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Cormac McCarthy - The Border Trilogy

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:26 pm
by Rob Hall
I'm most of the way through the first part of this ('All The Pretty Horses') and I must say, I'm enjoying every word. He has a very distinctive style (that I've seen compared to Hemmingway and Faulkner) which may not be to all tastes, and the subject matter - two young men on a journey without a map - is very much a classic theme. But in this telling it's absolutely riveting, and I think the prose wonderful. I can't wait to get onto the next two novels in the series.

Re: Cormac McCarthy - The Border Trilogy

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:36 pm
by NormanD
I read them over a couple of years and, as always with Cormac McCarthy, loved his writing style and ability to tell a story. But, I hate to say, I ran out of steam by book three. I'm still not sure why. These things sometimes happen. Maybe I'd fallen out with the characters, or the hardness of their whole situations just became too unrelenting. I expect it was a lot of the latter - in which case, it's still a reflection of how good a writer he is that the story became too hard to bear.

I've read a lot by McCarthy. My favourite is the other Western (can you really call it that?), "Blood Meridian". Far more powerful than anything Sam Peckinpah ever filmed, it remains an incredibly visual novel. The actual ending is truly frightening, made more so by its deliberate failure to spell out what has happened. A book that ends with a scream.

Re: Cormac McCarthy - The Border Trilogy

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:26 pm
by Rob Hall
Yes Norman, I read 'Blood Meridian' earlier this year. The word 'visceral' hardly does it justice.

Re: Cormac McCarthy - The Border Trilogy

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:41 am
by Jamie Renton
My daughter tried to read McCarthy's "The Road" in her early teens , but gave up on it. She praised the prose style but found it all too bleak.

"Foolish child" I thought, as I started on her copy. "It's a book about the end of the world. What does she expect? I'm made of sterner stuff."

After a few pages, I was so overwhelmed with existential despair, I had to put the book down. I somehow never got round to picking it up again.

Perhaps I should gird my loins and try "The Border Trilogy" or "Blood Meridian"

Re: Cormac McCarthy - The Border Trilogy

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:14 am
by Rob Hall
Yes, 'The Road' is indeed very bleak. You could always try 'No Country For Old Men'. I haven't read it myself, but if it's up to his usual standard it should be worth a read. The only other one of his that I have read is 'The Counsellor', which is a screenplay published in paperback. It's an easy read, and - despite the inherently violent nature of the theme, in which a corrupt legal type gets mixed up with a drug cartel - it is nowhere near as dark as some of his other stuff. I didn't see the movie that was made of it, but it was pretty awful by most accounts.

Re: Cormac McCarthy - The Border Trilogy

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 1:12 am
by Rob Hall
I've very nearly finished 'The Border Trilogy' now. I can only say it's been well worth the effort, and it has established itself as a prime contender as the book I would take with me to a desert island. For all that it is something in excess of a thousand pages, and not without its faults, my feeling is that it's a book I will read again. I don't often re-read books as there's not enough time and there's so many of them; I hope that gives some indication of how highly I rate this trilogy. I think it is a masterpiece. For anyone who has tried and given up on it, or who is daunted by it at the outset, I say just immerse yourself into the flow of its poetry, and I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Re: Cormac McCarthy - The Border Trilogy

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:16 am
by NormanD
I agree - literary cowboy fiction of the highest order.

Have you read "Deadwood" by Pete Dexter? Give it a go.....