Works he has credit in
Recurring Themes & Elements:
- The Anti-Nihilist: What "carrying the fire" means. It's for this reason that McCarthy's work is often taught in conjunction with courses on Nietzsche (and to a lesser extent Kierkegaard).
- Arc Words:
- "Carrying the fire" shows up in No Country for Old Men and The Road, and is obliquely referenced at the end of Blood Meridian.
- "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 Blood Meridian.
- Beige Prose: Often used. However, he also often uses words that people who aced the SATs would have to look up. It all depends on the book.
- Crapsack World
- Downer Ending
- Gorn: Many of his works contain very grotesque amounts of violence and gore.
- Grey and Gray Morality: Most of his characters are morally ambiguous, although genuine villains do crop up from time to time.
- Historical Fiction: A lot of his works tend to be period pieces, most notably Blood Meridian.
- Humans Are Bastards
- Karma Houdini
- No Punctuation Period: 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.
- Purple Prose : Often mixed in with his Beige Prose 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.
- Shown Their Work: His historical fiction is known to be extensively researched.
- Southern Gothic: His pre-Blood Meridian work, in stark contrast to the Westerns he's most famous for.
- The Wild West: 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.