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No Country for Old Men

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Overview

"Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, instead finds men shot dead, a load of heroin, and more than $2 million in cash. Packing the money out, he knows, will change everything. But only after two more men are murdered does a victim's burning car lead Sheriff Bell to the carnage out in the desert, and he soon realizes how desperately Moss and his young wife need protection. One party in the failed transaction hires an ex-Special Forces officer to defend his interests against a mesmerizing freelancer, while on either side are men
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Overview

"Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, instead finds men shot dead, a load of heroin, and more than $2 million in cash. Packing the money out, he knows, will change everything. But only after two more men are murdered does a victim's burning car lead Sheriff Bell to the carnage out in the desert, and he soon realizes how desperately Moss and his young wife need protection. One party in the failed transaction hires an ex-Special Forces officer to defend his interests against a mesmerizing freelancer, while on either side are men accustomed to spectacular violence and mayhem. The pursuit stretches up and down and across the border, each participant seemingly determined to answer what one asks another: how does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?" A harrowing story of a war that society is waging on itself, and an enduring meditation on the ties of love and blood and duty that inform lives and shape destinies.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy (All the Pretty Horses; The Crossing; Cities of the Plain) was hailed as "an American classic to stand with the finest literary achievements of the century" and "a miracle in prose, an American original." Now, for the first time since the 1998 completion of the trilogy, McCarthy returns to the scene of that triumph.
Walter Kirn
Such sinister high hokum might be ridiculous if McCarthy didn't keep it moving faster than the reader can pause to think about it. He's a whiz with the joystick, a master-level gamer who changes screens and situations every few pages. The choreographed conflicts, set on a stage as big as Texas but as spiritually claustrophobic as a back-room cockfight ring, resolve themselves with a mechanistic certitude that satisfies the brain's brute love of pattern and bypasses its lofty emotional centers. Like Bell, we can only sit back and watch the horror, not wishfully influence its outcome. The clock has been wound, the key's been thrown away, and the round will not end until the hands reach midnight. The book leaves the feeling that we don't have long to wait.
— The New York Times
Jeffery Lent
… this is an entertaining novel from one of our best writers. Often seen as a fabulist and an engineer of dark morality tales, McCarthy is first a storyteller.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Seven years after Cities of the Plain brought his acclaimed Border Trilogy to a close, McCarthy returns with a mesmerizing modern-day western. In 1980 southwest Texas, Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, stumbles across several dead men, a bunch of heroin and $2.4 million in cash. The bulk of the novel is a gripping man-on-the-run sequence relayed in terse, masterful prose as Moss, who's taken the money, tries to evade Wells, an ex-Special Forces agent employed by a powerful cartel, and Chigurh, an icy psychopathic murderer armed with a cattle gun and a dangerous philosophy of justice. Also concerned about Moss's whereabouts is Sheriff Bell, an aging lawman struggling with his sense that there's a new breed of man (embodied in Chigurh) whose destructive power he simply cannot match. In a series of thoughtful first-person passages interspersed throughout, Sheriff Bell laments the changing world, wrestles with an uncomfortable memory from his service in WWII and-a soft ray of light in a book so steeped in bloodshed-rejoices in the great good fortune of his marriage. While the action of the novel thrills, it's the sensitivity and wisdom of Sheriff Bell that makes the book a profound meditation on the battle between good and evil and the roles choice and chance play in the shaping of a life. Agent, Amanda Urban. (July) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
Barrett delivers a standout performance in an artful abridgement that captures the essence of McCarthy's classic. Set along the border between the U.S. and Mexico, the story follows the tragic and bloody adventures of Llewelyn Moss, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, and the sociopathic killer Anton Chigurh. When Moss makes off with millions of dollars of drug money, his life changes forever as both Bell and Chigurh pursue him, the latter leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake. Barrett's portrayal of Moss, Bell, and Chigurh are pitch perfect as are his renditions of the secondary characters and of the sheriff's first-person reminiscences interspersed throughout the novel. This audio book is a rare gem and a mandatory listening for McCarthy fans. A Knopf hardcover. (Nov.)
Library Journal
McCarthy has reached the pinnacle of literary success, with critical recognition, best-seller status, and cult-author cachet. It is a difficult position to maintain, and it doesn't help that his idiosyncratic prose style, which tries to wrest poetry from hardscrabble lives, has become increasingly mannered. In his latest novel, McCarthy stumbles headlong into self-parody. Llewelyn Moss is a humble welder who hunts not for sport but to put food on the table. Tracking a wounded antelope one morning, Moss finds an abandoned truck filled with bullet-ridden corpses, sealed packages of "Mexican brown," and $2 million in cash. He leaves the dope behind but takes the money, changing in that moment from hunter to prey. Moss is tailed by Anton Chigurh, an updated version of the satanic Judge Holden from Blood Meridian (1985). Straight-arrow Sheriff Bell, the old man of the title, tries his best to save young Moss, but Chigurh is unstoppable. McCarthy lays out his rancorous worldview with all the nuance and subtlety of conservative talk radio. It is hard to believe that this is the same person who wrote Suttree (1979). A made-for-television melodrama filled with guns and muscle cars, this will nonetheless be in demand; for public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/05.]-Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Profoundly disturbing and gorgeously rendered.”
The Washington Post

