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Cormac McCarthy

The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy & Stella Maris by Cormac McCarthy

January-February 2023, no. 450

A hunter discovers a woman’s body in the woods on Christmas day, ‘hung among the bare gray poles of the winter trees’, a red sash tied around her dress to make her body visible in the snow. The strong implication is that she has taken her own life. The series of events that led to her decision is one of many mysteries in The Passenger, the first of two connected and long-awaited novels by Cormac McCarthy.

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My heart sank when I heard that John Hillcoat was to direct a film of Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road (2006), one of the more terminally grim performances in recent modern fiction. It is the story of a little boy who roams the post-nuclear devastated earth in the company of his father, while the world draws to an end amid murder, rape, cannibalism, and abysses of corruption – an inferno of a world, one of the war of all against all.

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