Cowboys were drifters who terrorised

THE book's blurb promises to expose the truth about the westward expansion of "civilisation" into the Wild West of the US.

THE book's blurb promises to expose the truth about the westward expansion of "civilisation" into the Wild West of the US.

We were brought up on the romaticised tales of cowboys and Indians in the war for territory in the early formation of the United States.

John Wayne and other "cowboys" acted their way to fame by selling us a bill of goods that, according to Blood Meridian, is a myth.

A pity. We lived for the bioscope where the epic Westerns satisfied our daily fantasy.

McCarthy debunks this myth with a tale of dust, poverty, lawlessness and desperados, who have no plan or policy to conquer the Indians.

The story is strewn with purposeless violence and the murder of the innocent and hopeless. The land promises nothing - it is vast, dusty and as dry and joyless as the outlaws who sell their guns to the first warlord who crosses their path.

McCarthy paints a picture in which the hero is unloved, unloving, and vicious. He is a drifter who gangs up with other drifters to wage a war of terror.

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