Read all the pretty horses by Cormac McCarthy Online


Alternate cover for ISBN 0679744398All the Pretty Horses- the first volume of the Border Trilogy- tells of the young John Grady Cole, the last of a long line of Texas ranchers. Across the border Mexico beckons- beautiful and desolate, rugged and cruelly civilized. With two companions, he sets off on an idyllic, sometimes comic adventure, to a place where dreams are paid foAlternate cover for ISBN 0679744398All the Pretty Horses- the first volume of the Border Trilogy- tells of the young John Grady Cole, the last of a long line of Texas ranchers. Across the border Mexico beckons- beautiful and desolate, rugged and cruelly civilized. With two companions, he sets off on an idyllic, sometimes comic adventure, to a place where dreams are paid for in blood....

Title : all the pretty horses
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ISBN : 17376982
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 302 Pages
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all the pretty horses Reviews

  • Kemper
    2019-03-16 23:12

    All the Pretty Horses isn’t quite as grim as other Cormac McCarthy work that I’ve read but considering that this includes The Road, Blood Meridian, No Country For Old Men and watching the HBO adaptation of his play The Sunset Limited, it's still so bleak that your average person will be depressed enough to be checked into a mental ward and put on suicide watch after finishing it.John Grady Cole is a sixteen year old cowboy in Texas a few years after World War II who was raised on his grandfather’s ranch after his parents split up. After his grandfather dies, the ranch is being sold off. With no where else to go, John and his best friend Lacey Rawlins ride off for Mexico. Along the way they hook up with a runaway kid who is nothing but bad news. After getting work on a large ranch, John catches the owner’s eye with his skill working with horses, but after being promoted, John falls in love with the owner’s daughter which leads to trouble for him and Rawlins.I guess you could say that this is a tragic romance or a coming-of-age story, but that’s like comparing The Road to the The Road Warrior. Or saying that Blood Meridian is just a western. Or calling No Country For Old Men a simple crime story. There’s a lot more going on than just a couple of kids running off to play cowboy. John and Rawlins get their eyes harshly opened to just how cruel and unforgiving the world can be and that pleasures like young love can’t possibly hope to endure in the face of that.As usual, McCarthy's views on life and death and good and evil won’t leave any sane person skipping down the street while whistling and looking for rainbows, but he’s so skilled that even his grim outlook has a kind of dark beauty to it.

  • Joe Valdez
    2019-03-10 22:22

    My introduction to the fiction of Pulitzer Prize winner and Oprah Winfrey fan Cormac McCarthy is All the Pretty Horses, the first novel in McCarthy's so-called Border Trilogy, published in 1992. Westerns set in the post World War II country between Texas and Mexico, the trilogy continued with The Crossing and Cities of the Plain. The first seventy-five percent of this brooding, terse and darkly mesmerizing ranching tale is glorious, towering over the intersection of storytelling and language. The last twenty-five percent grows loquacious and protracted, breaking the fever and bringing the novel up short of being one of the best I've read, but it gets close.San Angelo, Texas in 1949. Sixteen-year-old John Grady Cole has grown up working his patriarchal grandfather's ranch in Tom Green County, raised by Luisa, the Cole ranch's cook, after his theatrical actress mother left him at six months and his gambler father put in only fleeting appearances. When John Grady's grandfather dies, the ranch is passed to his mother, who makes clear her intention to sell it. Taciturn, hard working and fluent in Spanish, with some money saved and an exceptionally keen eye for horses, John Grady receives sympathies from the family attorney and a brand new Hamley Formfitter saddle from his father. He knows he's on his own now.John Grady lights out for old Mexico to find work. Along for the journey is his loyal, pragmatic seventeen-year-old friend Lacey Rawlins, who despite speaking considerably less Spanish than John Grady does speak more English, pondering the afterlife and singing on the ride down. Stopping for breakfast in Pandale on their way toward the Pecos River, the pair realize they're being followed. They confront a thirteen-year-old kid astride a magnificent horse who offers the name Jimmy Blevins. The kid claims to be sixteen and is clearly on the run. He has no money, no food and despite giving Rawlins several occasions to abandon him once they cross into Mexico, John Grady is unable or unwilling to.When they got back to the cottonwoods Blevins was gone. Rawlins sat looking over the barren dusty countryside. He reached in his pocket for his tobacco.I'm goin to tell you somethin, cousin.John Grady leaned and spat. All right.Ever dumb thing I ever done in my life there was a decision I made before that got me into it. It was never the dumb thing. It was always some choice I'd made before it. You understand what I'm sayin?Yeah. I think so. Meanin what?Meanin this is it. This is our last chance. Right now. This is the time and there won't be another time and I guarantee it.Meanin just leave him?Yessir.What if it was you?It aint me.What if it was?Rawlins twisted the cigarette into the corner of his mouth and plucked a match from his pocket and popped it alight with his thumbnail. He looked at John Grady.I wouldnt leave you and you wouldnt leave me. That aint no argument.You realize the fix he's in?Yeah. I realize it. It's the one he put hisself in.They sat. Rawlins smoked. John Grady crossed his hands on the pommel of his saddle and sat looking at them. After a while he raised his head.I cant do it, he said.Okay.What does that mean?It means okay. If you cant you cant. I think I knew what you'd say anyways.Yeah, well. I didnt.Blevins is fatally undone by a thunderstorm, babbling that his family tree attracts lightning. The boy strips naked and cowers in a ravine, losing his horse, his pistol and his clothes in a flash flood. John Grady still refuses to abandon the kid, until they ride into a Mexican village and find old Blevins' pistol and horse under new ownership. Offering to help Blevins get his property back, the kid takes matters into his own hands. Shots are fired and though Blevins finally goes his own way, drawing the posse away from John Grady and Rawlins, the two cowboys are certain that they haven't seen the last of old Blevins.John Grady and Rawlins continue on their three hundred kilometer trek through the state of Coahuila, where just over the Sierra del Carmen, the Mexicans tell of ranches that make John Grady think of the Big Rock County Mountains, lakes and runnin water and grass to the stirrups. They arrive at the Hacienda de Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Concepcion (La Purisima), an 11,000 acre ranch watered with natural springs and filled with shallow lakes, except in the western sections which rise to nine thousand feet. The vaqueros recognize John Grady and Rawlins as cowboys by the way the Americans sit in their saddles. Drawing closer to La Purisima, John Grady is fatally undone by the sight of a seventeen-year-old girl riding past them atop a black Arabian saddlehorse. The ranch belongs to Don Hector Rocha y Villareal, whose family has held the land for one hundred and seventy years. Don Hector runs a thousand head of cattle and loves horses, trapping wild ones that roam in the higher elevations. When sixteen wild horses are brought down, John Grady proposes to Rawlins that they break all of the beasts in over four days. Their workshop draws a hundred spectators and culminates in resounding success. John Grady is invited by Don Hector to his home, which he shares with his daughter's great aunt Alfonsa and at times, his passionate seventeen-year-old daughter, Alejandra. At a dance in La Vega, John Grady and Alejandra linger out of the saddle.At the band's intermission they made their way to the refreshment stand and he bought two lemonades in paper cones and they went out and walked in the night air. They walked along the road and there were other couples in the road and they passed and wished them a good evening. The air was cool and it smelled of earth and perfume and horses. She took his arm and she laughed and called him a mojado-reverso, so rare a creature and one to be treasured. He told her about his life. How his grandfather was dead and the ranch sold. They sat on a low concrete watertrough and with her shoes in her lap and her naked feet crossed in the dust she drew patterns in the dark water with her finger. She'd been away at school for three years. Her mother lived in Mexico and she went to her house on Sundays for dinner and sometimes she and her mother would dine alone in the city and go to the theatre or the ballet. Her mother thought that life on the hacienda was lonely and yet living in the city she seemed to have few friends.She becomes angry with me because I always want to come here. She says that I prefer my father to her.Do you?She nodded. Yes. But that is not why I come. Anyway, she says I will change my mind.About coming here?About everything.Cormac McCarthy can write like no other author. His facility with prose and dialogue reminded me of Stevie Ray Vaughan picking up a guitar and jamming. McCarthy is an innovator and Parts I, II and III of four were like hearing Stevie Ray jam "Love Struck Baby" on the radio for the first time. I loved the way the novel parsed out information, with McCarthy substituting descriptions and histories with impressions and hints, much the way a West Texan would if pressed for information. His dialogue is often witty and retains a well earned pathos, while the very nature of the story is adventurous and fraught with tension. In Part IV, the taut control that McCarthy maintained up to that point is surrendered for self-indugence. Alfonsa, an intriguing character who is neither evil nor good, talks, and tells, and talks some more about her history and why she cannot allow her niece and John Grady to be together. I started skipping paragraphs, then pages. I knew the love affair was doomed, but characters talking about it contradicts everything McCarthy built up to that point in the novel. John Grady's flight from Mexico and his quest to find his horse before doing so goes on and on. With neither Rawlins, Alejandra or Blevins around to play off Grady, including in the early go, the novel mumbles to itself.There is no denying the vision and storytelling breadth of three-fourths of the book. I wanted to be on that ride with John Grady and Rawlins, for better or for worse. Columbia Pictures did too. In 1996, the studio offered the directing job to Billy Bob Thornton, at the height of his filmmaking prestige for the low budget southern gothic Sling Blade. Thornton wasn't familiar with the novel, but loved westerns, and with Matt Damon and Penelope Cruz in the leads, turned in a rough cut that clocked in at 220 minutes and tested disastrously. A Cliff Notes version of 115 minutes was released in December 2000 and ignored by audiences. Thornton didn't direct again for twelve years.

