No Country for Old Men Author:Cormac McCarthy Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, stumbles upon a transaction gone horribly wrong. Finding bullet-ridden bodies, several kilos of heroin, and a caseload of cash, he faces a choice - leave the scene as he found it, or cut the money and run. Choosing the latter, he knows, will change everything. And so begins a terrifying chain ... more »of events, in which each participant seems determined to answer the question that one asks another: how does a man decide in what order to abandon his life? '"No Country for Old Men" is a compelling, harrowing, disturbing, sad, endlessly surprising and resonant novel' - Robert Edric, "Spectator". '"No Country for Old Men" is a severed head and shoulders over anything else written in America this year' - "Independent on Sunday". 'A fast, powerful read, steeped with a deep sorrow about the moral degradation of the legendary American West' - Lionel Shriver.« less
Excellent story. Has much violence but does not overly dwell on gory details. Well edited, moves along at a brisk pace. Comes close to a classic good verse evil story.
Basic situation. After drug deal gone bad, likable Llewelyn Moss finds load of cash and decides to keep it - poor decision. Hit man, sociopath and aspiring angel of death, Anton Chigurh - pronounced like sugar - pursues money and Moss with real terminator like relentlessness. Old time Sheriff Ed Tom Bell pursues both hoping to rescue Moss from the evil that follows.
McCarthy does not use quotation marks, I did not find that a problem after I read on for awhile. Expect some typical McCarthy philosophizing (via Sheriff's thoughts and reflections) as well. Recently made into an equally good movie by Coen brothers, who also made FARGO. Movie won Academy Award for Best Picture. Coen Brothers won Best Director and Adapted Screenplay.
A "good old boy" finds a truck surrounded by dead men and, inside, two million dollars. He takes the money and sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence.
A violent, sometimes disturbing book, but a good one with a story that keeps you turning the pages to the end.
McCarthy is, hands down, the U.S.'s most important living novelist. Pynchon, Schmynchon. NCFOM is spare and vivid. It's chilling and funny. It's innocent and corrupt.
The story as reviewed by others is just the surface. It's also a story of fathers and sons, regret, futility, and --- in a perverse way --- hopefulness. I loved this book so much, I read it twice back-to-back.
I saw the movie first, but even that prior knowledge did not prepare me for the impact of the writing. Spectacular and so totally original. Surprisingly, the movie stays very true to the book (deftly editing for length, of course).
The best part about reading the book, for me, was the narration by the sheriff. It is a person speaking to you, not a character in a book, with all of the 'folksy' turns of phrase and a simple, authentic point of view that makes me want to sit, have a cup of coffee and talk for hours. Thoroughly enjoyable read.
This book has been made into a movie, and while I would not want to see it, the book made excellent reading. It is exceptionally violent, but McCarthy gets the reader to deeply care about the characters and what is happening to them. His style of writing is at first a litle disconcerting, since he leaves out most punctuation marks, i.e. apostrophies, quotation marks, and even some upper case. This is at first difficult to get used to and at times confusing as to who is actually doing the talking. But there are some pages of conversation that consist of all short sentences, and the reader can appreciate the absence of clutter the quotation marks would create.
The story flows quickly and is exciting. It is told from the perspective of a Texas sheriff who must try to pursue the drug dealers that left bodies in the desert outside his small town. One of the locals, Moss, becomes involved when he takes the drug money he finds at the site of the murders. From then on, it is a case of cat and mouse with Moss attempting to escape the drug overlords who are trying to kill him and get their money back, with the sheriff always just a step behind.
This is the second Cormac McCarthy book I have read. I don't normally read this type of book, but definitly liked the excitement and fast pace. Most of his books are centered in the southwest part of the country - New Mexico, Texas, etc. I will read this author again. D.