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All the Pretty Horses (Border Trilogy Series #1)
     

All the Pretty Horses (Border Trilogy Series #1)

3.9 182
by Cormac McCarthy
 

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Now a major motion picture from Columbia Pictures starring Matt Damon, produced by Mike Nichols, and directed by Billy Bob Thornton.

The national bestseller and the first volume in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy, All the Pretty Horses is the tale of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen finds himself at the end of a long line of Texas ranchers, cut off

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All the Pretty Horses 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 182 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.'
kyuen1 More than 1 year ago
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.
TheAnonymousDude More than 1 year ago
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.
juan_c More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
krutledge More than 1 year ago
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.
GrammaLynn More than 1 year ago
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.
just-a-thot More than 1 year ago
Some Spanish, (very little), to add to the feel of this Tex-Mex, coming of age novel. Recommended to all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so well worth time/money, as are the two that follow. McCarthy puts the reader right inside the pages...terrific
Dying-Anthem More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my Book Club current recommendation. I found the style, lack of punctuation and insertion of Spanish dialect difficult to follow.. had to reread several pages to follow the story of the adventures of this young cowboy and his friend who head to Mexico in search of adventure and work.. They meet another younger cowboy eho unfortunately get them into difficult and tragic situations.
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ConfuzzledShannon More than 1 year ago
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. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago