Customer Reviews for

All the Pretty Horses (Border Trilogy Series #1)

Average Rating 4
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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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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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  • 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 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.

    2 out of 2 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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  • 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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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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 May 5, 2010

    Returned the books

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

    0 out of 3 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 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 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 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2001

    'All the Pretty Horses' is truly an American Classic

    I first heard about this book on NPR when they we're doing a story on the music which was to accompany the screenplay. I knew then it was a book I very much wanted to read. When I began the book, I did read the first few pages over again, but it was solely to immerse myself in the foundation of the story. From then on I found it to be a very easy read and at times very difficult to put down. I found the abscence of the 'he said', 'she said' refreshing. The frequent use of Spanish was, I think, very critical to the story line. Although I do not know Spanish very well, I could somewhat understand what the characters were saying. The story brings you through romantic images of youth and the wide open spaces of the West. It's funny, sad, beautiful, and brutal at times. To sum it up, 'All the Pretty Horses' is an extraordinary book that greatly surpassed my expectations. After finishing, I bought the other two books of 'The Border Trilogy'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2001

    GREAT!

    I read this book for my Senior English class and it is truely the only book I've actually enjoyed reading in highschool! Cormac McCarthy uses a lack of punctuation on purpose so that you go back and read it over again to get it soaked in your brain and to understand the storyline. It keeps you on your seat with all the action and romance. I even cried a few times reading it!!! So if you're into action-type stories with a little bit of romance this is a great book to read! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2001

    Awsome! Incredible description, and diverse style.

    This book is full of great descriptions. The characters have real life personalities and while reading I find that I am drawn in to their adventure. I have read a lot of reviews complaining about the punctuation. The author seems to be employing a Spanish style for the conversations. In Spanish literature quotation marks and the 'he said/she said' phrases are omitted. I think it makes reading the conversations smoother, not more complex. If one can be open to diverse writing styles I think they will really enjoy this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2000

    A Wonderful and Inspirational Book

    It is a beautifully written book, I loved it. I could really picture everything described, and I could really understand the characters of John Grady, Rawlins, and Blevins.

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