  • Martine
    2019-03-09 17:28

    I seldom abandon books after reading just a couple of pages, but in this case I had no choice. Two pages into the book I was so annoyed by McCarthy's random use of apostrophes and near-total lack of commas that I felt I had better stop reading to prevent an aneurysm. I'm sure McCarthy is a great storyteller, but unless someone convinces me he has found a competent proof-reader who is not afraid to add some four thousand commas to each of his books, I'll never read another line he's written. I can only tolerate so many crimes against grammar and punctuation.

  • Jason Koivu
    2019-03-14 17:12

    This western of new antiquity flows with a horse's grace and bursts into furious and powerful charges. McCarthy's pen grazes upon lush words. His verbs gallop, his adjectives whinny and snort. There is a subdued, wild loneliness. The populous within the pages wander like herds or rally in a tense, motionless pack ready to pounce, while mere boys -more man than most- wander through them ready for love, ready for death.These characters breath and sweat and bleed. The reader comes to know the true color of their blood. It flows down their filthy boots into a landscape vivid with an encompassing spectrum not seen in The Road. Here, the travelers cross the land and the land touches their painfully real feet, and from there a current spreads out, electrifying the hardscrabble Mexican countryside. Kick the dust and sand off these words. Dig in and glory in their life-giving beauty.Review Appendix: There's a band I've recently come across who write the kind of music that would make for a wonderful soundtrack to McCarthy's Border Trilogy. The Division Men (a husband and wife duo) play a music that sounds like Leonard Cohen lost in the desert. Take a listen: to the whole album Under The Gun here:

  • Paul Bryant
    2019-02-25 21:14

    AMERICA'S GOT TALENTA large auditorium. The audience is abuzz with low-quality hysteria. Who’s up next? A glowering old man stands on the vast stage. He’s got a guitar and one of those neck-brace harmonica things and he looks mortally offended. He always looks like that though.Simon: And what’s your name?Man : Cormac McCarthy.Simon : Where are you from? CM : Rhode Island.LA Reid : Would you say you had a philosophy of life?CM : There's no such thing as life without bloodshed. I think the notion that the species can be improved in some way, that everyone could live in harmony, is a really dangerous idea. Those who are afflicted with this notion are the first ones to give up their souls, their freedom. Your desire that it be that way will enslave you and make your life vacuous.Cheryl Cole : Awa, tha wez canny good but Ah think it wez above me heed.Paula Abdul : What are you going to do for us, Cormac?CM : It’s called “All the Pretty Horses”.Simon : Okay, in your own time.CM performs “All the Pretty Horses”. Shots of 14 year old girls in the audience looking bewildered. Every time CM mentions violent death the boys whoop and cheer.Simon : Er, okay, we’ll go straight to the vote. Cheryl?CC : When Ah wis a bairn Ah used te gan te Sunday school - yon bonny lad soonds jes like yon Bible but wi cooboys. Wis there any cooboys in the Bible Simon?Simon : Is that a yes or a no?CC : Well… It’s sort of a yes…Simon : Paula?Paula : I’m so grateful that ordeal is over. I’m too old for this crap.Simon : So that’s a no.LA Reid : I have to say – Cormac – did you have any idea how much you were getting on our nerves? Was it necessary to start every single sentence with for, and, yet, so – it was conjunction city. So here's another short word for you. It’s a no.Simon : Well (with a superior smile which one sweet day someone will knock off his face) I liked it. It was different. Admittedly you lost about two thirds of the audience after chapter three but that doesn’t have to be a disaster. I think you’ve really got something. Look, Cormac, I don’t really think the X Factor is the proper venue for your kind of talent. You know you have to have three votes out of four to pass the audition process but in your case I’m going to say see me after the show. I think we could work something out.

