Passing: Cormac McCarthy, author of ‘No Country for Old Men,’ hosted AFB radio show in Alaska

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Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy has passed. His publisher said that the 89-year-old author of “No Country for Old Men” and other masterpieces died of old age at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He was the author of “All the Pretty Horses,” and “The Road.” “No Country for Old Men,” was made into a movie in 2007.

Born in 1933 in Tennessee, he studied at the University of Tennessee, but dropped out and joined the U.S. Air Force in 1953. He was stationed in the Territory of Alaska for two years, where he started as a navigator but ended up hosting a nighttime radio show on base at Elmendorf AFB, where he spun records on turntables.

His first novel, “The Orchard Keeper,” was written while he was working as an auto mechanic in Chicago, was published in 1965, and won the prestigious Faulkner Award.

He was a recluse and his writings depicted a dark and bleak side of America — and an extremely violent side.

“For 60 years, he demonstrated an unwavering dedication to his craft, and to exploring the infinite possibilities and power of the written word,” Penguin Random House CEO Nihar Malaviya said. “Millions of readers around the world embraced his characters, his mythic themes, and the intimate emotional truths he laid bare on every page, in brilliant novels that will remain both timely and timeless, for generations to come.”

McCarthy was born in Knoxville, Tenn., and lived in various places in the Great Smoky Mountains before moving to Santa Fe.

Other novels he wrote were include “Outer Dark,” 1968; “Child of God,” 1973; “Suttree,” 1979; and “Blood Meridian,” 1985.

His “Border Trilogy,” set along the U.S. border with Mexico, includes “All the Pretty Horses,” 1992; “The Crossing,” 1994, and “Cities of the Plain,” 1998.

Photo: Cormac McCarthy, inside flap of “Suttree,” Wikimedia Commons.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Years ago I read “The Road”. I barely got through it because the content was dark and disturbing, but the writer had a way to keep you drawn in. I finished it and to this day I still remember the story line and wonder if that is our future…………..RIP Cormac

  2. The only book written I ever read by Cormac McCarthy was “The Road.” And it was quite possibly the WORST, most infuriating book that I have ever read. If his other works are at all similar, you would do well to avoid all of them.

  3. The first book by Cormac McCarthy I ever read was “The Road” and I was at once infuriated by he unanswered questions the book raised and enthralled by his ability to portray the human condition in and environment of utter desolation. After reading all of his works I came to believe that he ranks as one of America’s very best writers, easily as good as Twain or Heinlein and certainly better than Steinbeck.

  4. “Blood Meridian” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Contrary to Jefferson’s post: a man would do well reading McCarthy.

  5. One of the best.

    I started reading his Border Trilogy at my usual rapid pace, but immediately I had to slow way down in order to savor the way he put words together and the images they invoked. Here’s one or my favorite examples: “…he nodded and dozed to the hum of the tires on the blacktop and the rain stopped and the night cleared and the moon that was already risen raced among the high wires by the highway side like a single silver music note burning in the lavish dark…”

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