Blood Meridian (1985) by Cormac McCarthy
I did it. I finally FINALLY read Blood Meridian and whooo boy was it a trip.
Like any masterpiece, it conjured up in my mind images and references from a number of other literary works: its picaresque narrative structure made me think of Tom Jones and Don Quixote; the language itself was reminiscent of Faulkner; the descriptions of the bleak desert waste evoked the ending of McTeague.
I haven't read much criticism of the novel, but I'll say this for my own reading experience: I enjoyed the last third of the book more than the rest. Perhaps this is because the Kid returned, after having been coughed up once again into the desert following the deaths of the gang that had previously subsumed him. The Kid's encounters with the judge reminded me of the only other exposure I've had to McCarthy- namely, the film version of No Country for Old Men. Specifically, death/evil/fate in unswerving pursuit of its prey.
So. Nightmares? Check. Dazzled by the prose? Check. Gonna read ALL THE MCCARTHY now? That'd be a big ol' CHECK.