"If only I could discover some crucial piece of information about the kid, my thinking went, then maybe I could finally figure out Blood Meridian and its disturbing grip on me." - Stephanie Reents
When I say journeying, again literally, she went to the archives of McCarthy's papers at Texas State University-San Marcos, where in her pursuit of information about the background of "the Kid", one of the main characters in the novel, she perused the papers for some of the drafts of the novel that McCarthy rejected or heavily edited. She continued on her journey to follow the trail of the Glanton Gang from the novel through the southwest. In addition to this tour of some of the actual sources for the novel she also commented on the narrative voice with particular reference to the ideas of James Wood in his book, How Fiction Works.
With a journey bracketed by questions about who "the Kid" from the novel may have really been, this work of criticism works on two primary levels: that of traditional literary criticism and that of the critic as literary detective on a road trip. Sometimes personal reminiscences interrupted the criticism, but on the whole the journey of reading the book was one that provided both some interesting ideas about McCarthy's literary style and a bit of enjoyment from the journey to the archives and beyond.