Suttree

Suttree

by Cormac McCarthy

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Overview

By the author of Blood Meridian and All the Pretty Horses, Suttree is the story of Cornelius Suttree, who has forsaken a life of privilege with his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat on the Tennessee River near Knoxville.  Remaining on the margins of the outcast community there--a brilliantly imagined collection of eccentrics, criminals, and squatters--he rises above the physical and human squalor with detachment, humor, and dignity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307762474
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/11/2010
Series: Vintage International
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 277,505
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island in1933 and spent most of his childhood near Knoxville, Tennessee. He served in the U.S. Air Force and later studied at the University of Tennessee. In 1976 he moved to El Paso, Texas, where he lives today.  McCarthy's fiction parallels his movement from the Southeast to the West--the first four novels being set in Tennessee, the last three in the Southwest and Mexico. The Orchard Keeper (1965) won the Faulkner Award for a first novel; it was followed by Outer Dark (1968),  Child of God (1973), Suttree (1979), Blood Meridian (1985), All the Pretty Horses, which won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the National Book Award for fiction in 1992, and The Crossing.

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Suttree 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Irving_Washington More than 1 year ago
No. Not to say it is worse. One cannot compare the two. Blood Meridian is a hyperviolent crusade of remorseless violence and death. Suttree is the complete opposite. Suttree, the novel, revolves around life and its goings on. Sure, plenty of people die within these pages, but that isn't the point of it. This isn't the taking of Knoxville Tennessee, it's just a story about life and its various happenings. When I ask myself which book I enjoyed more, Suttree or Blood Meridian, the only way I can compare them fairly is to compare the characters. Judge Holden, Glanton, Toadvine, and, sort of, the Kid, of Blood Meridian are all the standouts the novel has in my memory. But even the standouts of Blood Meridian can't hold a candle to the likes of Gene Harrogate, Callahan, Ab Jones, Oceanfrog, Trippin Through The Dew, the ragpicker, J-Bone, Hoghead, or even Cornelius Suttree himself. I know Blood Meridian is the polar opposite or Suttree in its portrayal of human beings. But that doesn't mean I can't like the cast of Suttree more. They are human beings. Just that. They make mistakes, cuss, screw, steal, get in trouble, go to jail...but they also made me smile. I cared for the degenerates of Suttree. I cared for no one in Blood Meridian. What it boils down to is this: Blood Meridian is a meditation on violence in the human heart, and just how far we will go to get what we want. Suttree is the feel of a spring breeze coming off a lake, the smell of a warm day rising from asphalt. Suttree is the weeds scratching at your calves as you walk through a field. Suttree is all the human components Blood Meridian lacks. And for that I think I may have to say I enjoyed its light on life more than I enjoyed the crimson stains of Blood Meridian. Yet, both still stand in my mind as masterpieces.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never for a moment thought a book could surpass Blood Meridian, but I hadn't reckoned on Cormac McCarthy surpassing himself. Suttree has all the filth, pain, humor, death, backwardness, and awe before the stars of God, of life itself. This is the only book that has ever made me cry. Read it sometime.
Jaypee More than 1 year ago
I felt like I needed a shower every time I put this book down. McCarthy paints such a vivid picture of the low-lifes and drunks, the lives they lead, and the places that they live. It will make feel like you were there through such clear and hard hitting imagery. If you are a fan of great American literature or a McCarthy fan you will love Suttree, but it is not better than Blood Meridian...sorry. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book grabs you and holds you; I read it over a year ago! The sense of place is amazing. I moved to Appalachia five years ago and assure you he has it perfectly, as it must have been 50-60 years ago. The book is just as amazing in every other way. The character. Miles,hours, days, weeks pass but nothing happens, just being alive! Read it!
nog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is only 1/5th of a review. That's how far I made it into this one. It was my second attempt and I really, really tried to stick with it, but 80 pages in with nothing really happening except a lot of drinking, vomiting, and sordid descriptions bored the hell out of me. The first 15 to 20 pages is sort of a Faulkneresque rendition of the setting, then it hunkers down into lowlife vernacular. Sorry, but I did not detect brilliance.
Hagelstein on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Published in 1979, Suttree is as dense and wordy as McCarthy's later works are spare. Called "a Knoxville Ulysses" by John Grammer, it's tied for 20th on Oxford American's list of Best Southern Novels of All Time. Cornelius Suttree has abandonded his family and previous life to live in poverty along the riverfront in his native Knoxville. He has a trusted group of friends that - like real friends - make an appearance, then don't show up again for a while. He also runs across a variety of characters living on the edges of the city - and society. Tragedy and hope comingle with people trying to get by on both sides of the law.
