Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Lester Ballard, a violent, solitary and introverted young backwoodsman, is released from jail and allowed to haunt the hill country of East Tennessee, preying on the population with his strange lusts.

McCarthy transforms commonplace brushes with humanity into stunning scenes of the comic and the grotesque, and as the story hurtles toward its unforgettable conclusion, depicts the most sordid aspects of life with dignity, humour, and characteristic lyrical brilliance.

©2010 Cormac McCarthy (P)2013 Recorded Books LLC

Critic reviews

"A powerful and talented writer, able to elicit compassion for his protagonist however terrible his actions" ( Sunday Times)
"McCarthy charts the terrible decline of Lester Ballard with passion, tenderness, eloquence, and a humour which…is attuned perfectly to the bitter wryness of the South." ( Times Literary Supplement)
"His prose, unfailingly beautiful and exact, carries us into a dreamworld of astonishing and violent revelation" (Tobias Wolff)

What listeners say about Child of God

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    66
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    81
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    58
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An Extraordinary Audio Experience

It's like Mr. McCarthy wrote this for Mr. Stechshulte. They are alike: two comedians. Tom speaks in every Southern tongue, he sings or weeps if necessary, he is Child of God himself. Every word echoes for weeks in my memory. This frighteningly terrible and hilarious book becames an unforgottable audio experience. I look up other Stechshulte narrations for sure.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Grim and unmercifully honest

I enjoyed it. Made me feel very uncomfortable in parts but thats why its good.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

'A malign star kept him.'

Although not McCarthy's best (Blood Meridian likely takes that title) this is my favourite of his works. I read it once a year in Winter, but decided to give the audiobook a try early this year, and what a treat it was. The narrator does a fantastic job, with his Southern drawl perfectly accompanying the subject. As little said about the story as possible is best in this instance. Lester Ballard is a societal outcast. Follow him as he exists on the border of natural existence and humanity.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Was he really made in God's Own Image?

What made the experience of listening to Child of God the most enjoyable?

The Reader's Voice.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Child of God?

The biggest, sickening impact for me was the way in which the young child was portrayed and the attitude of others, to him.

What does Tom Stechschulte bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

His voice and expression.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did listen to it all in one go. It is fairly short, but this wasn't born out of a disparate desire not to put it down, it was more chance timings.

Any additional comments?

It is a strange book, strange people, strange times.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mr
  • 24-08-17

A creepy cross section of a complete maniac.

Thoroughly enjoyed this book, although it's quite short. Very brutal scenes. Interesting look through the eyes of a deranged maniac. The man is something else.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

very good

Have a read it's worth it for a short read. I read it in one sitting and although it is not as violent as people make out it's still a good listen thanks to the narrator.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Good narrator but audio quality is quite poor

Poor audio quality made listening to this story quite unpleasant although the narrator is quite good.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Classic McCarthy

Dougie Although a short book this is classic Cormac McCarthy superbly narrated as his other books have been. Not the most pleasant of subject matters but gripping nonetheless Set in back water Tennessee and dealing with the dregs of life.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Strangely (grimly) gripping

An easier McCarthy novel to follow in terms of plot, you don't have to work super hard to follow what's going on. although the subject matter is grim, it's an engaging story, and as always, beautifully written.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

.everything you would expect from a CM book.

the narrator was simply fantastic... he brought the book to life. the story had me hooked from the start and didn't dissapoint.