Customer Reviews for

All the Pretty Horses (Border Trilogy Series #1)

Average Rating 4
( 180 )
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(67)

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(24)

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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 February 4, 2007

    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 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.'

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2010

    Not So Pretty Story

    A tough ranch kid in some vague time period finds everything he desires in his little Texas hometown just beyond his grasp. Devoid of prospects, his buddy and him take off in search of adventure and fortune. Lucky for them, a wild, uncharted, mythic land is within an easy horseback ride. Not so lucky, on the way to this strangely archaic old Mexico they befriend a mysterious boy with serious issues. They know this good deed will not go unpunished, but that's the way they roll. This is the set up to explore what happens when people with civilized values cross the border into much darker territory. Tom Sawyer it's not! It gets unblinkingly dark, and resolves to gray. Those unfamiliar with McCarthy's work be aware that he seems overly fond of scenarios involving cowboy boots full of the wearer's blood. Be aware McCarthy favors of a writing style largely devoid of punctuation. Periods are about it. If you have leave the narrative to re-read a paragraph to get the gist, that's your look out! At the back of the book is a study guide with discussion questions. Sophomores need guidance to really appreciate a book like this. That would be most readers, I guess. It is a great adventure story with thought provoking themes if you can stomach the eccentric writing style and condescending attitude of the presentation.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    All the Pretty Horses

    All the Pretty Horses is a great book of romantic genre, it is one of my favorite books that I have read. This book is very interesting because you can travel through the time into the beautiful West. The theme of the story is great because the author lets to see the importance to follow a dream and how can be important to a man the love of a girl and the love for his horses. This novel takes place in Texas and South border in Mexico in 1949, after the World War II. This story begins in a ranch in San Angelo Texas when the main character John Grady Cole, a young man that has grown between horses in a life style in the ranch, decides to start a journey on his adored horse to the South to unknown lands in Mexico for him and his friend Lacey Rawlins, to look for a work in Mexico where they can live between horses. During the journey they find Jimmy Blevins, a thirteen years old guy. Jimmy is united to the two guys and they live many adventures until John Grady knows Alejandra, the daughter of Don Hector the boss and the owner of the ranch where Grady works. John and Alejandra live a passionate love against all. I realized that I really like this book because I think that the author, Cormac McCarthy, do an excellent job. First, the place where the story is developed is amazing in a huge state like it is Texas and the beautiful country of Mexico, the soul of the world. It is very important because this book transports to the lector to the incredible places and the lector can imagine that he or she is in there. Second, the characters are realistic, funny and adventurous, but at the same time they can be brave, dangerous and very humans specially John Grady Cole. Finally, but not lees important the theme of the story where you can get an important message that when somebody has passion about something, the people have to do whatever they want to fallow their passion.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not to be taken lightly.

    Cormac McCarthy reaches inside you and does not let go. His writing style is not the usual, which of itself makes you pay attention, but he makes you want to, until the very end. Mr. McCarthy's use of the language is exquisite and his style makes it even more so. I carried the emotions and revelations of this book around with me for days after I was done, and look forward to the next two volumes of the Trilogy.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Whatever

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

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Mesmerizing and beautiful

    Cormac McCarthy has a singular talent: he can write in a lean, minimalist prose that, at the same time, is devastating in its beauty and emotion. Reading this novel was like being under a hypnotic trance, where the characters inhabit a world that is real and merciless but also surreal and haunting. The dialogue blends seamlessly with the thoughts of the characters and with the painting of the landscape, so that they all portray a living, breathing entity. Some readers might be put off by the slow burning, almost cold approach to the writing; but the end result is an achievement, stunning in its poetic imagery.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2010

    One of my all time favorite books ever, but Cormac McCarthy isn't for everyone.

    McCarthy has a way of showing us the beauty of the human soul, even in the darkest of moments. If you are a fan of stories with happy endings, with all the loose ends wrapped up neatly, then McCarthy is probably not the best choice in reading material for you. Just watch No County for Old Men (one of at least three movies based on one of McCarthy's books) to see just how dark and disturbing his plots can be. If you can handle the darkness and the lack of a tidy ending so common in most popular fiction, then open the pages of this book and lose yourself in McCarthy's brilliant prose.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2012

    Modern Cowboys

    Some Spanish, (very little), to add to the feel of this Tex-Mex, coming of age novel. Recommended to all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    start of a wonderful journey

    This book is so well worth time/money, as are the two that follow. McCarthy puts the reader right inside the pages...terrific