  • Bram
    2019-03-05 23:20

    Despite my great love for The Road, I’d argue that my enjoyment of All the Pretty Horses was far from predetermined. To begin with, I’ve recently been made aware (in discussions with fellow Goodreaders) that I’ve never seen a single Clint Eastwood movie or even a non-Clint Eastwood Western. And although I grew up in the South (sort of), I’m now an East Coast city guy who’s never even gone camping if you don’t count that college freshman orientation trip. Not only do I know jack-shit about horses and their care, but my allergies (basically the entire animal kingdom is off limits) will see to it that I never will. And as this book's title suggests, there’s quite a lot of horse information here (as well as impassioned equine eulogizing), complete with the usual Cormac McCarthy super-detailed passages. It’s this healthy inclusion of mundane detail that readers sometimes complain about, but for us greenhorns who can barely recognize a fully-dressed cowboy, it allows for a full immersion into mid-century Texas and Mexico that’s not only believable, but undeniably real. Don’t let the character accents (sorry Texans!) and punctuation paucity fool you; this guy knows his shit and you will believe him. Except maybe when it comes to romance.Oh, Cormac. The Alejandra and John Grady Cole relationship reads like a Hollywood movie where the producer came in demanding massive cuts in the middle, leaving us without all the get-to-know-you stuff between the character introduction and the sex--i.e. the stuff that makes you ultimately care about and believe in the couple. And their first contact is pure Hollywood love-at-first-sight cheese. It goes something like this: “he saw her and he knew his life would never be the same” or “he saw her and he knew that he’d found the woman of his dreams” (I’ll look up the exact quote later). How forgiving you are of this type of thing probably depends on how much you enjoy the story arc as a whole and how well you suspend disbelief generally. It’s not that the relationship itself is unbelievable; it’s just that McCarthy doesn’t really take the time to develop it. But by being responsible for JGC’s motivations, Alejandra functions as the ultimate plot-driver, the one whose existence gets JGC into Big Trouble and is therefore responsible for many of his gripping Mexican adventures. And as I’ve suggested somewhat obviously before, forbidden love is a good topic for compelling (or at least high-selling) fiction, even if it's not done particularly well. Despite some romantic shortcomings, McCarthy has once again won me over with his treatment of morality. Like in The Road, he examines situations where it’d be easy to do something short of the (most) right thing. (Minor, vague spoilers to follow). Along with Alejandra, a side character named Jimmy Blevins exists mainly to get our hero in trouble. He’s also there to show us that our hero is the fucking man. Blevins is a 13 year-old kid that tags along with JGC and his buddy Rawlins on their trip down to Mexico. He wasn’t invited, he’s a pain in the ass, and he screws them over in big and little ways. And JGC and Rawlins are provided plenty of opportunities to move on without him, to leave him with what he deserves, to quit him after giving him every opportunity to be something less than a pain in the ass. But JGC sticks his neck out for Blevins especially when he deserves the opposite. When it’s portrayed well, this kind of grace-full sacrifice gets me good. And McCarthy knows how to do it well. While I was initially skeptical of McCarthy’s prose style and punctuation liberties, I’ve come to greatly enjoy both since becoming convinced that they (mostly) serve to enhance the storytelling impact. At one point I came across a passage that I was sure I’d read before, but whence I couldn’t remember. And then it hit me—it was from B.R. Myers’s (in)famous essay, A Reader’s Manifesto, which basically laments the state of modern, critically-praised literary fiction. And at the time, since I hadn’t read any of the authors he was quoting and denigrating, I thought that Myers really had a point. Because taken as a standalone quotation, this sentence really does look ridiculous: While inside the vaulting of the ribs between his knees the darkly meated heart pumped of who's will and the blood pulsed and the bowels shifted in their massive blue convolutions of who's will and the stout thighbones and knee and cannon and the tendons like flaxen hawsers that drew and flexed and drew and flexed at their articulations of who's will all sheathed and muffled in the flesh and the hooves that stove wells in the morning groundmist and the head turning side to side and the great slavering keyboard of his teeth and the hot globes of his eyes where the world burned.However, when read in context (and I’m not talking about the context of the entire book, but rather just considering the few preceding sentences), the description is not only lucid, but the breathlessly odd rendering of the in-action horse mirrors the emotional, animal upheaval within JGC's own innards, infusing the passage with implicit and potent meaning. But Myers, preying on those who are either unfamiliar with the work or who’ve understandably forgotten this short atypical part, goes for the jugular with what amounts to an ad hominem attack re McCarthy’s intent: The obscurity of who's will, which has an unfortunate Dr. Seussian ring to it, is meant to bully readers into thinking that the author's mind operates on a plane higher than their own—a plane where it isn't ridiculous to eulogize the shifts in a horse's bowels.Whether Myers was genuinely confused about the “who” in question is unknowable, but his suggestion regarding McCarthy’s intent is malicious (and laughable). Furthermore, I suspect that many powerful passages—ones designed to reach an emotional peak (without the constraints of Standard Written English) rather than to achieve a straightforward communication of information—would look rather silly out of context, even (or perhaps especially) those written by the High Modernists who remain unsullied by Myers. Unorthodox sentences can be highly effective in context, and McCarthy shows great sensitivity in deciding when to unleash the fireworks and when to leave things plain and simple. Myers also complains about the level of detail, particularly when it comes to the mundane: But novels tolerate epic language only in moderation. To record with the same somber majesty every aspect of a cowboy's life, from a knife fight to his lunchtime burrito, is to create what can only be described as kitsch.It is precisely this style, however, that sets McCarthy apart as a conjurer of another place and another time that feel lived in by human beings who don’t just shoot guns, chase women, and ride horses, but who also wash clothes, get hungover, cook food, and complete other boring, everyday tasks. In spite of all the mundane events that McCarthy chronicles, I can’t put his books down because of the unique way he describes these things; because of the way he records events with that “somber majesty” scorned by Myers. And while, like Myers, I can also find a few things to criticize in All the Pretty Horses (in addition to the romance), this nitpicking would seriously misconstrue my enjoyment of the book. I inhaled it. As with The Road, McCarthy creates a world that’s not only compelling, but inescapable. You’re in there and the only way out is to get to the next page and then the next, the next, the next. Whatever he’s doing, it works, and Myers’s deconstruction only makes sense if you’re not having a great time. And that’s what All the Pretty Horses is foremost; a great time.

  • Lyn
    2019-02-22 01:36

    Cormac McCarthy, in his 1992 novel, (which begins his Border Trilogy) has again conjured up dark and somber images of the verges of human civilization both literally and metaphorically in Mexico.John Grady Cole and his friend leave 1949 Texas and cross the border into Mexico and in some respects goes back in time as the tone and setting could be a hundred years earlier. Cole works on a horse ranch and then because of his skill with horses is invited into the ranch house where he begins a prohibited romance with the rancher’s daughter Alejandra.McCarthy’s prose is lean and muscular and is reminiscent of the stripped down to fighting weight language of Hemingway. The setting of the young men traveling into an idyllic setting, though written simply and plainly, is evocative of a mystical quest tale.But this is after all Cormac McCarthy, creator of The Judge and Anton Chigurh, and so violence and darkness of the human soul are examined in minute detail. Compared to these other McCarthy stories, All the Pretty Horses is not as forbidding, and this more optimistic perspective (relatively speaking), makes for a good story, with McCarthy demonstrating how Cole represents a dying epoch, a lost ideal.There is a way that everyone knows where a young woman can be the center of attention, but more subtle and more powerful is a way that an older woman can demand, grasp and take our notice. A woman who has been a girl, a daughter, a lover a mother, a wife, a grandmother and a widow whose beauty is blurred only as in an imperfect mirror and who knows all the spectrum of life better than anyone. There is a way that this woman can take the stage, if only in a supporting role, with but a few lines, who can steal not just the scene, but the whole show. Some will think of Olympia Dukakis in Moonstruck or Meryl Streep in August, but I think of Geraldine Page in The Pope of Greenwich Village. This woman who knows life, whose eyes have seen it all, speaks and we all listen.In this way Alejandra’s great aunt Alfonsa, and especially her dialogue with John Grady, is the character in this excellent novel that I will remember the most. McCarthy, who has created and crafted so many memorial players, has again in Alfonsa produced a character that will stay with us after the last page is turned.One of the better works of one of our most talented writers.

  • yana
    2019-03-02 19:29

    i boycotted this book for years because of the title... it sounded too girly, and i had no desire to read a book about horses, much less pretty ones. this was despite the fact that it had been first strongly recommended to me by an amazing high school english teacher who always had impeccable tastes in literature. man did i have no idea what i was missing due to my snobbish snubbery. luckily my dear friends janae and kristine mailed me a copy while i was living in Poland, in a giant birthday box full of top-notch used books, and i finally decided to give it a chance one cold february day when i was home sick and delirious with a 104 degree fever in the middle of the bleak polish winter. it sounds cliche but i truly think i didnt put it down from the moment i picked it up. page one pretty much tore down all my pre-conceptions about what a book could be like whose title contained the word "pretty." Cormac McCarthy's writing is very Man-ly, with a capital M - this aint no pretty girl book. But at the same time as being incredibly Man-ly, it is unbelievably lyrical and beautiful. There were sentences that literally pained me with their beauty. The situations he describes are dark, bleak, often hopeless, yet he's able to extract gorgeousness from them and often completely knocks you down with waves of emotion. One of his greatest strengths is his ability to capture very real, raw dialogue, dialogue that never for a moment sounds like a movie script, but rather perfectly captures the minimalist grunting of men of few words. And like a fine japanese filmmaker, he captures the pauses amid the dialogue just as well. His writing reminds me most of Willam Faulkner - he'll intersperse breathless run-on sentences that take up an entire page with chapters containing a single line, and although his style mostly isnt much like Hemingway's, he does have a similar way of throwing in spanish sentences without translation - so those who dont speak the language must just assume the meaning from the context, and those who do can float almost effortlessly between the spanish and english sentences without second thought. it's one of those books that makes you want to get inside the author's head (i had a similar feeling when i read the Sound and the Fury) - who is this man? where do his thoughts come from? is this how he thinks all the time? are all this thoughts this perfectly worded and beautiful? does he have a keen understanding of the world and its minute details that the rest of us dont?My last raving comment is that i was so affected by this book, the first in a trilogy, that i immediately set out by train to the nearest larger town to find the second installment in an english-language bookstore, and immediately devoured it once i found it, (finding it even bleaker and more depressing, if possible, yet also even more beautiful and enjoyable to read than the first), and then had someone in the States send me the third and final volume, but i was so taken by the first two, that i couldnt read the third book, being unable to accept the idea of the trilogy being over. never mind the fact that mccarthy has dozens of other books i could then enjoy - it seemed important that i save the last installment, for such a moment when i really needed to read something amazing. it gave me comfort to know that another book like these first two was out there waiting for me in the world, unread. Eight years have passed and i still havent read it. my great pleasure at this point is that once i do decide to finally read it, it's been long enough since i read the first two that really i should read them again to refresh my memory - so i'm excited to experience them all over again. but its possible i'll just never read the third, despite my intense curiosity (since in it the paths of the lead characters of the first and second finally cross). but i just like knowing it's out there, still waiting to be read.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-02-16 17:29

