Customer Reviews for

All the Pretty Horses (Border Trilogy Series #1)

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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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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 February 18, 2001

    It has everything!

    It has a great plot and wonderful imagery. It was a difficult read and unless you know some spanish it can become a headache. The book starts off extremly slow but, hang in there. The story will begin to picks up and before you know it you can't put it down. I must say the ending was good but, upsetting.

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    Posted June 11, 2009

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