All the Pretty Horses: Book 1 of The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy (EPUB)

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Ebook Info

  • Published: 2010
  • Number of pages: 330 pages
  • Format: EPUB
  • File Size: 1.76 MB
  • Authors: Cormac McCarthy

Description

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The first volume in the Border Trilogy, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The RoadAll the Pretty Horses is the tale of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen finds himself at the end of a long line of Texas ranchers, cut off from the only life he has ever imagined for himself. With two companions, he sets off for Mexico on a sometimes idyllic, sometimes comic journey to a place where dreams are paid for in blood.Look for Cormac McCarthy’s new novel, The Passenger, coming October ’22.

User’s Reviews

Reviews from Amazon users which were colected at the time this book was published on the website:

⭐Can’t wait to thread the next two. A longer more complicated book similar to the classic No Country For Old Men, but for a young man looking for his country.

⭐…or maybe that was the norm, back then, in 1949, and before. Now, all too often, “adolescence” seems to extend until the early `30’s. I had previously read, a couple of decades ago, two of McCarthy’s works,

⭐and

⭐. I was put-off by the seemingly gratuitous violence in the latter work, which made me reluctant to pursue any of his other works. A fellow Amazon reviewer gave me the push: “You know, the “Border Trilogy,” of which this is the first volume, is set `almost in our backyard.'” Admittedly, a somewhat spacious view of the American-Mexican borderlands. With that nudge, I decided to give McCarthy another try, and was not disappointed. To truly understand all the dialogue, it helps to have a Spanish dictionary nearby, for those not fluent in America’s second language (and growing!)John Grady Cole, 16 years old, figures his options at home have ended. His parents are divorced, his mother, an aspiring actress, still a youthful 36, and owner of the ranch that had been in the family since 1876, sells it and moves to California with her latest beau. His father is still on the ranch that he does not own, and which does not pay its own way. So, he and his cousin, 17-year old Lacey Rawlins set off for Mexico on horses, commencing a bit north of San Antonio. It is not the normal migratory route to seek ones fortune, as one of the Mexican characters says in the book: they are doing the reverse of most who cross the Rio Grande, which, way back then, had enough water in it that the horses had to swim.Adventures, well, they had a few. They are always living a bit, to a lot, outside the law. McCarthy did not forgo violence in this book either but somehow I felt it was in the right “proportions” to the story. And, after all, it’s not a

⭐sort of place. Tellingly, McCarthy says that a particular person was the first in multiple generations to make it over the age of 30. As immigrants of sorts, they initially drew to an inside straight, finding work “breaking” horses in, on a large hacienda. There is a very ill-star romance, and dollops of conflicts, of generations, and class, and yielding (or not) to parental authority. Their “white skin” usually gave them an edge up in some troubling circumstances, or, as McCarthy sardonically put it: “When they went down to the bunkhouse for dinner the vaqueros seemed to treat them with a certain deference but whether it was the deference accorded the accomplished or that accorded to mental defectives they were unsure.”There are numerous strong scenes in the book. One of my favorite was the meeting between the “senorita,” the great aunt of the young women that he loved, and Coles. She tells him her own history, a tumultuous one at that (which largely reflects the history of Mexico), and how she too once was “wayward” and rebellious, but now, in her 70’s, she knew those things were no longer possible. Another involved Coles with the judge, when he is back in Texas. Interspersed with these scenes is McCarthy beautiful descriptive prose of the desert landscape.My one concern was McCarthy’s attribution of numerous skills and talents to the 16-year old Coles: yes, a strong horseman, but also a reader, a chess player, and one who could hold his own with numerous individuals of a different class and nationality, often two to three times older than him. Certainly talents that not one in 10,000 modern youths have. A chief frame of reference was Eric Sevareid’s

⭐, his memoir of his 2,500 mile canoe trip from Minneapolis to York Factory on Hudson Bay, when he graduated from high school, in the 1930’s. Yes, it is possible to grab the “brass ring” of a big adventure in one’s youth, and grow up quickly.The plot is finely crafted, with numerous dramatic moments. Insights into the human condition, yet another version of same, rang true. I’ve already ordered volume II,

⭐. 5-stars for this one.

