Right now in book club we are reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. It is a great book, even made the Time Magazine list of 100 best books written in the English Language from 1922-2005. But oh man is it a book that takes forever to read. It is filled with tons and tons of run-on sentences and is very similar to reading Faulkner. If I were in uni I am sure this book would really have me going, but with my current life of job and baby, it is slow going. However, I still reccommend it if you have time at work or are looking for a slight challenge.
Here is what Wiki says about the book, as far as a plot summary...
The majority of the narrative follows a teenager referred to only as "the kid," with the bulk of the text devoted to his experiences with the Glanton gang, a historical group of scalp hunters who massacred Native Americans and others in the United States–Mexico borderlands from 1849 to 1850 for bounty, pleasure, and eventually out of sheer compulsion. The role of antagonist is gradually filled by Judge Holden, a large, intelligent man depicted as entirely devoid of body hair and philosophically emblematic of the eternal and all-encompassing nature of war.
I will say that this book definitely opens up my mind to how bad people in the west literally had it in when settling America. This is the complete opposite of the Little House books and can be hard to read due to its frank depictions of violence and suffering. While reading the first part of this book I had a horrible cold and cough and I could really "feel" the scenes where the boy and a friend were wandering through the dessert.
I will also add that this book opened my mind to the idea of Mexicans fighting with Native Americans. I mean, it should be obvious that of course the Mexicans had skirmishes with native peoples, but for some reason that whole idea had never entered my mind before. I must also say that it is interesting to read this book and see the Mexicans as the ones with civilization while the Americans of the west are considered an unorganized, uncivilized bunch.
I haven't finished the book but just thought I would bring it up in case anyone is looking to flesh out their summer reading list. It is a hard book, but really the type of thing that is good for me to read once in awhile. I am ashamed at how lazy the world has become in regards to language. Our vocabulary is becoming extinct and there is no excuse for me to be having to look up two words from every page on this book (I wouldn't go through the trouble but on the kindle you just highlight the word and the meaning comes up).