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2011

    It's Okay

    This novel is a pretty good plot, but the lack of punctuation and slowly progressing story make it difficult to get through at times. The themes and charactization of the book rely on the main charater, John Grady Cole, adventuring into the dying wild west to live out his dream of living off the land in a life full of horses after growing up in the modernizing of Texas. Throughout the novel the image Cole once had of being a cowboy is wreaked when he faces the reality of social constraits and difficulties presented in the time. Additionally, the book as some comic relief, but at times can be rather violent and saddening.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

    My Review For Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses

    Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses, first of his Border Trilogy, tells the 1948 coming of age story of the protagonist, sixteen year-old John Grady Cole. After his grandfather passes away, his actress mother sells their west Texas ranch and Cole quickly finds himself as the first line in the family without the comfort of working the family ranch. Fleeing on horseback to Mexico to find work with his close friend Lacey Rawlins, they soon meet up with young Jimmy Blevins as the cross the Rio Grande, who proves to be both a comical and a tragic character throughout the story.

    As they journey through the foreign, unforgiving terrain of Northern Mexico, Blevins becomes separated from the trio and the two friends encounter fierce storms, horse chases, and the unfamiliar lifestyle that comes with the territory before they are hired as vaqueros, or cowboys, on a vast ranching estate. Horses, forbidden love, a new culture, and uneasy locals all become part of the norm for Cole, who ultimately realizes that his Mexican expedition was a riveting experience that he could have never imagined.

    A tale of a boy and his relationship with man, horse, and mother nature, McCarthy's novel describes the infusion of the untamed Mexican terrain with the antiquated culture of the American cowboy. Marked by McCarthy's reduced amount of punctuation, it is complete with drama, loss, and ultimately redemption in this story about the West and Mexico.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2009

    A little lacking....

    All the Pretty Horses use's a writing stye unique to only Cormac McCarthy, and it isn't that great. He doesn'y give the characters too much dialogue, possibly because he doesn't talk thatmuch himself, and he doesn't use punctuations. I dislike the way he doesn't use symbolism either, it doesn't give the book much depth and it can't hold my interest. The way Cormac McCarthy portrays these characters in general was to my overall disliking, his lack of description of physical appearence and even their emotions. All and all i would say i'd advise you not to read this.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Waste of time and money

    The only reason why i'm reading this is becuase i have to for school. first of all this book is way to descriptive. normally i would have stopped after the first sentence but i have to read this. McCarthy doesnt use any qouteation marks becuase he thinks it takes away from the story. well it doesnt, it just makes the story confusing. there is no suspense, no real action, not otuching not anything that could possibly appeal to any reader. dont read this its a waste of mnoey.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Sixteen year old John Grady decides to leave his home in Texas a

    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 McCarthy’s 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 McCarthy’s 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 book’s negative traits I still found it refreshing different from what I normally read.  I don’t know if I would read the rest of the series though. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2013

    A little drawn out, but likeable. Characters just a little to br

    A little drawn out, but likeable. Characters just a little to broadly drawn, some of the situations just to remarkable. More of a fantasy that a true Western.My top five - True Grit
    The Shootist The Trail, Shane, The Searchers

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2013

    I know comparisons are odious at their worst and flawed at their

    I know comparisons are odious at their worst and flawed at their best, and I hope the comparison I make does not marginalize my respect for this book or put off prospective readers. All the Pretty Horses is definitely unique, a novel I highly respect for its individuality. At the same time, in both style and content, this book reminds me of Hemingway at his best - except for the adolescent approach to drinking. Mexico represents Hemingway's Spain: pre-modern and guided by principles incomprehensible to outsiders. John Grady Cole, to me, is reminiscent of competent and stoic characters like Robert Jordan who are in search of ideals in compromised worlds. Moreover, the narrative control that reveals background information as is necessary and keeps the reader curious, reminds me of Hemingway's terse writing that is, at times, irksome, but simultaneously capturing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    Yuck.

    I remember being forced to read this in AP English as a junior in HS. I hated it. I hate his style of writing. The lack of punctuation is utterly maddening.

    One of the rare cases where I liked the movie more than the book!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2011

    Interesting Read

    I found this book interesting but at points hard to follow. I appreciated that different writing style that was used in this book. It made some parts of the story very touching, but at other points I felt kind of lost.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    Solid McCarthy

    I'm a big fan of McCarthy, so I automatically came into reading this book optimistic. Having read his border trilogy out of order (2,3 and then this, 1, last) I can't say I liked it as much as the others in the series, but it provided an amazing foundation for the next two. McCarthy always has a way of making a deep, profound statement in very few words, often in the midst of a large paragraph. I love his style and this book is a fantastic example of it.

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