Return to site

Blood on the Tracks


Jack Hitt

Like a lot of people, I am plowing through a lot of fiction. Seems like the good time for some suspension of disbelief, don’t you think? And also, some verisimilitude of old-school reality, eh?. Just now, I somehow wandered into the unread novels of some old favorite novelists, like Northanger Abbey, because Jane Austen is one of the funniest writers ever. And, strangely, it’s sort of about the influence of fake news. And then there’s Cormac McCarthy whose sense of comedy lives somewhere on the other side of Jane’s world.

Blood Meridian. I didn’t choose this one. Some platform suggested it. (Other customers who purchased William Styron and Elizabeth Wurtzel books and who buy their Ketamine at a fleet discount and watch Garden State on a loop have enjoyed this purchase.) And it is pure Cormac and--utterly harrowing and eye-bulging, and about a kind of semi-lingual bipedal primate possibly striving to gain promotion to hominid.

There are riffs in here that defy description and I’ve had to sweep back two or three pages from time to time, unsure that I'd read what I’d thought I’d read, and, lo, I’d had. Blood Meridian is about as peaceful a book as Saw is a movie, and I’m not sure I could have ever read this fucking thing except right now.

broken image

Jack Hitt is the author, most recently, of Bunch of Amateurs. He is a contributing editor to Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, and This American Life. He is the cohost of the Peabody Award-winning podcast Uncivil.

Books by Jack Hitt and all Journal of the Plague Year contributors can be found on our bookshelf on, the anti-Amazon, aimed at keeping independent bookstores alive.

Brian's Playlist

The Redness In The West: The Lawrence Arms

The Blue Mask: Lou Reed

My Heart Is An Open Book: Carl Dobkins, Jr