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 All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

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PostSubject: All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy   Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:43 am

This was the book, written after "Blood Meridian", that brought McCarthy a lot of attention. He won a literary prize for it (I can't think of just what right now), and it was made into a movie in 2000 starring Matt Damon. I never saw the movie, but I had heard it butchers the book (like that has never happened before Razz ).

"Pretty Horses" is a much more romanticized book than "Blood Meridian" (which was full-scale, incessant carnage), and his later books, "No Country For Old Men" and "The Road". It is also the first book of what is called The Border Trilogy, with the other two books being "The Crossing" and "Cities of the Plain". "Horses" involved a 17-year-old from Texas in the year 1949 named John Grady Cole who, after his mother sells the ranch he was looking forward to running, saddles up his horse and crosses over into Mexico with his friend Lacey Rawlins looking for the "cowboy life". The two meet up with a third young man, younger than themselves, riding a horse that does not seem to belong to him. It does not take long for trouble to ensue when the horse gets lost during a thunderstorm and the boy, named Jimmy Blevins, insists on taking it back from whoever now has possession of it.

Blevins separates from Cole and Rawlins, and the latter two soon find work breaking horses on a large ranch run by a wealthy man. Yet the Mexican owner's daughter soon comes on the scene, Cole falls in love with her, one thing leads to another...and daddy isn't happy. More trouble ensues. Soon Cole and Rawlins find themselves in a situation where they are fighting for their very lives, far from home.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love McCarthy's writing, and this book is no exception. McCarthy's narrative style is not for everyone's taste, but for me it is powerful and mesmerizing. While I don't think this book is quite on the same level as "No Country for Old Men" and "The Road", it is still an excellent read, not nearly as bloody and dismal as "Blood Meridian" but still quite powerful in its own way. For someone looking to introduce themselves to this author this is the book I would recommend.

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