⭐Although not as difficult to read as Blood Meridian, I struggle with his choice to have all the Mexican Dialogue in Spanish. I googled away and made my way through it, but it seems to make the book somewhat elitist in my opinion. Still a good book, certain scenes and dialogs do show his genius.

⭐To say that Cormac McCarthy has a unique writing style would be a seriously gross understatement, bordering on defamatory untruth. To say that when he writes, he single handedly redefines (and improves) the English language, would be closer to the mark, and a much more worthy compliment to a man blessed with so much talent. Book one of the Border Trilogy – All The Pretty Horses – is at times hysterically funny, incredibly profound, relatively violent, moving (of course), and at times, tragic.Small parts of the book are incomprehensible, unless the reader knows native Mexican, but no large part of the story is lost or wasted on the reader who fails this particular general knowledge assessment. Two young boys (John Grady Cole and his BFF Master Lacey Rawlins) decide to leave the family land they were brought up on in search of the quintessential life for a cowboy. Along the way, they meet trouble in the shape of sixteen year old loner Blevins; trouble in the shape of a beautiful young woman looking for love; and trouble in the shape of said beautiful young woman’s very wealthy and very powerful father.Having said all of that, the story opens with a funeral. Cole’s grandfather has passed away before the story even commences, and the opening paragraph will tell the reader if they are destined to be McCarthy fans, or not. I was hooked with the opening sentence. And yes, I am a fan. This is not the first McCarthy book I have read, and I am happy to announce it wont be the last. Not by a long shot.There is beauty aplenty to be found in this book, too. You should not be surprised by that, but as an example, given the context of the story at this point (pages 72 and 73) makes this particular achievement even more remarkable. McCarthy begins here by talking about the rain, and thunder, and finishes the section off by discussing how a horse would interpret the sound of two humans retching (yes, I said, retching!) Truly brilliant stuff.So what happens to the story’s principle characters? Do Cole and Lacey ride off into the sunset, hand in hand with their respective girlfriends? McCarthy books aren’t that simple. There are lessons to be learnt here, not just for the characters in the story, but for the readers, too. Reading a book crafted by this truly great individual is like blessing yourself with a college degree, majoring in nothing less than art, beauty, love, loss, hurt, death and of course, life itself.The classic saying about life’s most important lesson being the journey, not the destination, can very much be applied to this book.I think, therefore I am.I read, therefore I live.Cormac McCarthy, may your books be remembered forever.

⭐The book moves at a slow pace, like a meandering horse, but it gives the reader time to take in the scenery, both of the landscape, lush to barren, and of the characters, themselves a range between lush and barren. There could not have been a definite ending, but the expert was satisfying nonetheless.

⭐Few books seem to live up to the hyped reviews published to promote them (professional reviews that is, rather than the more accurate assessment you’ll find from Amazon reviewers) – but All The Pretty Horses is one of them. Having experienced the power of McCarthy’s pared back prose in The Road, I was looking forward to this, and wasn’t disappointed.Not usually a fan of Western-style stories and settings, McCarthy really persuaded me otherwise with this spellbinding tale of the borderland world between Texas and Mexico – and the harsh lives led by the people who occupy this often bleak, forbidding but clearly beautiful landscape. It is no exaggeration to say that McCarthy really does transport you to the time and place. For large chunks of the book it was impossible not to feel part of the surroundings, such as was power of the storytelling.At its heart, this is an old fashioned boy falls in love with unattainable girl story, but McCarthy weaves magic into his unfolding story, giving the charaters an occasionally other-wordly feel. In stark contrast to the landscape, McCarthy also adds in considerable violence to his story, but this too demands to be read hungrily.There are benefits to reading this on Kindle – namely the ability to call up the dictionary to find meanings of the numerous Spanish/Mexican terms that McCarthy ladles into the text – I don’t think I would have enjoyed it quite as much without bothering to do this on several occasions, so this is a plus for the e-book version, which does occasionally contain some odd formatting it must be said.Overall, an absolute steal at under £2.00 (as at June 2014) – and I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates beautifully constructed writing that really brings out the mood of a place and time. Very like James Lee Burke at his best, and fans of his stories may well find McCarthy worth a try if coming to him for the first time. Looking forward to reading the rest of the Border Trilogy now, but the bar has been set very high indeed with this opening title.

