A startling encounter on a New York subway platform leads two strangers to a run-down tenement where a life or death decision must be made.
In that small apartment, “Black” and “White,” as the two men are known, begin a conversation that leads each back through his own history, mining the origins of two fundamentally opposing world views. White is a professor whose seemingly enviable existence of relative ease has left him nonetheless in despair. Black, an ex-con and ex-addict, is the more hopeful of the men-though he is just as desperate to convince White of the power of faith as White is desperate to deny it.
Their aim is no less than this: to discover the meaning of life.
Deft, spare, and full of artful tension, The Sunset Limited is a beautifully crafted, consistently thought-provoking, and deceptively intimate work by one of the most insightful writers of our time.
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: The Sunset Limited Comment: I have become a devoted McCarthy fan. I believe he is one of the most gifted, talented, honest and bravest authors on the scene today. This would be a great text for any high school, or college literature course because it would stimulate great dialog and teach students to become more reflective thinkers. He challenges the reader to think about some of life's biggest issues. Cormac has often been accused of revealing the darker side of the human condition. With this book I found myself laughing so hard I nearly fell off my chair, and then quickly found myself in a more solemn "Wow" moment, which is more the norm when reading Cormac. He has the gift of producing profound and wonderous moments for the reader. This is one of my favorites so far in my Cormac McCarthy journey. Customer Rating: Summary: A bit of a Rorschach Comment: This year I have been working my way through all of his novels (only have one to go: The Orchard Keeper). It's been an experience. A friend of mine introduced me to Cormac McCarthy and says she believes that in 100 years, he'll be the only novelist writing today who will still be read. She may be right. There is much that is bleak about this body of work (so much so that "No Country For Old Men" is sort of a light comedy among Mr. McCarthy's other works.) The question I think his readers will be asking for a long time is: What hope, if any, does McCarthy hold out? If there is hope, where does it reside?
Although not close to being his best book, this one probably boils down that fundamental theme in McCarthy's work to the most basic. It's Black and White in this book in more ways than one. I finished the book a couple of hours ago and my initial reaction is that McCarthy's answer here is No. There is no hope. No meaning. But, as is so often the case with this writer, when you take time to think about his work, you realize that the answers don't offer themselves up that easily.
I enjoyed the book and appreciated the experiment with the dramatic form.
For those, like me, who have been bitten by the Cormac Bug, but are just getting started: You're in for quite a ride. And, be sure to read Suttree. Customer Rating: Summary: The Sunset Limited Comment: Thai was a surprisingly great read. I had read two of his other books, "The Road" and "No Country for Old Men". The simplicity of the book (short book, big font size) almost turned me away, but once I picked up the book it blew me away. As with the other two books by Cormac McCarthy that I read, this one also leaves the reader to basically choose his on ending. I know this sounds like a cop-out by the author but it's not. If you really understand his intent in the book you can make the conclusion yourself and you may not like the conclusion you come up with. The books are dark but brutally honest and very real with what goes on in our world everyday. This is not a "feel-good" book that has a "Happily-ever-after" type of ending, but it somehow keeps you on edge just enough to keep you from putting it down. Customer Rating: Summary: Starts Your Mental Engine Comment: This dialogue between two people discussing the meaning of life, in the hands of a master such as McCarthy, is thought-provoking and surprisingly fascinating. The author's incredible use of language makes this spare drama succeed. It's the language which creates and holds the tension. Two diametrically opposed men arguing the meaning of life. I don't know that either changed my views, but for me, it made me do a lot of thinking. I'm fast becoming a McCarthy fanatic. I didn't like his Border Trilogy books much but after reading "The Road" and "No Country..." I have become mesmerized by his ability to grab my attention and hold it ruthlessly until he turns loose of me at the end. McCarthy is a master and this little book is another of his masterpieces. Customer Rating: Summary: pseudoprofundity? Comment: it's amazing that a person would complain about mccarthy's work written in dramatic form as the sunset limited is. to even say that the mind conjures imagery of a third person who is dawkins, sitting at the table, "...who would mop the floor with these two sorry saps," is completely missing the point as the reviewer who gave this play 2 stars did. two sorry saps? unfortunately the way most of us conduct our lives is based on the way that these two people are represented, i.e. good vs. bad, right-wrong, religious vs. agnostic, black and white, delusion vs. reality, hope vs. despair. we all live with a sense duality. to bring up dawkins book, the god delusion, is like arguing the bible. what's right and what's wrong? what is at the heart of mccarthy's storys and what makes him an artist is that he understands both but doesn't let his characters commit to one or the other. he intertwines good and bad and leaves it gray. his storys are of morality but he never sells bad or good he only presents things as they are. he has nothing to hide and is not selling his ideas politically, religiously, artistically, moralistically or falsely. because of these thing i feel he is always and will continue to be a breath of fresh air in these often sad and confusing times. buy this book.