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Review of Jay Ellis, No place for home: spatial constraint and character flight in the novels of Cormac McCarthy

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McCarthy\, Cormac, literary criticism

Abstract (summary)

When writing about the works of living authors, critics have good reason to mistrust their source materials. Jay Ellis, from the Program for Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Colorado, provides here a comprehensive discussion of space and flight in the novels of Cormac McCarthy. No Place for Home appeared only two months before the publication of The Road (2006), and it is obvious that Ellis’ study would have been better for including references to the novelist’s most recent work—not because Oprah Winfrey since brought McCarthy to her teeming audience but rather as The Road is, itself, organized around the epitome of desperate journeys. There is no escaping this unfortunate and understandable blemish, but rather than dwelling on the vagaries of academic publishing it is far more useful for readers instead simply to judge the efficacy of the model Ellis constructs against the achievement of McCarthy’s latest work. For all its horror and bleakness, no one could argue that The Road represents a radical departure for McCarthy, and so one test of Ellis’ book is how well it anticipates where his subject moves next.

Publication Information

Monk, Craig. Review of "Jay Ellis, No Place for Home: Spatial Constraint and Character Flight in the Novels of Cormac McCarthy." Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature 62.1 (Spring 2008): 71-72. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.



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