    All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1), Cormac McCarthyعنوان: همه اسبهای زیبا؛ نویسنده: کورمک مکارتی؛ مترجم: کاوه میرعباسی؛ تهران، نیکا، 1390، در 416 ص؛ شابک: 9786005906448؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - قرن 20 مجان گردی کول و لیسی رائولینز، که نمی‌توانند رویاهای ماجراجویانه‌ شان را در آمریکای پس از جنگ جهانی دوم واقعیت ببخشند، تکزاس را ترک می‌کنند و به سمت مکزیک می‌تازند. این دو نوجوان در آرزوی جشن مدام در دل طبیعتی دست نخورده به دوردست می‌روند. اما این سفر پرامید، که می‌بایست درس زندگی و تجربه به آنان بیاموزند، به کابوسی دوزخی بدل می‌شود...؛ا. شربیانی

  • Julie Christine
    2019-03-01 01:25

    By all accounts, I shouldn't like Cormac McCarthy's novels. I have little patience for stylized prose. Violent imagery sends me over the edge. Books set in the American West or South are not my first—or even fourth—choice, as a general rule. But I'm helpless under McCarthy's pen. All the Pretty Horses is McCarthy's most accessible novel and I'm glad I didn't start here, because anything which followed would have been an horrific shock. In contrast to his other works that seem to roll out in fugue states or unravel like dreams in which you are falling falling falling, novels that feature violence so absolute you are left hollowed out and irrevocably altered, All the Pretty Horses is a baptism in hope. The sharp edges of the story's existentialism are softened by a classic buddy tale—the achingly lovely friendship between John Grady Cole and Lacey Rawlins, given a sepia patina by John Grady and Alejandra's romance, and can even be ignored entirely when Cole is practicing his horse whisperer magic on a wild pack brought down from the hills of northeast Mexico. John Grady and Rawlins are only sixteen when they take off on horseback from west central Texas and cross the border, lured by the romance of Mexico. And one of them is searching for something deeper than adventure. The rapid pace of cultural change as the 1950s approaches is becoming too much for an old soul like young John Grady Cole. His parents have divorced, his father is drinking himself to death, his mother is selling off the family farm. John Grady is searching for home.John Grady and Rawlins indeed find adventure, becoming ranch hands at an estate in Coahuila. Cole shows his quality and is soon promoted to trainer and horse breeder. They also find a mountain of trouble. John Grady tumbles into star-crossed love with Alejandra, the estate owner's bewitching daughter, and well, you just have the read the rest your damn self. See how easy that was? A romantic premise made for a curl-up-and-sink-in reading, all atmospheric with velvet-black skies pricked by stars made of diamonds, and beautiful girls with green eyes and flowing black hair, and cowboys that in my mind look like very young and gorgeous Robert Redford and Paul Newman. Ah, but remember, this is Cormac McCarthy we're talking about here. Nothing is that simple in McCarthy's world. And rarely is writing ever as good as his:"In his sleep he could hear the horses stepping among the rocks and he could hear them drink from the shallow pools in the dark where the rocks lay smooth and rectilinear as the stones of ancient ruins and the water from their muzzles dripped and rang like water dripping in a well and in his sleep he dreamt of horses and the horses in his dream moved gravely among the tilted stones like horses come upon an antique site where some ordering of the world had failed and if anything had been written on the stones the weathers had taken it away again and the horses were wary and moved with great circumspection carrying in their blood as they did the recollection of this and other places where horses once had been and would be again. Finally what he saw in his dream was that the order in the horse's heart was more durable for it was written in a place where no rain could erase it."Jesus H. Christ. It's so good, it's ridiculous. Maybe you've already determined that McCarthy's writing isn't for you-the whole lack of punctuation and all that. Fine. Whatever. What I hear is music, music created by nature, ordained by a higher power, released into the atmosphere by one man's imagination. All the Pretty Horses made me a little less afraid of Cormac McCarthy, less uncertain of the soul that lives within him. I know from reading The Road that he is a writer of tremendous empathy and vulnerability, but this lovely, sad, sweet tale showed a sense of humor and a tenderness that I hope to find again, the next time I venture into one of Cormac McCarthy's worldsThey rode out along the fence line and across the open pastureland. The leather creaked in the morning cold. They pushed the horses into a lope. The lights fell away behind them. They rode out on the high prairie where they slowed the horses to a walk and the stars swarmed around them out of the blackness. They heard somewhere in that tenantless night a bell that tolled and ceased where no bell was and they rode out on the round dais of the earth which alone was dark and no light to it and which carried their figures and bore them up into the swarming stars so that they rode not under but among them and they rode at once jaunty and circumspect, like thieves newly loosed in that dark electric, like young thieves in a glowing orchard, loosely jacketed against the cold and ten thousand worlds for the choosing'.

  • Libby Cone
    2019-03-10 19:22

    A young hired hand is warned against getting close to the beautiful, haughty daughter of his ranchowner employer, but her haunting beauty zzzzzzzzzz.........

  • Duane
    2019-03-19 23:15

    My first Cormac McCarthy book and not what I expected, better in fact. Excellent writing as one would expect from this acclaimed writer. It's the story of three young men, teenagers actually, not happy with their lives in 1949 Texas, so they decide to strike out for Mexico. What they find is a landscape, a culture, and a social system far different than what they left behind. There is a starkness to this novel, combined with a romanticism that McCarthy molds perfectly into the story and the characters.4+ starsUpdate: I have now also read The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Very good but totally different feel than this one.

  • Maxwell
    2019-03-02 19:36

    I find Cormac McCarthy's writing to be intimidating at the start of each novel but quickly find myself falling into its rhythm and cadence. There's a strong musicality to his writing, like the beat of a horse's hooves. His descriptions are vivid even in their bleakness, but this story is much more romantic than I expected. It's still a bit gruesome at times but has a romantic sensibility that makes this story feel like a classic, that of a lovestruck young man, his loyal companion, and his forbidden love. I really enjoyed this more than I expected and I hope to get to the next two novels in this series sooner rather than later.