⭐This book was not easy to read at the start- there is no use of speech marks and being a lazy reader I have become accustomed to the writer indicating to me when individuals are speaking to one another, rather than just thinking to themselves. A good friend of mine said it’s difficult because there is Spanish dialogue in parts. Another friend said it’s beautiful. They were both right. This is a beautiful and powerful story told in an ofttimes lyrical fashion that reminded me sometimes of the Bible. Now I don’t read the Bible much at all but there is a cadence to Biblical passages that McCarthy conjures up when he describes the landscape and sequences of events.This a sad story. One that reminds us of the poverty and destitution of Mexico alongside the telling of a Love story that is poignant and bears some comparison with Romeo and Juliet. Stick at this past the first 20 pages and you’ll be hooked I think. Terrific writing!

⭐I love horses and I love stories of the Old West so this novel – set in 1949 – was just perfect for me. John Grady Cole is 16 when his grandfather dies and his mother, who is estranged from his father, refuses to believe he is capable of running the ranch they live on. John leaves with his friend Lacey Rawlins and they set off for Mexico. On the way a runaway, an even younger wild boy, Jimmy, hooks up with them but they lose him en route. The two friends seem to fall on their feet when they are hired on a grand Mexican ranch and John’s natural talent with horses is quickly recognised. He speaks Spanish because he was partly raised by Spanish help at his Texan home. John falls in love with the entrancing daughter of the owners and she seems to reciprocate his love. Everything then goes horribly wrong when there are repercussions from previous actions of Jimmy.The writing is lyrical, it transports you to Mexico with the dust and sun, guns and lawless prisons, bulls and horses, always horses. There are many passages in Spanish, but even though there were parts I only guessed at, nothing could diminish my pleasure at discovering this book.

⭐I read this after enjoying No Country for Old Men, but found All the Pretty Horses hugely disappointing. The characters are unengaging, the story dull and the book is filled with rather uninteresting descriptive prose. It also lacks the intensity and power that lights up NCFOM. A real let down.

⭐Adventure, full-hearted love, revenge, the majestic wilderness, and of course horses: the western-movie staples are what moves this novel. Yet if All The Pretty Horses is a classic cowboy story, it is also that of a dying world, and all the more accessible to us that it is set in the post-war era.John Grady Cole, a young man of 16 years, leaves the country for Mexico together with his friend Lacey Rawlins, both on horseback, in search of a life that has become inaccessible to them in Texas. A cruel but romantic saga of tests and tribulations awaits them – which I won’t spoil by giving too much of it.The dialogues are suitably laconic. The characters are frank and unambiguous, except for one key exception. Nature is reserved the richer, more complex, and admiring language. While the novel begins at a slow pace, making the reader wonder whether this is really a back-to-the-wild story, the action later quickens to a satisfyingly gripping climax. One warning: a good part of the dialogue is in Spanish, untranslated; though this won’t throw you off the plot, if you don’t understand Spanish, it may get annoying.

Keywords

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No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (Epub)

In his blistering new novel, Cormac McCarthy returns to the Texas-Mexico border, setting of his famed Border Trilogy. The time is our own, when rustlers have given way to drug-runners and small towns have become free-fire zones. One day, a good old boy named Llewellyn Moss finds a pickup truck surrounded by a bodyguard of dead men. A load of heroin and two million dollars in cash are still in the back. When Moss takes the money, he sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence that not even the law–in the person of aging, disillusioned Sheriff Bell–can contain.As Moss tries to evade his pursuers–in particular a mysterious mastermind who flips coins for human lives–McCarthy simultaneously strips down the American crime novel and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible and as bloodily contemporary as this morning’s headlines. No Country for Old Men is a triumph.