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Child of God is a taut, chilling novel that plumbs the depths of human degradation. Falsely accused of rape, Lester Ballard--a violent, dispossessed man who haunts the hill country of East Tennessee--is released from jail and allowed to roam at will, preying on the population with his strange lusts. A trip to the dry-goods store, an errand to the blacksmith, a bartering session at the general store are all transformed into stunning scenes of the comic and grotesque. As the story hurtles toward its unforgettable conclusion, McCarthy depicts the most sordid aspects of life with dignity, humor, and characteristic lyrical brilliance.