Set in our own time
along the bloody frontier between Texas and Mexico, this is Cormac McCarthy's
first novel since Cities of the Plain completed his acclaimed,
best-selling Border Trilogy.
Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, instead finds men shot
dead, a load of heroin, and more than $2 million in cash. Packing the money out,
he knows, will change everything. But only after two more men are murdered does
a victim's burning car lead Sheriff Bell to the carnage out in the desert, and
he soon realizes how desperately Moss and his young wife need protection. One
party in the failed transaction hires an exSpecial Forces officer to defend his
interests against a mesmerizing freelancer, while on either side are men
accustomed to spectacular violence and mayhem. The pursuit stretches up and down
and across the border, each participant seemingly determined to answer what one
asks another: how does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?
A harrowing story of a war that society is waging on itself, and an enduring
meditation on the ties of love and blood and duty that inform lives and shape
destinies, No Country for Old Men is a novel of extraordinary resonance
Most reviewers agree that No Country for Old Men is a "page-turner". They also agree that it's a simpler read than many of his previous books - but they disagree as to whether this is a good thing. The Washington Post reviewer feels that "McCarthy's language is stripped lean and mean here. In places, dialogue carries large sections of the story. His ear for speech, dialect and wordplay remains noteworthy in American letters. His descriptive passages are lucid and visual;" but the New York Times reviewer describes it as hokum and Library Journal conclude that it's a "made-for-television melodrama". Then again, Publishers Weekly conclude that it offers "a profound meditation on the battle between good and evil and the roles choice and chance plan in the shaping of a life", and Booklist gives it a starred review. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
The Washington Post - Jeffrey Lent
Rumor has it that this novel came to the publisher at around 600 pages. If that is the case, one can't help but wonder if a truly magnificent work was lost at the cost of pruning with an eye toward the marketplace.
The New York Times - Walter Kirn
Such sinister high hokum might be ridiculous if McCarthy didn't keep it moving faster than the reader can pause to think about it.
Library Journal - Edward B St. John
A made-for-television melodrama filled with guns and muscle cars, this will nonetheless be in demand
While the action of the novel thrills, it's the sensitivity and wisdom of Sheriff Bell that makes the book a profound meditation on the battle between good and evil and the roles choice and chance play in the shaping of a life.
Booklist - Allison Block
Starred Review. McCarthy fans will revel in the author's renderings of the raw landscapes of Mexico and the Southwest and the precarious souls scattered along the border that separates the two. Many are the men here who maim in the name of drugs. "If you killed 'em all," says the local sheriff, "they'd have to build an annex onto hell."
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by steedze life The three main characters are all so different, but stubborn in their own way. Whenever you feel tired of one character, the next paragraph will oblige and you will be hooked again. The coldness of the antagonist chills you but in a way you like.... Read More
Rated of 5
by Sue No Country for Old Men This book left me shaken, also. I now view locked doors as questionable (you need to read the book to figure out that comment!).
That there are people in existence who are so cold and single-minded as the no-named hired killer is frightening.
Rated of 5
by Kim Still not sure if how I feel about this one! I'm giving this book a 5/5 because it meets my criteria for a "good book": The characters are interesting & complex; the writing is excellent; the plot kept me (very) involved; and it's one that will stay with me for a long time. As the... Read More
Rated of 5
by Thea Beauty & Destruction The first page of this book will hook you, it is so beautifully written (as is the rest of the story). The story does leave you shaken. It is amazing that a story written so eloquently could be so brutal. You feel the brutality more so because... Read More
McCarthy was born in Rhode
Island in 1933 and spent most of
his childhood near Knoxville,
Tennessee. He served in the U.S.
Air Force and later studied at
the University of Tennessee. In
1976 he moved to El Paso, Texas,
where he lives today.
McCarthy's fiction parallels his
movement from the Southeast to
the Westthe first four novels
being set in Tennessee, and his later novels set in the Southwest and
Mexico. The Orchard Keeper
(1965) won the Faulkner Award
for a first novel; it was
followed by Outer Dark
(1968), Child of God
(1973), Suttree (1979),
Blood Meridian (1985),
All the Pretty Horses, which
won both the National Book
Critics Circle Award and the
National Book Award for fiction...
A brilliant excavation of an obscure piece of music history, Steve Earle's I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive is a ballad of regret and redemption, and of the ways in which we remake ourselves and our world through the smallest of miracles.
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