The Sunset Limited

Two reviews in one day? Really? Well, kind of, I wrote my review for The Desert Spear at about 1:30 this morning, then spent this afternoon reading The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy.  The Sunset Limited is a short book that McCarthy describes as a short novel in dramatic form.  It’s written as a stage play that is essentially a long conversation between two characters.

Book Stats

Drama (Stage Play)

143 pages


The book is a conversation between two characters who are sitting in discussion, their names are simply listed as Black and White.  Black is an ex-con who is very optimistic and White is a professor who is depressed.  The two characters discuss the circumstances that brought them there and what they’re going to do in the future.


The plot to this book is essentially watching as the two characters discuss religion and the future of White.  It’s an interesting premise that works to an extent.  There isn’t much development to the characters, but there isn’t meant to be, so it works out in the end.


The book showed some interesting ideas, but ultimately didn’t work for me.  It may have bee that the form of the book didn’t allow the ideas to be examined fully enough.  Part of this may be my own bias from generally reading longer novels, so I would consider it more of the weakness of the form than the author.  If you were already considering getting this book, I wouldn’t turn you away from it, but I don’t know if I would steer you towards it if you weren’t considering it.


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