When I look back on my endeavor to finish Blood Meridian, the first thing that comes to mind is the number of times I threw my book across the room or just yelled “WHY” at the top of my lungs. If you’ve read it, you know what I’m talking about and if you haven’t, consider sitting this one out. McCarthy is undoubtedly a beautiful writer and the only thing that got me through the book was my desire to keep reading his words. But on the flip side of that, he’s beautifully describing vicious scalpings, cold-blooded murders of babies, and countless mutilated corpses. It’s a disgusting book and one that hurts to read because it’s so horrible. And yet, it’s considered one of the best works of literature in the American cannon. This to me feels unfair because when something is called an important work of American literature, I have to read it or I get serious literary FOMO. And that’s what propelled me forward in the 8 month struggle of finishing Blood Meridian, the only book that has ever made me wish that I’d never learned how to read in the first place.