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The Passenger

Cormac McCarthy



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26 September 2023
1980, PASS CHRISTIAN, MISSISSIPPI: It is three in the morning when Bobby Western zips the jacket of his wetsuit and plunges from the boat deck into darkness. His divelight illuminates the sunken jet, nine bodies still buckled in their seats, hair floating, eyes devoid of speculation. Missing from the crash site are the pilot's flightbag, the plane's black box, and the tenth passenger. But how? A collateral witness to machinations that can only bring him harm, Western is shadowed in body and spirit - by men with badges; by the ghost of his father, inventor of the bomb that melted glass and flesh in Hiroshima; and by his sister, the love and ruin of his soul.

Traversing the American South, from the garrulous bar rooms of New Orleans to an abandoned oil rig off the Florida coast, The Passenger is a breathtaking novel of morality and science, the legacy of sin, and the madness that is human consciousness.
Imprint:   Picador
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 197mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 32mm
Weight:   307g
ISBN:   9780330457439
ISBN 10:   0330457438
Pages:   432
Publication Date:  
Recommended Age:   From 18 years
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

The novels of the American writer Cormac McCarthy have received a number of literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His works adapted to film include All the Pretty Horses, The Road, and No Country for Old Men - the latter film receiving four Academy Awards, including the award for Best Picture.

Reviews for The Passenger

An appealing piece of work . . . gripping, with plenty of reflection and evocation * The Daily Telegraph * The Passenger is like a submerged ship itself; a gorgeous ruin in the shape of a hardboiled noir thriller . . . What a glorious sunset song . . . It’s rich and it’s strange, mercurial and melancholic * The Guardian * A moving and characteristically disconcerting addition to the oeuvre of one of America’s greatest writers * The Irish Times * Critics have detected the influence on him of Faulkner and Hemingway, but this is to understate his achievement. The Passenger shows that McCarthy belongs in the company of Melville and Dostoevsky, writers the world will never cease to need * New Statesman * [A] gripping story, written in McCarthy’s trademark acerbic style * i newspaper * Kafka on the bayou * Observer * Magisterial * Financial Times * McCarthy’s formidable talents for dialogue, perfect sentences and descriptions of the natural world remain undiminished * The Times * The Passenger also happens to be something of a masterpiece… It is [McCarthy’s] most ambitious work. * TIME * The novels McCarthy published in 2022, at the age of 89, permanently resolve the question of whether McCarthy is a great novelist… together the books are the richest and strongest work of McCarthy’s career * The Atlantic * An intellectual experience that’s not quite like anything else out there, laced with the eerie beauty that only Cormac McCarthy can offer. * Vox * In Stella Maris and The Passenger, McCarthy invites us to consider hopelessness not just to give us hope but to compel us to make use of it. Having lived for nearly 100 years, he has given us what may well be the last great novels of the long 20th century. He may also help point us in a different direction for the twenty-first. * The Nation *

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