  • Patrick Reinken
    2019-03-04 19:10

    I gave some thought to doing a “two-sentences-and-one-word” review of Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses – winner of the National Book Award – but I decided not to. Don’t get me wrong, it could be done that way. It’s just that I didn’t think I could do it justice that way.The reason for that isn’t the characters. They are few, and they are finely drawn.It’s also not the story. That’s stripped down to some classic essentials.In 1949, following the death of his cattle rancher grandfather, and in the face of the pending sale of the ranch, sixteen-year-old John Grady Cole decides to leave for Mexico with his friend Lacey Rawlins. They’re giving up on the post-war, modernizing America, in favor of the cowboy life south of the Rio Grande. Along the way, they meet Jimmy Blevins, a boy of perhaps thirteen, who’s riding one of the finest horses John Grady’s ever seen. The boys travel together, surrounded by the stark beauty of Mexico. Until, that is, the thunderstorm.Maintaining that getting struck by lightning “runs in the family,” Blevins tries to outrun the storm but loses the horse and his pistol in the process. The rest of the book is filled with attempts to regain Blevins’s items, bandits and prisons, work on a cattle ranch where John Grady and Rawlins break horses, and key involvements with a beautiful girl and her protective and traditional family. Along the way, McCarthy blends in his characteristically beautiful tragedy and despair and violence.Again, the story’s fine, right?So the reason I couldn’t limit any review to two sentences and a word is, simply put, McCarthy’s writing in telling his fine tale.All the Pretty Horses can be labeled with many literary terms. Its coming-of-age elements make it a Bildungsroman. Its deeply-realized natural wonders, interwoven elements of mystical and godlike grandeur, and rejection of modernism and industrialized life in favor of a more basic and emotional existence all point to the Romanticism of the late 18th and early 19th century.But the term that most defines this Romantic coming-of-age story is “polysyndetic.” More than he writes it, McCarthy paints All the Pretty Horses through polysyndeton – a stylistic emphasis on the rhythm and timing of words that's achieved through extensive use of conjunctions and, in McCarthy’s case, a comparative refusal to stick to traditional punctuation. It can be hard on the eyes because of the plainness of it, with all those words strung together. But it can flow unbelievably in the ear, with the quasi-religious tone it brings (no surprise, the King James Bible is a prime example of polysyndeton).In the wrong hands, it’s a recipe for disaster. In All the Pretty Horses, it’s one of those rare instances where a book does have a rhythm, and in this case that rhythm is beautiful.It is deep and flawless here, worked so thoroughly into the text that the story’s existence without that rhythm seems impossible. As written, it’s a compelling read – one that strangely begs to be read out loud. But unpainted with its unique selection and ordering of words, the book would be no more than Three Boys Travel South. Two examples, both from the first page of the Vintage paperback….In the opening paragraph, John Grady enters a hall to see his grandfather’s body, laid out for the viewing. He takes off his hat. The floorboards creak. He sees a melted candle and idly presses a thumb into the liquid wax. Then he turns to the body of a man he loved:Lastly he looked at the face so caved and drawn among the folds of funeral cloth, the yellowed moustache, the eyelids paper thin. That was not sleeping. That was not sleeping.It was dark outside and cold and no wind. In the distance a calf bawled. He stood with his hat in his hand. You never combed your hair that way in your life, he said.Short sentences for an emotionally bleak scene. Commas in the three-item description in the first sentence above, then nothing but conjunctions in the three-item description in the first sentence in the next paragraph. The collective emotion of the words is an emphasis of what they report – barren feelings in a barren land.At the bottom of the same page, there’s a dramatic change as a train passes nearby:It came boring out of the east like some ribald satellite of the coming sun howling and bellowing in the distance and the long light of the headlamp running through the tangled mesquite brakes and creating out of the night the endless fenceline down the dead straight right of way and sucking it back again wire and post mile on mile into the darkness after where the boilersmoke disbanded slowly along the faint new horizon and the sound came lagging and he stood still holding his hat in his hands in the passing ground-shudder watching it till it was gone.Yeah, it’s just one sentence – one sentence with some made-up words, marking a grim intrusion by the world that John Grady will soon leave, on his way to the simpler one he understands better and therefore wants.As I said, its presentation can be hard on the eyes. And it’s assuredly not for everyone by any means.But gather your breath and read it out loud, in a moderate voice and with an easy pace and the breaks falling where they naturally would. Then – then – it rolls.

  • Lara
    2019-03-02 01:25

    McCarthy pares his descriptions down to the purest bones, and then, as if all that surrounded it was the shrapnel of a shattering revelation, lays down a jaw-droppingly astonishing sentence that sums up good, evil, man, God, love. The best and worst in men are inseparable in McCarthy's worlds, which are so exactly imagined as to be indisputable.John Grady Cole is one of the most memorable heros in contemporary literature. This one makes me want to ride out across the dust.

  • Gary
    2019-03-05 18:11

    Ascent into HellYou read the first sentence of a Cormac McCarthy novel and you know that this is not Grisham or Connolly or Child or Crichton or King, certainly not Patterson, or anyone else writing fiction today. And before the first page is turned he has launched into one of his frenetic poetic riffs that lurches and rambles and stops and starts and doesn't care about punctuation and you can almost hear your high school English teacher scolding about grammar and run-on sentences but you know that she could never even hope to string words together like this even if she dared. And then you realize that maybe you've actually never really understood the English language at all because no one before has ever ripped it and bent it and twisted it as beautifully as McCarthy does while making it all look so easy.So were it not for McCarthy's ferocious prose, "All the Pretty Horses" may have been just another coming of age story. But in McCarthy's special corner of hell, along with the obligatory introduction to "young love", passage to adulthood may include exile in a foreign country, being hunted on horseback across a barren desert, variously stabbed, shot, tortured, or imprisoned. John Grady Cole is a sixteen year-old son of a Texas rancher who, up until his grandfather's death, worked the ranch and developed an uncommon kinship with horses. With his grandfather gone, his father dying, and his mother flitting around the cultural scene in post-WWII San Antonio, John Grady sets out on horseback for Mexico with buddy Lacey Rawlings. What follows is an odyssey of restless youth across a rugged country, a bleak and sometimes bloody journey that is not without the humor and easy banter of young teenagers on their own; the "road trip" that turns nightmarish and accelerates the process of growing up into hyper drive.John Grady is an endearing character; there are no Holden Caulfields in the Texas borderlands. A stoic young cowboy, he has had the youthful innocence to which he is entitled ripped out too early, replaced by a work-hardened cynicism and homespun wisdom of the Texas plains. The reader cares for John Grady in the way of the classic Greek heroes, watching helplessly as the protagonist stone-by-stone lays the foundation of his own downfall. This is Cormac McCarthy, and therefore not a fairy tale; the reader would be naïve to expect an ending with a smiling John Grady riding into the sunset with his girl's arms around his denim shirt. But since it is Cormac McCarthy, you can expect unparalleled prose that delivers its message with the power and subtlety of a cattle prod. An American classic - required reading.

  • Jamie
    2019-02-18 22:26

    I’ve been sitting on this book review for weeks, needing to chew so many things over before I put it into words. I started the book and finished it and started it again, because it was the only thing I knew to do. It’s wrecked me, a little. Pushed things knotted up deep down inside to the surface, like coming up from under a waterfall for air. There’s something visceral here, not just in the story itself but in the reading of it, more akin to eating and breathing than turning pages of a book. It’s so good on so many levels and I loved it on each one, but it was more than that too. It’s that recognition you can have with a stranger that some part of you heretofore unrealized has known them all your life. That if there’s any kind of fate or mathematical probability involved in the universe you have been meteors intent on collision. Everything is pretty simple here. It’s just a story about a boy and another boy and Jimmy Blevins. The same story as all the stories, all the good ones anyway. Newborn and old as time. Life and death and boredom and youth and horror and adventure and the kind of sweetness and beauty where beauty is too pale a word. All the darkness of it. All the comedy of it. The things that claw to the surface of us to breathe. And us, whittled and raw and scarred up and healing.At a technical level it’s brilliant, the way McCarthy puts every word together. But what I possibly love more than that is how McCarthy wrote this story to write this story. Not for you or me or anyone. There’s something pure here that tends to not exist outside of old books, far removed from the wants and lives of their writers. But McCarthy’s wants and life are all here. You only need to see a minute of the man talk to know that. And he’s just telling a story, the story he’d want to hear and about the only things that interest him. Life and death and wildness. It’s the only kinds of things that interest me these days too. The only kinds of stories I crave. It’s there, for and not for us, for you or me to read or not read, for me to come alive or for you to pass it by. It’s no matter. It’s just there. It’s there for anyone the same way. But I could say two thousand words and it wouldn’t be enough, wouldn’t come near to what I want to say. So I’ll let McCarthy say it instead. All of his words, like coming up for air.He rode with the sun coppering his face and the red wind blowing out of the west. He turned south along the old war trail and he rode to the crest of a low rise and dismounted and dropped the reins and walked out and stood like a man come to the end of something.There was an old horseskull in the brush and he squatted and picked it up and turned it in his hands. Frail and brittle. Bleached paper white. He squatted in the long light holding it, the comicbook teeth loose in their sockets. The joints in the cranium like a ragged welding of the bone plates. The muted run of sand in the brainbox when he turned it.What he loved in horses was what he loved in men, the blood and the heat of the blood that ran them. All his reverence and all his fondness and all the leanings of his life were for the ardenthearted and they would always be so and never be otherwise.He rode back in the dark. The horse quickened its step. The last of the day’s light fanned slowly upon the plain behind him and withdrew again down the edges of the world in a cooling blue of shadow and dusk and chill and a few last chitterings of birds sequestered in the dark and wiry brush.And if that was too wide, too earnest, too far removed from the sixteen year old boy and the place it belongs, here’s this: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.Maybe like Rawlins or Blevins or John Grady might say, this or any of this is full of shit after all. Read it and then tell me so if you want. But read it.

