I consider myself I fairly well-read person, so I am a little bit embarrassed to say that before today's selection, I had never read anything by Cormac McCarthy. I now intend on scouring the library for his many books.
The Sunset Limited is a novel in dramatic form, with only two characters: Black and White. White, a suicidal professor, is in the run-down apartment of Black, a former convict desperately trying to convince White of the presence of God and the value of life. Their discussion of faith, life, and God is written with such concise and beautiful language that I found myself re-reading passages every few pages. The ending left me speechless, so I'll give a few of my favorite lines instead of trying to comment on them:
BLACK: I ain't a doubter. But I am a questioner.
WHITE: What's the difference?
BLACK: Well, I think the questioner wants the truth. The doubter wants to be told there ain't no such thing.
Another passage, just because I couldn't pick just one:
BLACK: If this ain't the life you had in mind, what was?
WHITE: I don't know. Not this. Is your life the one you'd planned?
BLACK: No, it ain't. I got what I needed instead of what I wanted and that's just about the best kind of luck you can have.
The Sunset Limited has found itself amongst my favorite plays on life, death, and God. Personally, I think The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis should be required reading for anyone who has ever questioned life or free will. Also, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (another trial play; I'm obsessed) is a fabulous example of people acting on their convictions.