, as he becomes increasingly detached from humanity. The narrative explores themes of loneliness, depravity, and the human capacity for evil, painting a bleak and harrowing portrait of a person utterly cast out from social norms and moral grounding.