Written in a few weeks, according to the writer, as a reprieve from the two novels on which he’s currently working (one of the two, a “long book” set in New Orleans, concerns a female protagonist, dead before the novel begins, of whom McCarthy told The Wall Street Journal, “I was planning on writing about a woman for 50 years. I will never be competent enough to do so, but at some point you have to try.”), The Counselor, directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) concerns a lawyer, played by Michael Fassbender, who, in his efforts to orchestrate the transportation of cocaine over the Texas-Mexico border, loses his shipment.
Or, as McCarthy describes it: “He’s a man who gets up one morning and decides to do something wrong. And that’s all it takes.”
This Tuesday, October 15, McCarthy’s original screenplay will be released in paperback by Vintage. This will be McCarthy’s first new title in stores since The Road in 2007, which became a bestseller before winning the Pulitzer Prize, coming out as a finalist for the National Book Award and making a dozen Best Of lists for the year.
When the book was selected by Oprah Winfrey for her Book Club, McCarthy sat with her for his first television interview (then 73 years old) and revealed that the book, considered by many to be either his masterpiece or a runner-up after 1985’s Blood Meridian, had been written in “a few weeks.”
Granted, “a few” could mean five, fifteen, fifty – but, whatever the pace, it surpasses his usual speed of working for two to seven years between books. It seems McCarthy’s enjoying the uncommon flash of late-life literary inspiration.