Friday, September 11, 2009

All the Pretty Horses

Cormac McCarthy
Vintage Books, 1993. 301 p. Fiction

If you've got a horse and a pistol it's all you need for adolescent adventure. In this western coming-of-age novel, sixteen-year-old John Grady Cole has both. Enlisting his cousin, the two boys leave the familiarity of their Texas ranch under the quietude of night and head south across the Mexican border to test their skills as cavalleiros. The boys are coarse and their language reflects this, but they live by a code of ethics the western cowboy has long been known for; a code that will be tried again and again as their journey progresses. And in the end they will find that living on their own, on the harsh edges of their known civilization, will force them into manhood almost before they are ready.

It’s a beautiful tale of heartbreaking survival. McCarthy’s writing has a stark, haunting quality--mirroring the Texas/Mexican landscape and you’ll come away with a melancholy that’s hard to shed.

Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction and other prestigious honors, this is the 1st in McCarthy’s Border Trilogy and one to add to the ‘New Classics’ list. With Frank Muller as narrator of the audio version, his superb rendering completes the experience.


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