No Books for Old Men
As the buzz surrounding the Cohen Brother’s No Country for Old Men has quieted and anticipation for the film adaptation of The Road is at its peak, now is the perfect moment to present a couple of titles that we can imagine Cormac McCarthy wishes he’d written.
Going Down, by David Markson, best known for his trilogy of books which recycle bizarre factoids about artists and writers, but who is also the author of the pulps Epitaph for a Tramp and Epitaph for a Deadbeat, as well as the ‘straight ahead’ western The Ballad of Dingus McGee. This novel, set in Mexico, is heavy with the same brooding prose, sublimated violence and endless episodes of ever more surprising and genre subverting climaxes found in the recent work of McCarthy, but distinguishes itself not only for having been first published in 1970, but for its strange erotic explorations. Shoemaker & Hoard, $20.50
The Drop Edge of Yonder, by Rudolph Wurlitzer. While compared on its covers, by the likes of John Ashbery, Patti Smith, Gary Indiana and Judith Thurman none-the-less, to everybody from Samuel Beckett, Guy Maddin, and Jack Smith, to Schoenberg and Mel Brooks (?), Wurlitzer’s attitude towards the violence and lawlessness of the American west has a profundity of vision and dark metaphysical quality that can only be described as McCarthyesque. Two Dollar Radio, $18.00