Winner of the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
On a subway platform in New York City, an ex-con from the South saves the life of an intellectual atheist who wasn't looking for salvation. Now, the reformed murderer-turned-savior ventures to offer salvation of another kind, bringing the failed suicide victim back to his Harlem apartment for an articulate and moving debate about truth, fiction and belief. The two men are named Black and White, as indeed they are. White is disillusioned and disenchanted by the modern world. Black had an epiphany after a nasty knife fight in the penitentiary and discovered a faith that he now wants to share with others, or at least with White. Black begins in control, but it quickly becomes clear that the nonbeliever is much more secure in his convictions than the believer. And when White goes on the attack, his nihilism steamrolls his opponent. Is Black a guardian angel or just a sinner looking for redemption? Was White really saved, or is he stuck in a kind of purgatory?
Winner of the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. "The deity that presides over Mr. McCarthy's world has not modeled itself on humanity: Its voice most resembles the one that addressed Job out of the whirlwind." —NY Times. "McCarthy's prose [is] the most laudable, his characters the most fully inhabited, his sense of place the most bloodworthy and thoroughly felt of any living writer's." —Esquire. "McCarthy meditates on creation, stares at it. He does not look past appearances, he looks through them…the world is set before us with fever-dream clarity…and then, with simile and metaphor, he sweeps everything into profound animation…McCarthy is writing entirely against the grain of our times, against the haste and the distraction and the moral diffusion…as an old, more spacious world rises up, we experience a more vivid and consequential feeling about human destiny, about good and evil and matters of the spirit." —New Republic. "Like the novelists he admires—Melville, Dostoyevsky, Faulkner—Cormac McCarthy has created an imaginative oeuvre greater and deeper than any single book. Such writers wrestle with the gods themselves." —Washington Post Book World.