One of today's most important novelists, Cormac McCarthy is at the peak of a long and productive career. He won the Pulitzer Prize for "The Road" in 2007 and the National Book Award for "All the Pretty Horses" in 1992. This book is a guide to his works and their relevance.
The volume begins with a look at his life and his use of the novel as a means of expressing his ideas. The book then looks at his works, themes, characters, and contexts. It then discusses his exploration of current events and the presence of his fiction in popular culture. Chapters include sidebars of interesting information and provide questions to stimulate book club discussion and student research.
Cooper evaluates all of McCarthy's work to date, carefully exploring the range of his narrative techniques. The writer's overwhelmingly distant, omniscient third-person narrative rarely shifts to a more limited voice. When it does deviate, however, revelations of his characters' consciousness unmistakably exhibit moral awareness and ethical behavior. The quiet, internal struggles of moral men such as John Grady Cole in the Border Trilogy and the father in The Road demonstrate an imperfect but very human heroism.
Even when the writing moves into the minds of immoral characters, McCarthy draws attention to the characters' humanity, forcing the perceptive reader to identify with even the most despicable representatives of the human race. Cooper shows that this rare yet powerful recognition of commonality and the internal yearnings for community and a commitment to justice or compassion undeniably exist in McCarthy's work.
No More Heroes directly addresses the essential question about McCarthy's brutal and morally ambiguous universe and reveals poignant new answers.