  • J. Kent Messum
    2019-02-23 19:23

    Cormac McCarthy holds a unique position in the literary community: Practically untouchable. He has both the guts and the gumption to wade into drowning pools that other authors can't dip a toe in. McCarthy is well known for his acute sense of southern darkness, often writing about the depths of depravity people have sunk to, putting a magnifying glass to the appalling violence humans engage in on the fringes of civilization. He does so with a wisdom and unflinching eye rarely found in literature. 'All The Pretty Horses' shows a slightly softer side of Cormac. At it's core, this is a love story. John Grady Cole comes from a long line of ranchers facing extinction in the late 1940s. At sixteen he leaves Texas and rides south with his best friend to Mexico, where his skills with taming and training horses can be put to good use on a rich man's ranch. They meet and befriend a third boy on the way who proves troublesome for the trio. And once settled south of the border, John Grady falls in love with the ranch owner's daughter which leads to a whole new set of problems. Don't let "love story" fool you though, and don't get too comfortable. The story still has Cormac's signature bleakness and magnificence of life in the open country. Set in the middle of the last century, life takes on a toughness and simplicity rarely seen today. There is violence and despair, the harsh realities of innocence coming into contact with a world infected by moral corruption. It was a time where boys became men at a far younger age, where people were forced grow up and face hardships early in their lives. It was a time where everything from traveling, encountering strangers, and sometimes merely existing tempted a much higher mortality rate. 'All The Pretty Horses' is yet another short brilliant novel from the man whose ability to immerse us in the horrors and hope of the human condition is legendary; one of the undisputed masters of the written word.

  • Chloe
    2019-03-09 19:19

    4.5Love McCarthy's unique, deep and fluent writing that carries from novel to novel though the plots may change. Love Westerns, love books that aren't predictable, love books that depict realist worldviews -- no sugarcoating situations to always turn out for the better. New favorite.

  • Jason
    2019-02-19 01:30

    Do you have a sub-clinical fear of commas and, especially, quotation marks? Then Cormac McCarthy's your author and All the Pretty Horses is the book for you! There's not a quotation mark in 302 pages and very few commas. It's an interesting and stylized type of writing, and McCarthy uses it in some of his other books. Here's a typical sentence:He dismounted and unrolled his plunder and opened the box of shells and put half of them in his pocket and checked the pistol that it was loaded all six cylinders and closed the cylinder gate and put the pistol into his belt and rolled his gear back up and retied the roll behind the saddle and mounted the horse again and rode into the town.(. 257)The limited use of commas, I think, makes the story develop organically. In other words--like a plant uses a minimum but perfect balance of nutrients--the writing uses only a minimum of grammar, punctuation, and narration to achieve a natural, living story, uninhindered by needless stops or pauses, unencumbered by inconsequential thoughts or ideas, unburdened of superficial style or format. The writing is pure, essential. The writing is simple, but not simple-minded. It's free to grow naturally, like vines across a fence. The writing occurs as if it was happening now, and when you experience something 'now,' you aren't cognizant of commas or quotations. It appears like stream-of-consciousness literature, but it goes farther. It's not random; instead, it grows purposefully, in a direction, like new growth extending last year's reach. Every word is certain, purposeful, clean.I enjoy this type of writing, but it must be used for a specific kind of story. The story has to be tied to the land. It has to be imbued with life, with organism. It has to show how nature both constrains and restrains character action and development. In this way, the writing bursts forth out of the story and is not simply a vehicle--using words, commas, and quotations--to tell the story. McCarthy uses horses, the living desert, the verdant jungle, water and scent to drive his story. The story is certain, purposeful, clean, and is, consequently, natural and believeable.McCarthy does something else with his writing that I haven't read anywhere before. He combines two words into one. It's an adjective-noun combination and it's systematic throughout the book. Here's some examples, pervasive, as I simply thumb though the book in reverse and spot them immediately: sidestreet, huntingknife, fieldhands, bankside, doorkey, gaslamps, orangewater, trenchspoon, roadsign, motorsmoke, windowlights, nickleplating, beltholster, violetcolored, oilportrait, thighbones, streetsweepers, creampitchers, fineboned, holdingpens, tortoiseshell, hotsauce, shavingbrush. At least one adjective-noun combination per page.Why? Why combine these words? Well, to make them a specific noun. It's like using the article 'the' instead of 'a;' for example, the toy versus a toy. It makes the toy more specific. It's not just a door key, but a doorkey; it's not just motor smoke, but motorsmoke; it's not just an oil portrait, but an oilportrait. This book is also stuffed with descriptive Spanish words that, unless you're willing to continuously consult a dictionary, you accept in context without really knowing exactly what it means. It's just another way McCormack selects an exact word. Regardless of interpretation, it's as if he'll chose a Spanish word when an English word is insufficient. It's a book about Mexico, so this is to be expected on some level. But, instead of translating and easing the reader through the book, it's as if McCarthy wants his reader to do a little homework and learn some Spanish along the way. If there was a character from Italy or Poland, I wouldn't put it past McCarthy to break out some Italian and Polish, just because there are words from these languages that would lose exact meaning in translation to English. I award 4-stars because, although it was well-written, genuine, and timeless, it didn't provide the page-turning action that I usually require for 5-star novels.New words: traprock, stereopticon, abrazo, increate

  • Maryam Hosseini
    2019-02-27 18:25

    .کتاب مقدس" می‌گه بردباران وارثـان زمین‌اند و من حدس می‌زنم احتمالا حقیقـت داره".آزاداندیش نیسـتم، اما بذار یک چیزی بهت بگم.خیلی بعید می‌دونم اونقــدر هم که می‌گن چیز به دردخوری باشه

