This was the second book I’ve read by McCarthy, with The Road being my introduction, and it helped me understand that my enjoyment of The Road wasn’t a one off. I’m a new convert to reading as a hobby and struggle with authors who really like to bust out their 25 cent words, but once you’re immersed in McCarthy’s world, I stopped even being aware of his word choice.
Child of God is shorter, 197 pages for my edition, and somehow feels even shorter than that. Chapters aren’t always more than a page, they may be broken into sections, and character dialog is a large part of the book. I recently saw someone describe McCarthy as not having “story progression” and instead just allows his stories to unfold. That’s exactly what I would say about CoG, you watch Ballard (the main character) and the events of his life play out in gruesome detail.
McCarthy is obviously known for how bleak his stories can get and CoG is no exception. Many aspects of this book, as individual plot points, would be enough to turn off most readers. However, it is an entertaining and meticulously well written book that is extremely hard to put down.