jastbrown on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel is wondrous! As someone who's been reading stories for well over half a century I feel qualified to say that this novel, stacked up against every other written, is unique! I think that if anyone else tried to write a book of this type using the verbiage present in Suttree, it would be laughable.. McCarthy makes it wondrous! I read the first two pages with my mouth hanging open, I'm sure. Then I re-read them a couple of times and closed the book. I knew that I had found a treasure and wanted to be sure that I savored it fully.The story is about a man, Suttree, from a good family.. fallen from grace and living on a houseboat among the folks residing along the riverfront of Knoxville, Tennessee who count themselves fortunate if they are able to maintain a subsistence living fishing, thieving, whoring, gambling and the like. The ancient Greeks wrote stories like this.. but McCarthy does it better! This is a story filled with passages of pathos and humor and poignancy and horror. There are passages that I don't understand yet, but I intend to read this novel at least three or four more times before I'm done.If I could only take two novels to that timeworn desert island.. this would be one of them and I don't have any idea what I would pick for the second.. indecision would probably leave me with just this one! And that would be just fine...
SanctiSpiritus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Suttree is much more simplistic than The Border Trilogy, and No Country for Old Men. Consequently, the language is not as beautiful. McCarthy, in writing Suttree, was only honing his skill towards greatness.
fuzzy_patters on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While I didn't find this to be one of McCarthy's best novels, it was decent. McCarthy does a wonderful job of creating a very atmospheric mood to the novel, and you really get a feel for the desolation and hopelessness of the characters. I just didn't find it to have the payoff of a Blood Meridian.
HHS-Staff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The title character is a grown-up Huck Finn, out of territory, and returned to southern mid-America--lto live in a ramshackle houseboat on the Tennessee River outside of Knoxville, to be exact. The Huck Finn echoes are reinforced by the unforgettable teenager Gene Harrowgate, one of the best comic inventions in recent American lit history. Indeed, McCarthy has crafted an epic where the participants are decidedly unromanticized no-future derelicts, and while the effect is often funny in a way you might never have imagined this author capable of being, it's just as often poetically and profoundly sad, as much as any novel I've ever read. A half-step away from the scintillating hell-fired prose of BLOOD MERIDIAN--kids, if you want a book that will build your vocabulary or else cause you "skullpangs," as McCarthy would put it, give this a try. Reviewed by:Phil OvereemLanguage Arts teacher
lriley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Set in Knoxville Tenn. in the early 1950's the Cornelius Suttree of the title is a somewhat alienated from society--young man living on a houseboat along a riverbank--his friends boozers, petty criminals and assorted riff raff--whores, transvestites, barroom brawlers--both black and white. It seems to me to be a kind of period piece snapshot of the South after the second World War--this novel following the pereginations of Suttree from the county workhouse to the riverboat--to the variety of self employed (bossless) occupations he takes on to the one night stands--the drunken orgies--savage winters--the often violent deaths of many of his friends. McCarthy's poetic prose brings to my mind not only Faulkner but Dos Passos and the Selby of Last exit to Brooklyn or of Ondaatje's In the skin of the lion. It is very gritty and might not be for all tastes but I found it to be excellent in just about every way.
joesavage on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you can decipher this, you're a better man, okay person, than I am.
trav on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I hope this doesn't get me kicked out of the Deep South group...but this was the second time I picked up this book and the second time I put it down having made it no more than 100 pages into it.I have always wanted to read this book and the "Deep South Review Challenge" gave me a renewed incentive. And after reading LouisBranning's eloquent review I REALLY wanted to read it. But I just couldn't dig my heels in.The long descriptives are well written, no doubt. Some are even poetic enough that you're tempted to read them aloud. But most are so long that they become distractions. There's only so much you can say about fog or darkness or streets, etc. There might be a hundred ways to describe a river, but you don't have to use fifty of them in one long sentence (bit of an exaggeration there).But all this negativity could be my fault. I'm trying to read this book late at night after work and all that. So maybe I'll try and pick it up again once things slow down and I can better squeeze myself into the book's pace and place.
williammilton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book of all time and I've read at least 6 or 7 hundred.
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I don't know. Smarty Chick
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Adaptoid More than 1 year ago
Truly one of the greatest novels I've read. The dreamlike prose artfully tells a tragic and humorous story, careful to convey a depth of insight without random, flowery verse. I believe this to be the most successful attempt to obscure the lines between prose and traditional poetry. Highly recommend.
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