Skip to main content
PBS logo

Search - All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1)

All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1)
All the Pretty Horses - Border, Bk 1
Author: Cormac McCarthy
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 idyl...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780679744399
ISBN-10: 0679744398
Publication Date: 6/29/1993
Pages: 320
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 379 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 1
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

countrylane avatar reviewed All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1) on + 81 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
This is good reading! A NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER and NATIONAL CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD and after a few pages you will begin to see why this is such an acclaimed novel. This is a modern work of fiction set in the Texas badlands and Northern Mexico. Today it is still cattle ranching country and the region clings to the romance of the "Wild West". The story begins when a sixteen year old boy, devastated by the death of his grandfather and the inevitable sale of the family ranch, decides to run away to Mexico. He convinces his best friend to accompany him. They take only their saddle horses, light provisions and their cowboy skills. The boys discover that life isn't as kind or idyllic as they envisioned. There is a lot of conversation in this novel, lots of it in basic Spanish, which is not clearly translated. I think this was a clever ploy by the author to let the reader feel the confusion the two boys experience. It will not interrupt the flow of the story, it fact, it makes it come alive. There is factual description of ranching life and the desert regions with great attention to detail. At times funny, other times gut wrenching, this is the story about these two boys coming to grip with the reality of life, which is often cruel and unfair. The adventure is full of horses, gun play, bad guys and romance. Somewhere along the way, the boys become men. I really liked this book. I would highly recommend it for young adults. It is a great book about the rites of passage from childhood to adult hood.
KellyP avatar reviewed All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1) on + 142 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This is a National Book Award winner (for fiction). It is a beautifully written book. We all enjoyed it very much - we being myself, my father & my husband. Highest recommendation to those readers who enjoy well-written, well-developed stories.
reviewed All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1) on + 228 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Cormac McCarthy's sage of a two young friends set out to Mexico for an adventure that leads them to love, prison, murder, and growing up. The poetry with which this man writes leaves awesome pictures of the countryside he loves as well as the horses. An true western.
ldybritt avatar reviewed All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1) on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Wonderful realistic adventure set in the 1930's - of two young men who journey by horse down into Mexico, sometimes funny, but moving and heartrending in places. Cormac McCarthy's writings are very authentic. If you haven't seen the movie, you must read this first.
reviewed All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1) on + 518 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
western. the plot was engaging, but i did not like the writing style. however, it is a national bestseller, won 'the national book award for fiction' and 'national book critics circle award for fiction', and received rave reviews, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.
Read All 34 Book Reviews of "All the Pretty Horses Border Bk 1"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

reviewed All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
lyrical, old west atmospheric, solid story and characters, loved this book. movie does justice to the book, loved it too
confuzzledbooks avatar reviewed All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1) on + 482 more book reviews
Sixteen year old John Grady decides to leave his home in Texas and go to Mexico. He leaves with his friend Lacey Rawlins. As they travel and collect a third person, Jimmy Blevins, they find that the world gives more downs than up on the rollercoaster of life.

I had not read any of Cormac McCarthys books. I think this is a good one to start with because I thought it sometimes reminiscent of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn stories. The only difference was a little more violent, dark and some sex mentioned. From what I read of other reviews this book is fairly happy compared to McCarthys other works.

The first things that bothered me about the book was no quotations when people spoke and also quite a bit of Spanish that does not get translated in the book. The Spanish really bothered me because I did not feel like grabbing a Spanish dictionary and looking up every other sentence.

So even with the books negative traits I still found it refreshing different from what I normally read. I dont know if I would read the rest of the series though.
reviewed All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Surprisingly upbeat in view of other McCarthy novels I've read. There is something riveting about his style. I enjoyed the book a lot.