by Brodie, December 10, 2007 11:56 AM
I read Suttree twenty years ago and was floored by the writing and the story. It is a poignant tale of a man choosing to live his life as he wants, turning his back on his family and their considerable wealth. Jerome Charyn wrote a review of the book in the New York Times, Feb. 18, 1979. I figured I couldn't do any better than he did: "Suttree himself is a lost creature who can find no real hook into this world. He can touch another human being for a moment, drink beer with a friend, fish, make love, but he has to move on, jump downriver, or hide in the dead, nightmare city. The book comes at us like a horrifying flood. The language licks, batters, wounds ? a poetic, troubled rush of debris. It is personal and tough, without that boring neatness and desire for resolution that you can get in any well-made novel. Cormac McCarthy has little mercy to spare, for his characters or himself. His text is broken, beautiful and ugly in spots. Mr. McCarthy won't soothe us with a quiet song. Suttree is like a good, long scream in the ear."