Customer Reviews for

All the Pretty Horses (Border Trilogy Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 181 )
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(67)

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(13)

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(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

To the abyss and back

This book will reshape your soul. I don't think it's posssible to find another author who can capture the most isolated moment a human soul can bear and give it beauty in a way that releases you. This passage alone is worth the price of the book - 'He slep...
This book will reshape your soul. I don't think it's posssible to find another author who can capture the most isolated moment a human soul can bear and give it beauty in a way that releases you. This passage alone is worth the price of the book - 'He slept that night in a field far from any town. He built no fire. He lay listening to the horse crop the grass at his stakerope and he listened to the wind in the emptiness and watched stars trace the arc of the hemisphere and die in the darkness at the edge of the world and as he lay there the agony in his heart was like a stake. He imagined the pain of the world to be like some formless parasitic being seeking out the warmth of human souls wherein to incubate and he thought he knew what made one liable to its visitations. What he had not known was that it was mindless and so had no way to know the limits of those souls and what he feared was that there might be no limits.'

posted by Anonymous on February 4, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Whatever

Lost me from the beginning. Waaay to much rambling. Wont be reading that one twice

posted by 16847589 on September 14, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Returned the books

    The books are great, but they were duplicate purchases that I had to return.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2010

    AMAZING BOOK

    One of the best I've read. Highly original with a great story and believable characters.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    American contemporary literature in top form

    This book is outstanding. I don't think that anyone can go wrong reading this book. Spanish teachers should have their high school students read this one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    "It's Aight"

    McCarthy's unique and pleasing style of writing makes an otherwise anti-climactic tale an easy read. Contrary to some of the other reviewers, I found both the quantity and the quality of the dialogue to be appropriate for the characters and the era. I did not, however, connect with the characters or find myself emotionally committed to the plot. Nonetheless, it was enjoyable read, with its share of humor and tragedy, and I most appreciated the opportunity to test my spanish-reading skills.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Absolutely Wonderful

    I started out reading this book with some hesitance. I had to pick a book to read for my english class, and out of the named this was the only one that had caught my eye. Ten pages into the book and I was drawn in, hugry for all the description that McCarthy has expertly woven into this wonderful book. It was difficult for me to put it down. Definitely a book worth reading!

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  • Posted May 16, 2009

    A book that moves the goalposts to another arena

    I have read practically all of the "American Classics" over the past 40 years, but this was my introduction to Cormac McCarthy, and it quickly put him at the forefront of my list of Masters of fiction.

    McCarthy's austere style takes a little getting used to. The lack of dialogue tags or quotes is so different that it may nag for a page or two, but once accustomed to it, this reader came to appreciate the way that characters' thoughts and utterings became distinguishable by intuition.

    There is no writer who bests McCarthy in the talent of physical description - the paintings of the Mexican countryside and its people are lyrical and vibrant.

    What makes this work a tour de force is not dialogue or description, though. It is the manner in which McCarthy weaves deep philosophical underpinnings into a story about an uneducated teenager in a way that makes you see the spiritual root of knowledge.

    This is a deeply moving novel that will make it difficult for readers to go back to their usual fare. I followed this with The Crossing (the second trilogy book) and took a break to read Pulitzer-winner Richard Russo's Empire Falls. It's just not fair to Russo to do that.

    Do not read the end of this novel in a public place unless you are immune to embarrassment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2009

    All the Pretty Horses; Pretty Good Book

    I discovered Cormac McCarthy from No Country for Old Men (film and book), and I decided to read his former novels, starting with this book, the first of his "border trilogy." His writing style is sparse, but it fits his characters and their environment. The young hero seems almost too capable, but this doesn't get in the way of the story. The characters are from another place and time that still reverberates in our lore about the new old west. I did wish for more translations from some of the Spanish dialogue to English, but not knowing everything that was said did leave a sense of mystery that would have been missing otherwise. McCarthy is a real force in contemporary American literature. I highly recommend this novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2008

    The Horses are pretty

    I loved this book. Blevins was hysterical, Rawlins was priceless and John Grady was just the guy for any story. I recommend this book to anyone, though have a translater near by if you want to know what the characters say sometimes! :]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2008

    Disturbingly Good

    This book is a must read. The last 50 pages were amazing. Don't let the title fool you, this book is distubingly good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2007

    A minority report.

