Не припомню, когда я в последний раз читал книгу с таким количеством жестокости и насилия. И одновременно столь прекрасную.
В одной из рецензий на Амазоне смешно написано, что у критиков были проблемы с этой книгой, потому что насилие в ней ничего не символизирует, ничего не заменяет и ни на что не намекает. Оно просто есть, как неотрывная часть той жизни, которую показывает в своей книге Маккарти.
Вот небольшой характерный отрывок. В нем участвуют персонаж по имени Toadvine и главный герой, известный только как "the kid" (ему 15 лет, и он скитается по южным штатам, убежав из дома год назад). Действие происходит в 1849-м году.
The dramhouse was a long narrow hall wainscotted with varnished boards. There were tables by the wall and spittoons on the floor. There were no patrons. The barman looked up when they entered and a nigger that had been sweeping the floor stood the broom against the wall and went out.
Where’s Sidney? said the man in his suit of mud.
In the bed I reckon.
They went on.
Toadvine, called the barman.
The kid looked back.
The barman had come from behind the bar and was looking after them. They crossed from the door through the lobby of the hotel toward the stairs leaving varied forms of mud behind them on the floor. As they started up the stairs the clerk at the desk leaned and called to them.
He stopped and looked back.
He’ll shoot you.
They went on up the stairs.
At the top of the landing was a long hall with a windowlight at the end. There were varnished doors down the walls set so close they might have been closets. Toadvine went on until he came to the end of the hall. He listened at the last door and he eyed the kid.
You got a match?
The kid searched his pockets and came up with a crushed and stained wooden box.
The man took it from him. Need a little tinder here, he said. He was crumbling the box and stacking the bits against the door. He struck a match and set the pieces alight. He pushed the little pile of burning wood under the door and added more matches.
Is he in there? said the boy.
That’s what we’re fixin to see.
A dark curl of smoke rose, a blue flame of burning varnish. They squatted in the hallway and watched. Thin flames began to run up over the panels and dart back again. The watchers looked like forms excavated from a bog.
Tap on the door now, said Toadvine.
The kid rose. Toadvine stood up and waited. They could hear the flames crackling inside the room. The kid tapped.
You better tap louder than that. This man drinks some.
He balled his fist and lambasted the door about five times.
Hell fire, said a voice.
Here he comes.
You hot son of a bitch, said the voice. Then the knob turned and the door opened.
He stood in his underwear holding in one hand the towel he’d used to turn the doorknob with. When he saw them he turned and started back into the room but Toadvine seized him about the neck and rode him to the floor and held him by the hair and began to pry out an eyeball with his thumb. The man grabbed his wrist and bit it.
Kick his mouth in, called Toadvine. Kick it.
The kid stepped past them into the room and turned and kicked the man in the face. Toadvine held his head back by the hair.
Kick him, he called. Aw, kick him, honey.
Toadvine pulled the bloody head around and looked at it and let it flop to the floor and he rose and kicked the man himself. Two spectators were standing in the hallway. The door was completely afire and part of the wall and ceiling. They went out and down the hall. The clerk was coming up the steps two at a time.
Toadvine you son of a bitch, he said.
Toadvine was four steps above him and when he kicked him he caught him in the throat. The clerk sat down on the stairs. When the kid came past he hit him in the side of the head and the clerk slumped over and began to slide toward the landing. The kid stepped over him and went down to the lobby and crossed to the front door and out.
Toadvine was running down the street, waving his fists above his head crazily and laughing. He looked like a great clay voodoo doll made animate and the kid looked like another. Behind them flames were licking at the top corner of the hotel and clouds of dark smoke rose into the warm Texas morning.