[[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.
!!Works by [=McCarthy=] with their own pages 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)
!!Other works by [=McCarthy=] contain examples of:
* 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]]).
** "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''.
* EyeScream: In ''The Crossing'', after the Mexican revolutionary mouths off to the German mercenary Wirtz and spits in his face, Wirtz proceeds to lick up the spittle, swallow it, smile, then ''sucks out the man's eyeballs with his mouth, leaving them to dangle down his face''. The revolutionary talks about how, due to his eyes hanging from his face via a handful of nerves, the world seems to jostle as his eyes sway back and forth on his march back to camp.
* KarmaHoudini: The three murderous strangers of ''Outer Dark''.
* KnifeFight: In ''The Border Trilogy''.
* 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.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: ''The Crossing''.
* SmiteMeOMightySmiter: In ''The Crossing'', a priest tells the story of a heretic who lost his entire family and demanded that if God exists, that he reveal himself by killing him on the spot or showing him some sign of his existence. The heretic sat for days in the same spot under a tower, asking for God to cause the tower to fall and kill him.
* SouthernGothic: His pre-''Literature/BloodMeridian'' work, in stark contrast to the Westerns he's most famous for.