  • Paolo
    2019-03-13 17:24

    Siamo nel 1949 e due giovani di belle speranze (ma quello che interessa all'autore è solamente John Grady, l'altro fa solo da spalla, proprio come nei film di quegli anni) si mettono in viaggio (a cavallo !) verso il Messico.Cammin facendo si viene sapere che hanno 16 anni, ma sono sgamati e tosti come veri cow boy. Ovviamente sono armati fino ai denti, anche se nel 1949 gli indiani erano stati sterminati già da un pezzo ed i terroristi islamici non erano ancora apparsi, ma non si sa mai. Durante il tragitto si aggiunge un terzo giovanotto, che però uscirà presto di scena, non prima di aver estasiato i compagni di strada bucando al volo un portamonete tirato in aria da uno dei due. Ci viene risparmiata la scena del revolver rimesso nella fondina dopo tre o quattro giri attorno all'indice del pistolero, ma ce la immaginiamo.Al termine della perigliosa cavalcata John Grady e scudiero arrivano in Messico dove trovano lavoro in una hacenda dimostrando ineguagliabile perizia nell'addestrare i famosi cavalli selvaggi del titolo. Al latifondista il Nostro elargisce perle di sapienza in genealogia equina, di cui il proprietario farà tesoro, mentre conquista il cuore della di lui figlia, Alejandra, bella, altera e ribelle, come si conviene alla donna di un cow boy. Riguardo a questa storia c'è l'intervento della vecchia zia di Alejandra, anche lei in gioventù ribelle e passionale, a colloquio con la quale il Nostro si dimostra un piccolo lord compito e cerimonioso, immaginiamo capace di trasformare all'istante l'afrore di stalla nella migliore acqua di colonia. Ad un certo punto gioca a scacchi con la vecchia nobildonna, che si ritiene molto abile. Ma il Nostro, a sedici anni, oltre ad ammansire mandrie di cavalli bradi praticamente con uno sguardo, è anche un novello Kasparov e la sconfigge nettamente.Nella seconda metà del romanzo, tra qualche sprazzo leggibile i punti salienti sono: la cauterizzazione con una canna di pistola arroventata della ferita riportata in uno scontro a fuoco contro gli sbirri messicani (sudaticci !) e l'ultimo convegno con Alejandra a suggello del loro impossibile amore. In Hotel, il teen ager cow boy è macho ma all'occorrenza sa essere bon vivant.Una volta tanto bisogna spezzare una lancia in favore delle note di copertina che recitano: ” Con una narrazione che all'asciuttezza stilistica di Hemingway unisce la ritmicità incantatoria di Faulkner, McCarthy strappa al cinema il sogno western e lo restituisce, con sorprendente potere evocativo, alla letteratura” . Ecco appunto, lasciando stare i due premi Nobel che immagino si stiano rivoltando nella tomba, proprio il cinema western è il referente costante di Cavalli selvaggi in particolare quello in cui il John Wayne di turno, mascagna cotonata, sbarbato di fresco e camicia inamidata, guarda dall'alto il paesaggio del selvaggio west (di cartapesta dipinta), su cui l'uomo bianco ha già imposto la sua signoria.A me lascia sgomento poi rilevare che il libro esce nel 1992: si è appena finito di bombardare Baghdad e ci si sta accingendo a bombardare Belgrado, De Lillo ha da poco scritto Rumore bianco e e tra poco ci darà Underworld, Philip Roth sta per sfornare la mitica trilogia americana. E questo McCarthy non trova niente di meglio da fare che baloccarsi fuori tempo massimo con l'icona americana più logora, fasulla, posticcia ed ideologicamente costruita, con una considerazione della verosimiglianza ed una mancanza di ironia che sconfina nello sprezzo del ridicolo ? Mi domando come abbia potuto mietere riconoscimenti illustri e favore di masse di lettori, ma leggendo in questi giorni della marcia trionfale di Donald Trump alla Casa bianca, qualche risposta me la do.

  • Richard Derus
    2019-03-01 22:13

    Rating: 2* of fiveThe Publisher Says: The national bestseller and the first volume in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy, All 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. Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction.My Review: The Doubleday UK meme, a book a day for July 2014, is the goad I'm using to get through my snit-based unwritten reviews. Today's prompt is to discuss the "most chocolatey novel" for National Chocolate Day.I hate chocolate, and I hated this pretentious self-conscious poseur of a novel.I dont think omitting punctuation is novel since the nouveau roman movement has been doing it since oh I dunno the 1950s AND its pretty much pointless in telling a standard coming-of-age story AND it's an absurd (and inconsistently utilized) affectation whose cynical deployment in this violent animal-abusive Peckinpahesque farrago won the author a National Book AwardWhich is not to say that McCarthy can't write very nice lines:Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.--lovely and preciseScars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.--amen to that oneBut that isn't enough to make a book a Modern Classic! A triumph! A brilliant (overused word) novel!It's a very basic coming-of-age-in-the-West story featuring a blah little boy who becomes a Man because shit happens. Where it isn't tedious it's nauseous. The pornographically sensual descriptions of guns and blood and cruelty are, for this reader at least, off-putting.Take away the "difficult" "innovative" (really? eighty years after Ulysses and we're calling this crap-fest difficult and innovative?) stylistic quirks and what do you have?A Louis L'Amour novel written by DH Lawrence.How horrible is that.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  • Richard
    2019-03-14 19:12

    6.5/10Cormac McCarthy must have been abused as a child. Abused in such a despicable way that all these years later he is still suffering deep down. The abuser – “The Apostrophe”.I can’t think of any other valid reason for this style of writing. The apostrophe is a great friend of mine; I use it all the time on a day to day basis. Sometimes I even throw them in sentences where they don’t belong! Obviously Cormac doesn’t believe in using them and he just plumps for adding in “and” every now and then to keep that epic, page long, sentence going. It might be an artistic style, but it’s one that doesn’t work on this reader. It took me out of my comfort zone. I need those apostrophe’s god damn it! But then again, I’m not an award winning reader whereas Cormac is an award winning writer with multiple best selling misery fests. So who am I to judge?! On a serious note though, I’m glad I got past my initial reaction to the style of writing and gave this a chance. The story was engaging overall, a main character with enough about him to make you want to read on and also his friends/acquaintances added enough intrigue and plot points to keep things moving. The plot is simple enough and seen as a coming of age tale. There are parts where this drags, such as the long descriptive moments where a sentence consists of my nights reading. But there are also moments which flow smoothly and the interactions of some of the characters work really well allowing you to get caught up in the atmosphere and the feelings of the characters. Unfortunately it was too much of a mixed bag of the good and the bad for me to rate any higher. I have the trilogy to read and will gladly complete it, but at my own pace with a sizeable gap between each novel. This is also supposed to be one of Cormac’s “fuzzier” novels; I knew he was a master of grim but if this is his fuzzy side I dread some of his heavier, bleaker work such as “The Road”. The outcome of this trilogy may decide whether I read any more of his work.If you enjoyed this: Look up the term enjoyment and go to a theme park for some actual fun.

  • Perry
    2019-03-19 01:12

    Death of the Old West, Cowboys and the FrontierCowboys like smoky old pool rooms & clear mountain mornins,Little warm puppies and children and girls of the night.Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys, Bruce, 1975.Go west young man, haven't you been toldCalifornia's full of whiskey, women and goldShould've Been a Cowboy, Keith, 1992.I found this by far the most readable of Cormac McCarthy's novels. All the Pretty Horses is in many ways an elegiac novel about the death of the Old West and cowboys and the western lifestyle as a way of life. Thus it differs substantially from McCarthy's typical view of the world as cesspool.The novel opens in 1949 with the funeral of the grandfather of sixteen year old John Grady Cole. His grandfather's 2,300 acre cattle ranch has been in the family since 1866. His mom intends to sell it though. His parents have been split for 7 years, since dad returned from WW II. Dad says he and JG's mom shared a love of horses and he thought that was enough to make their marriage last. Now Mom lives down in San Antone with an 18-year-old studmuffin. In the twilight after granddad's funeral, JG rides out to the edge of the ranch and imagines painted horses and riders pledged in blood and thinks he can hear the heavy breathing and hooves of the horses in the north wind. He pines for the days of the open range and living by the horse and loving the women.JG and his friend Rawlins (both 16) set out about 130 miles toward the Rio Grande where they cross into Mexico and embark on a romantic (maybe quixotic) journey to live the cowboy life full of cattle, vaqueros, horses, run-ins with the law, burritos and a forbidden love.If someone had McCarthy on her/his bucket list, but abandoned another McCarthy novel due to the "failure to appreciate" his normal bleak exceedingly abstruse journey into a vortex of violence and despair, you should read this rumbling book of romanticism.“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.” McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

