Child of God
Child of God (1973) is the third novel of the American author Cormack McCarthy, and I’ll say this right away: McCarthy is not for everyone. His books are dark, filthy, violent, “white trash” kind of stories, and this novel is no exception.
The story is set in Sevier County, Tennessee and tells of Lester Ballard, a dispossessed, violent man without family, home or the ability to connect with others. As he is pushed further and further away from society, he descends, both figuratively and literally, to the level of a cave dweller, and falls deeper and deeper into a life of crime and degradation.
What makes the novel interesting is the description of the various characters and the lives they lead. Also the main character, Lester, is explored in an uncomfortably sympathetic manner, expressing just how thin the line between functioning and malfunctioning, judge and judged, good and bad can be. If you can stomach a little necrophilia and other deviations, this novel is definitely worth reading.