The Blue Bookcase sponsor "The Literary Blog Hop," a weekly meme, that gives all of us who read and write about books an opportunity to find and make new friends, and exchange ideas. This week's question was submitted by Debbie Nance at Readerbuzz--
"What is the most difficult literary work you've ever read? What made it so difficult?
At first blush I thought that this'd be a snap. Then I re-read the question again. "What is the most difficult literary work you've read?" Ahh, well then, I guess I can't talk about the dozen, or more times, that I have tried to read Ulysses by James Joyce, and ended up hurling it across the room in frustration several days later. Yes, gentle reader, I even broke the back of an edition of Ulysses in one of my momentary fits of rage and frustration. I have since entered a 12-step program that has kept me Joyce-free for nearly fifteen years now, and I have never injured another book.
Is Blood Meridian McCarthy's best novel? Well, the critics would sure have you think so. For me though, I think that I like his much earlier novel Outer Dark (1968) even more; and then his "Borderlands Trilogy" that includes All The Pretty Horses (1992), The Crossing (1994), and Cities of the Plain (1998) are truly amazing novels that I re-read every few years. And for those of you who have read McCarthy's No Country for Old Men (2005), or saw the recent film adaptation by Joel and Ethan Coen of the same title; well, you obviously have an understanding of McCarthy's penchant for unrelenting violence and a difficult ending.
Well, there it is--my most difficult novel to read--Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West, by Cormac McCarthy.