Review Restaurants (and Other Stuff) Like Cormac McCarthy

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Yelping With Cormac

You’re looking for a place to eat in the Bay Area, perhaps something Tex Mex, or better still, Mexican. You drop the words “Mexican Food” into your browser, which perhaps summons this strange McSweeney’s-esque review of the Papalote Mexican Grill, located in San Francisco’s Mission District, typed up by someone named Cormac M:

Two stars

The young cowboy lies in the afternoon sun, gut shot. The bitter tang of cordite and blood mingles in his mouth. In his hand, a pearl handled revolver, still warm. He lies propped against the lone cottonwood. A mile distant, dust trails mark a coming reckoning. Three riders, maybe more.

His eyes shift upward to a circling vulture, a sentinel of inevitability. The blood is almost black. He has another hour at most. The pain comes in waves, lingering like the burn of bad whiskey. One bullet left in the Colt.

Something as yet unheralded has died when a quesadilla comes on a spinach tortilla.

Yep, it’s a blog by a Cormac McCarthy impersonator. The Internet: serious business!

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Okay, Salon’s Laura Miller, who tweeted this was brilliant, it’s almost doable up to the icky “sentinel of inevitability,” after which it reads more like Cormac McCarthy fan fiction. And the writing tends to bloat as you go, until you’re up to the blogger’s three-star The Cheesecake Factory eval with an opener like: “There were a variety of cakes and sweet things there. The desserts paraded by in their desperate decadence, at once a fading and colorless memory,” moving on to “A Tiramisu teetered like the oldest prostitute in a mining town, reeking of saccharine liqueur. The faint scent of virtue lost amid the hellish musk of ten thousand outrages.”

What we have here, folks, is someone aiming for Cormac McCarthy, but channeling R.A. Salvatore.

No, you won’t find the review on Yelp! proper (it would’ve been cooler if you could), and so I’m not sure I understand why the blog’s titled “Yelping With Cormac,” but then we’re not sure of a lot about the actual Pulitzer-winning American writer, so perhaps this blogger’s almost Lynch-ian (or would that be Pynchon-ian?) vibe is just par for the course. (via The New Yorker)

MORE: A conversation between author Cormac McCarthy and the Coen Brothers, about the new movie No Country for Old Men

Matt Peckham is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @mattpeckham or on Facebook. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.