Goodness. I began the year with renewed enthusiasm for the TBR stack and energy to burn. Then the midwinter blahs struck and it feels as though I’m treading water in a large tub with no ladder. With the exception of No Country for Old Men, the past few weeks have been slow going. Tree of Smoke couldn’t hold me, The Maytrees was bright in spots but lacked cohesion and purpose for this reader. And now, Blood Meridian. I’ve wanted to read this for several years. The first 70 pages or so were riveting and I lapped them up one evening with ease. But the last hundred pages have slowed to such an extent that I’m feeling sapped and roughshod. The basic story is this- a young boy leaves home and travels west in pre-Civil War America. He joins a band of scalp hunters, led by an enigmatic figure known as the Judge. The group is beset by long, black nights, wolves, and Apache attacks. The boy converses, very briefly, with a former priest who plants some seeds of thought that are yet to be seen in fruition. I’m hanging in for now, but it’s such a long ride.