  • Melanie
    2019-03-05 18:21

    I've been lucky to read some gorgeous writing this year, laced with nostalgic dreamers, hunters, men seeing to the end of things. But here is something different, a novel that is to the core uplifting, hopeful and young. I became so invested in the spirit of the story that I really just miss it. It has a drumming heart and more than enough wisdom. The kinship between man and horse is described with mythical kindness. It has the visceral clout you would expect from the author, along with the poetic sensibility. Here are some moments I'll not soon forget: He thought the world's heart beat at some terrible cost and that the worlds pain and it's beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be exacted for the vision of a single flower....she rode all seeming unaware down through the low hills while the first spits of rain blew on the wind and onto the upper pasturelands and past the pale and reedy lakes riding erect and stately until the rain caught her up and shrouded her figure away in that wild summer landscape: real horse, real rider, real land and sky and yet a dream withal. While inside the vaulting of the ribs between his knees the darkly nested heart pumped of who's will and the blood pulsed and the bowels shifted in their massive blue convolutions of who's will and the stout thighbones and knee and cannon and the tendons like flaxen hawsers that drew and flexed and drew and flexed at their articulations.... and the head turning side to side and the great slavering keyboard of his teeth and the hot globes of his eyes where the world burned.Rawlins walked out and caught the horse and stood holding it. Where is your country? he said. I don't know, said John Grady. I don't know where it is. I don't know what happens to country.Best of all, irrespective of its place in a trilogy, the book doesn't have an end, it is geared for new territory.

  • Daniel Villines
    2019-03-03 17:12

    Second Review: April 2012The first time through this book I was keenly aware of the realism that’s reflected in my first review. This second reading, however, allowed the beauty of that realism to shine through. To me, it is what it is is a good thing because there is no other option. However, there’s also a fundamental elegance to whatever it happens to be and it’s through that elegance that I find peace, wisdom, and composure.---Fisrt Review: August 2011To those that would say McCarthy is a dark writer, I would counter that with the premise: happiness is unique only to humans and is not a part of the world that surrounds us. Every moment of happiness is a result of our interpretation of events in a positive light. Outside of humanity, the world simply moves onward through time until one day it will cease to exist. There is nothing happy or tragic in this reality unless we as humans interpret this end as a happy or tragic completion of this world's existence. In my opinion, it is from this very real realty that McCarthy's words originate.I have had several instances in my life that required the exchange of arguments in order prove a legal point. The reality of these experiences is that the most powerful and convincing arguments are those that are anchored to the physical world, as it exists, without happiness or tragedy. It is what it is.All the Pretty Horses is yet another novel by McCarthy that is both powerful and convincing because everything written by McCarthy is a reflection of the physical world, as it exists, without happiness or tragedy. This brilliant style allows for humanity, each of us as individuals, to interpret events within All the Pretty Horses as either happy or tragic or anywhere in between based on the life experiences of each reader. Thus, to any reader that is receptive to this style, All the Pretty Horses will be real as well as something different for each of us.As to specific realities that are included in its pages, here are just a few:• The realization that a son must make his own way in life without the help of his parents.• The relative moment in history when the west, as an icon of the American experience, was dying a merciless death.• The image of Mexico and its people as a country that is unique to the world.• The reality that life is immensely complicated and that the outcomes of our decisions are never certain.• The arid west is comprised of distances filled with almost endless moments of loneliness, desolation, beauty, and magnificence.With each successive book, my admiration (and respect) for McCarthy continues to grow. And I will have to re-read All the Pretty Horses before moving on to The Crossing. After all, I must value what is true above what is useful.

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    2019-03-12 17:20

    You know how sometimes you read a book for school and spend hours discussing the brilliant symbolism of this scene and that scene, but then you get to the end and realize you didn't enjoy anything about the book? That's what happened here. This is one of those books with brief symbolism that never builds to anything. Yes, there's symbolism, but it's all about the rugged west and the resilience of the masculine spirit. Original. I won't deny the prose is decent. McCarthy has some talent for describing settings, although not nearly as much talent as the blurb seems to imply. V.E. Schwab has written setting descriptions ten times better than this. Who cares, really? Especially when everything else is so incredibly bad. The main characters are incredibly flat and boring. This is my least favorite thing about "classic" books. Does John Grady Cole even have character traits? His one trait is "stoic". Do we know anything about who he is as a person? Anything? I wrote an ESSAY about the character work in this book. A fucking essay. And yet I still can't name any of his character traits. Alejandra and Rollins are fairly decent, although still too flat. Jeremy (is that his name? I don't remember or care) is annoying as hell, as well as being flat. I guess I should give this some praise for this not being as racist as I expected? There's plenty of hurr-durr-Mexico-is-full-of-terrible-brown-people, but at least Alejandra's a somewhat 3d character. Still racist though. Basically McCarthy took decent prose and then threw in every single terrible thing about old westerns, including racism, boredom, and flat characters, and then pretended it was a good book. Not recommended.

  • Dustin
    2019-03-19 21:36

    I want to like Cormac McCarthy. But he bugs me. What bugs me about him is the sentiment many of his readers have that goes basically: "I was worried this was going to be a Louis L'Amour western but was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't." Well, people, it IS a western, but McCarthy is too pretentious to just write a western. He lifts out all the punctuation, drops in verbose descriptions and senseless figurative language and some faux-philosophical musings on horses and calls it "literature". Unfortunately, buried in all the mucky-muck here is a really good story, and the passages describing landscape that don't trip over themselves are truly amazing. The good parts of this book are worth the awful parts, but lets not pretend that there aren't awful parts.

  •  amapola
    2019-02-19 20:13

    Due ragazzi, giovanissimi. Un viaggio a cavallo per arrivare in Messico. Un viaggio reale, ma anche un viaggio iniziatico. E lungo il percorso la scoperta di odio, violenza, ingiustizie, soprusi, sconfitte, ma anche l’amore, la passione e poi, ancora, il male, la morte. A fare da sfondo alle vicende umane una natura splendida e selvaggia, madre e matrigna.”Sdraiato sotto la coperta, John Grady contemplava il quarto di luna sulla cresta delle montagne. In quella falsa alba blu le Pleiadi sembravano elevarsi nell’oscurità sopra il mondo trascinando con sé tutte le stelle, mentre il gran diamante di Orione, Cepella e il marchio di Cassiopea sembravano una rete da pesca gettata nel buio fosforescente. Rimase là a lungo ad ascoltare il respiro degli altri e a contemplare la natura selvaggia fuori e dentro di sé”.In McCarthy la descrizione di vite quotidiane diventa metaforica, si fa senso tragico, di destino, di totalità.”John Grady attraversò la strada ed entrò nel cimitero passando davanti alle vecchie cappelle di pietra, alle piccole lapidi con brevi epitaffi, ai fiori di carta sbiaditi dal sole, a un vaso di porcellana, a una Vergine di celluloide sbrecciata, ai nomi più o meno noti. Villareal, Sosa, Reyes, Jesuita Holguín. Nació. Falleció. Un uccello di ceramica. Un vaso bianco sbrecciato. Sullo sfondo si vedevano i prati verdi e i cedri scossi dal vento. Armendares. Ornelos. Tiodiosa Tarìn, Salomer Jáquez. Epitacio Villareal Cuéllar.Si fermò col cappello in mano davanti alla terra smossa priva di lapide… le disse addio in spagnolo, poi si voltò, si rimise il cappello, alzò la faccia umida al vento e per un istante tese le mani come se volesse trovare un equilibrio o benedire la terra o forse rallentare il mondo che correva veloce senza curarsi di nulla: dei giovani o dei vecchi, dei ricchi o dei poveri, dei bianchi o dei neri, dei maschi o delle femmine. Delle loro battaglie, dei loro nomi. Dei vivi e dei morti”.Per me un romanzo immenso.