    I have read McCarthy compared to Faulkner. Maybe a passage here and there. Overall, he's more like Faulkner divided by 10. This book, especially the last 50-75 pages, is a good read, but I could not buy the 16-year old from somewhere in Texas who plays chess, billards, can discuss the blood lines of famous horses, and be ostensibly interested in the Auntie's long diatribe. I did not find John Grady a believable protagonist, just a convenient one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2007

    A reviewer

    Sixteen year-old, John Cole, leaves home with a friend to wander. The author gives colorful descriptions of scenery as John rides across the Texas plains to Mexico. John falls in love with a horse owner's daughter whom he works for, but her aunt disapproves and the two part. There is no plot. Life is luck and events are random. Trish New, author of The Thrill of Hope, South State Street Journal, and Memory Flatlined.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2006

    Not a western fan, but loved the book

    McCarty's imagery and sentence structure is both challenging and wonderful. His descriptions and command of the English language are fantastic! I had to finish the book in one weekend because I couldn't put it down. A coming-of-age story with real depth and character development. I will put this book on my rack of recommended reading and will order more by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2006

    Genius at its very best

    Cormac McCarthy captures beauty and sadness in a haunting and brilliant fashion. His characters are hopeful despite their trials in life, and it is easy to route for them. His descriptions are done in a magnificent, simple way, and they left me wondering. This was a book that left me thinking long after I finished reading the last page. Truly, Cormac is an author writers aspire to be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2005

    I'll stop here for Cormac McCarthy

    The story and characters were OK but the writing style for me was tedious. The absence of quotes was distracting and I simply skipped over the passages in Spanish. If the author wants to insert Spanish that's fine it fits the story but provide some way for the non-spanish speaking reader to follow ... maybe an addendum at the back of the book. I'm not about to read a book while consulting a Spanish-English dictionary to get through the story. Luckily I borrowed this title from the library and didn't buy it. I won't be trying anymore books by Mr. McCarthy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2005

    I actually enjoyed it!

    I had to read this for my English class and I usually ate required reading, but this one was actually very good. At the beginning, it is kind of hard to understand, but once you get into it it is very enjoyable. One of the things that I liked best was the style and structure, which added more to the themes and overall everything to the book than the dialogue between the characters. It was an experiance, not just a book. Read it, but whatever you do: DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE! IT IS HORRIBLE! IT COMPLETELY BUTCHERS THE STORY! But the book is great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2004

    hard to understand

    The style of writing was hard to follow. The book was boring and I couldn't get into it. I had to force myself to finish it and I thought that was a waste of time, I could've read something well-written and interesting. The only reason I read the book was because we had to read something 'intellectual' for reading class.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2004

    YEE-HAW!

    THIS BOOK WAS GREAT. I HAD TO READ THIS BOOK OVER THE SUMMER FOR 10TH LIT. IT IS ABOUT THESE FRIENDS AND THEIR JOURNEY INTO MEXICO, THEIR LIFE ON THE RANCH, AND THEIR RUN-IN WITH THE LAW. THIS BOOK WAS VERY WELL-WRITTEN. WATCH OUT-THERE ARE NO QOUTATIONS MARKS AND THERE ARE A COUPLE OF SPANISH WORDS. YOU WILL LOVE IT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2002

    All the Pretty Horses (Border Trilogy Series #1)

    Cormac McCarthy¿s All the Pretty Horses is part cowboy-action, and part romance. It is set in the early 1950¿s in Texas, where 16-year old John Grady Cole, running from a hard family life, rides horseback into Mexico with his friend Lacey Rawlins. While riding through the desolate yet beautiful countryside, they encounter a young cowboy named Blevins. Together, they finish their trip to Mexico, although it always didn¿t go smooth. John Grady Cole falls in love with Alejandra, the daughter of the wealthy hacienda owner where he found work breaking horses. The family opposes the relationship, and problems arise. This was my first encounter with a book by Cormac McCarthy. But after reading All the Pretty Horses, I would read other books by him. The book was easy to read because he uses so many details, and he knows what he is talking about. The only thing that was a little hard about the book was the Spanish dialogue. If you don¿t understand some Spanish, you might miss out on some of the words. He also doesn¿t use any quotation marks in the dialogue. But I found this to add to the novel rather than be distracting. If you love adventure, a good cowboy story, and a little romance, then I would recommend to you All the Pretty Horses.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2002

    All the Pretty Horses (Border Trilogy Series #1)

    If you¿re not into reading other languages and you can¿t speak Spanish then All the Pretty Horses is not for you. In the novel the author does not use the same writing techniques that we use in English. Instead he is more cultured and uses a Spanish style of writing. The book is about a young man named John Grady Cole. He travels down to Mexico to this hacienda and falls in love with the owner¿s daughter. He now must suffer all things that love can bring. The story is one of romance and adventure. The character is sent to a Mexican prison for killing someone in self-defense. This is just one of the many adventures that he encounters. The author has written many novels with this sort of cultured writing style. Overall the book was intriguing and exciting. It took you on a cowboy ride to Mexico and back. If you like reading about a young boy¿s life and like to read of love and action then this is the book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2002

    A Great Trip

    This book takes you on a trip. If you read it without long breaks it takes a while until you are back in the real wolrd.

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