Great literature is generally woven out of beautiful thoughts and Cormac McCarthy’s book, “The Sunset Limited: A Novel In Dramatic Form” reflects many such beautiful and insightful thoughts of life. Taking a notch from complimentary yet diametrically different male protagonists from many writers of the post-modern period, Cormac weaves a beautiful tale of two separate worlds from a dramatic encounter of two strangers who find each other and bind themselves through emotions expressed in a difficult situation.
“The Sunset Limited” encapsulates a subtitle as well which reads, ‘A Novel In Dramatic Form. This subtitle itself suggests that there are enough dramatic elements captivated within the plot of the novel. The book was well-received in the theatres and later it was adapted into a film as well. These two pertinent reasons keep readers away from the book many times. However, until one turns the pages of this thin and light-weighted book, one will never come to know about the heavy-weighted thought processes imbibed within the plot of this text.
The book opens with the introduction of two characters bizarre in name and nature. The names of the two characters who encounter each other on a platform situated at the New York subway are Black and White. The novel opens up with Black saving the life of White who was supposed to jump before the train named the Sunset Limited. After this life-saving incident, both the characters head towards the apartment where Black stays and which is very oddly bare to unfold many truths about life (McCarthy 139).
And gradually through the conversations of the characters, they uphold before their readers the truth of their life. A journey from nothingness to search a fragment of meaning in life takes a complete turn when these two men from two different paradigms come and unite at a single platform to celebrate a journey called life.
The book “The Sunset Limited” is dialectical in nature which is insightful on the mystic realms of the world like life, death, and god. The book is slim and easy to comprehend. Most importantly any reader can very easily relate to the topical aspect of the book. The language of the book is simple and the syntax is lucid. The viewpoint expressed by the author through various dialogues and issues expressed in the book evolves out in a very straightforward way which makes the content of the book quite explicit.
After a deep delineation into the book, it seems that only to excessively ponder at the dramatic quality of the novel would be a sheer injustice to the insightful and enigmatic plot of the novel. It’s only an illusion and major success of the novel as a drama or a film that keeps the original book away from its readers.
The book, “The Sunset Limited” is insightful and inspiring. At the same time, it is quite linear in nature. A reader from any age group or from different parts of the world would easily be able to relate to the content of the book. Its dialectical approach between two male protagonists definitely reminds us of Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”. However, the book, “The Sunset Limited” is eternal and universal in its approach and presentation. It is unique in its plot and theme. Undoubtedly, the book, “The Sunset Limited” is a book for all. It captivates the quality to enchant the readers and engross the critics. The book, “The Sunset Limited” is a book at par excellence and has come out from one of the most thoughtful writers of our time, Cormac McCarthy.
McCarthy, Cormac. The Sunset Limited. London: Pan Macmillan, 2010. Print.