Monday, December 07, 2015


I recently made Cormac McCarthy's Suttree my commute listen, and it was one of those purchases that made me a little sorry, after I started.  Not because it was bad, but because it was so good.  I was afraid that Richard Poe's narration might paint the novel in a way that my own mind might not.  Still, I've been alternating between reading (at home) and listening (on the road), and enjoying the roller coaster ride.

Today, one of my favorite jokes made its way into the text.  A fellow named Randy Pearcy told me this one, at the comic shop out in Murfreesboro.  I've heard variations since, on morning radio among others.

Suttree is the story of a man adrift on the outer fringes of Knoxville society, and among those he meets are other folks adrift.  Among them is Gene Harrogate, who might be the first character I've read where I read his adventures nearly agog at what I'm hearing.  Endlessly fascinating, tragic and funny.  Gene is a mess, even to those in the book who wouldn't pass muster in "normal" society.

Here, he is quizzing Suttree on how to meet women:

There were walking along the tracks with the city rat at Suttree's off elbow taking legstretcher steps over every other tie, his hands crammed in his hippockets gripping each skinny buttock.  He watched the ground and shook his head.
What do you say to em?
Say to them?
Yeah. say.
Hell, say anything.  It doesnt matter, they dont listen.
Well you gotta say somethin.  What do you say?
Try the direct approach.
What's that?
Wel, like this friend of mine.  Went up to this girl and said I sure would like to have a little pussy.
No shit?  What'd she say?
She said I would too.  Mine's as big as your hat.

I've dug McCarthy for a while, but I don't recall feeling like I'm reveling in a book of his like this one.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home