[[caption-width-right:213:Looks like someone's granddad. Writes stuff that would make Pol Pot cry.]]

-> ''"I'm not interested in writing short stories. Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing."''

Cormac [=McCarthy=] (born Charles [=McCarthy=], July 20, 1933) is an American novelist who has steadily risen in stature over the past 20 years. Though he has written since the 1960s, it was the publication of his book ''Literature/AllThePrettyHorses'' in 1992, and its subsequent cinematic adaptation, that brought him widespread recognition.

Interest in [=McCarthy=] skyrocketed after Creator/TheCoenBrothers' Oscar-winning adaptation of his novel ''Literature/NoCountryForOldMen'' and the adaptation of ''Literature/TheRoad''.

His reputation as one of the best living American writers was cemented in the placing of his book ''Literature/BloodMeridian or the Evening Redness in the West'' behind Don Delillo's ''Underworld'' and Toni Morrison's ''Beloved'' in a New York Times poll of the Greatest American novels of the last 25 years.

A reclusive author, [=McCarthy=] surprised everybody, when he agreed to give his first-ever television interview after [[Series/TheOprahWinfreyShow Oprah Winfrey]] selected ''Literature/TheRoad'' for her famous Book Club.

While [=McCarthy=] has written books in genres such as historical fiction, Southern Gothic, crime and post-apocalyptic science fiction, most of his works are, at heart, Westerns.

In early 2012, he made a big splash by selling his first screenplay, titled ''Film/TheCounselor'', a drug thriller about a naive attorney who becomes involved in the drug trade. It was immediately picked up by the producers of the film adaptation of ''Literature/TheRoad'', with Creator/RidleyScott signing on to direct.
!!His works include:
* ''Literature/ChildOfGod'' (1973, adapted into a film in 2013)
* ''Literature/BloodMeridian'' (1985)
* ''Literature/AllThePrettyHorses'' (1992, adapted into a film in 2000)
* ''Literature/NoCountryForOldMen'' (2005, adapted into a film in 2007)
* ''Film/TheSunsetLimited'' (2006 play, adapted into a television film in 2011)
* ''Literature/TheRoad'' (2006, adapted into a film in 2009)
* ''Film/TheCounselor'' (2013, screenplay)

!!'''Recurring themes and elements:'''
* AntiHero
* TheAntiNihilist: What "carrying the fire" means. It's for this reason that [=McCarthy=]'s work is often taught in conjunction with courses on [[UsefulNotes/FriedrichNietzsche Nietzsche]] (and to a lesser extent [[UsefulNotes/SorenKierkegaard Kierkegaard]]).
* ArcWords:
** "Carrying the fire" shows up in ''Literature/NoCountryForOldMen'' and ''Literature/TheRoad'', and is obliquely referenced at the end of ''Literature/BloodMeridian''.
** "Call it" showed up in ''All the Pretty Horses'' before it became a motif throughout ''No Country for Old Men''.
** "They rode on" is the most frequently used sentence in ''Literature/BloodMeridian.''
* BeigeProse: Often used. However, he also often uses words that people who aced the UsefulNotes/SATs would have to look up. It all depends on the book.
* CrapsackWorld
* DownerEnding
* {{Gorn}}: Many of his works contain very grotesque amounts of violence and gore.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: Most of his characters are morally ambiguous, although genuine villains do crop up from time to time.
* HistoricalFiction: A lot of his works tend to be period pieces, most notably ''Literature/BloodMeridian''.
* HumansAreBastards
* KarmaHoudini
* NoPunctuationPeriod: [=McCarthy=] has a number of stylistic idiosyncrasies, but his most pronounced is his continual refusal to use quotation marks, as well as an aversion to apostrophes when using contractions. Another quirk of his is that in many, if not all, of his books, there is not a single exclamation mark. At all. In an interview, he stated it's just because he doesn't want to clutter up the page.
* PurpleProse : Often mixed in with his BeigeProse and he is damn good at it.
** "The mother dead these fourteen years did incubate in her own bosom the creature who would carry her off"-Blood Meridan.
* ShownTheirWork: His historical fiction is known to be extensively researched.
* SouthernGothic: His pre-''Literature/BloodMeridian'' work, in stark contrast to the Westerns he's most famous for.
* TheWildWest: A lot of Western tropes crop up in his work, usually relocating them to the Modern era, or in the case of ''Blood Meridian'', giving them a darkly Revisionist twist.