Hard Cover. New York: Random House, 1973. First Edition. Very Good / Dust Jacket Included.
First edition, first printing. Publisher’s navy cloth-backed red boards, front board ruled and lettered in blind, titles in gilt to spine; original black dust jacket with red, white, and green lettering, jacket designed by Muriel Nasser, photo of McCarthy by David Styles to rear panel. About fine book with a hint of toning to edges and with corners lightly bumped; near fine unclipped dust jacket with a touch of fading to spine, light wear to spine ends, and a small closed tear to bottom of front panel. Overall, a bright and fresh copy in the intact jacket, which is almost always found price-clipped. Set in Appalachian Tennessee, Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God tells the twisted story of Lester Ballard. The book begins with Lester’s family farm being auctioned off against his will. A dispossessed outsider, whose connection to humankind is severed further when he is falsely accused of rape, Ballard retreats to a cave and commits a series of gruesome murders around Sevier County. Ballard is an early example of McCarthy’s famously devilish characters, like Judge Holden from Blood Meridian (1985) and Chigurh from No Country for Old Men (2005). The title of the novel, expanded on in a line from the book in which Ballard calls himself “a child of God much like yourself perhaps,” invites the reader to reckon with the capacity for evil that lives within us all. It is believed that McCarthy drew inspiration for his novel from the grisly Lula Lake Murders that occurred in 1963.