“Feels like a genuine diagnosis of the postmillennial malady, a scary illumination of the oncoming darkness.”
Time

“He is nothing less than our greatest living writer, and this is a novel that must be read and remembered.”
Houston Chronicle

“Riveting. . . . A harrowing, propulsive drama.”
The New York Times

“This is a monster of a book. . . . It will leave you panting and awestruck.”
—Sam Shepard

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375706677
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/11/2006
  • Series: Vintage International Series
  • Edition description: Vintage International Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 50,841
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Cormac McCarthy is one of America’s most honored writers. He has won both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His most recent novel, The Road, received the Pulitzer Prize.
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Read an Excerpt

No Country for Old Men


By Cormac McCarthy

Random House

Cormac McCarthy
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0375406778


Chapter One

I

I sent one boy to the gaschamber at Huntsville. One and only one. My arrest and my testimony. I went up there and visited with him two or three times. Three times. The last time was the day of his execution. I didnt have to go but I did. I sure didnt want to. He'd killed a fourteen year old girl and I can tell you right now I never did have no great desire to visit with him let alone go to his execution but I done it. The papers said it was a crime of passion and he told me there wasnt no passion to it. He'd been datin this girl, young as she was. He was nineteen. And he told me that he had been plannin to kill somebody for about as long as he could remember. Said that if they turned him out he'd do it again. Said he knew he was goin to hell. Told it to me out of his own mouth. I dont know what to make of that. I surely dont. I thought I'd never seen a person like that and it got me to wonderin if maybe he was some new kind. I watched them strap him into the seat and shut the door. He might of looked a bit nervous about it but that was about all. I really believe that he knew he was goin to be in hell in fifteen minutes. I believe that. And I've thought about that a lot. He was not hard to talk to. Called me Sheriff. But I didnt know what to say to him. What do you say to a man that by his own admission has no soul? Whywould you say anything? I've thought about it a good deal. But he wasnt nothin compared to what was comin down the pike.

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. I dont know what them eyes was the windows to and I guess I'd as soon not know. But there is another view of the world out there and other eyes to see it and that's where this is goin. It has done brought me to a place in my life I would not of thought I'd of come to. Somewhere out there is a true and living prophet of destruction and I dont want to confront him. I know he's real. I have seen his work. I walked in front of those eyes once. I wont do it again. I wont push my chips forward and stand up and go out to meet him. It aint just bein older. I wish that it was. I cant say that it's even what you are willin to do. Because I always knew that you had to be willin to die to even do this job. That was always true. Not to sound glorious about it or nothin but you do. If you aint they'll know it. They'll see it in a heartbeat. I think it is more like what you are willin to become. And I think a man would have to put his soul at hazard. And I wont do that. I think now that maybe I never would.

The deputy left Chigurh standing in the corner of the office with his hands cuffed behind him while he sat in the swivelchair and took off his hat and put his feet up and called Lamar on the mobile.

Just walked in the door. Sheriff he had some sort of thing on him like one of them oxygen tanks for emphysema or whatever. Then he had a hose that run down the inside of his sleeve and went to one of them stunguns like they use at the slaughterhouse. Yessir. Well that's what it looks like. You can see it when you get in. Yessir. I got it covered. Yessir.

When he stood up out of the chair he swung the keys off his belt and opened the locked desk drawer to get the keys to the jail. He was slightly bent over when Chigurh squatted and scooted his manacled hands beneath him to the back of his knees. In the same motion he sat and rocked backward and passed the chain under his feet and then stood instantly and effortlessly. If it looked like a thing he'd practiced many times it was. He dropped his cuffed hands over the deputy's head and leaped into the air and slammed both knees against the back of the deputy's neck and hauled back on the chain.

They went to the floor. The deputy was trying to get his hands inside the chain but he could not. Chigurh lay there pulling back on the bracelets with his knees between his arms and his face averted. The deputy was flailing wildly and he'd begun to walk sideways over the floor in a circle, kicking over the wastebasket, kicking the chair across the room. He kicked shut the door and he wrapped the throwrug in a wad about them. He was gurgling and bleeding from the mouth. He was strangling on his own blood. Chigurh only hauled the harder. The nickelplated cuffs bit to the bone. The deputy's right carotid artery burst and a jet of blood shot across the room and hit the wall and ran down it. The deputy's legs slowed and then stopped. He lay jerking. Then he stopped moving altogether. Chigurh lay breathing quietly, holding him. When he got up he took the keys from the deputy's belt and released himself and put the deputy's revolver in the waistband of his trousers and went into the bathroom.

He ran cold water over his wrists until they stopped bleeding and he tore strips from a handtowel with his teeth and wrapped his wrists and went back into the office. He sat on the desk and fastened the toweling with tape from a dispenser, studying the dead man gaping up from the floor. When he was done he got the deputy's wallet out of his pocket and took the money and put it in the pocket of his shirt and dropped the wallet to the floor. Then he picked up his airtank and the stungun and walked out the door and got into the deputy's car and started the engine and backed around and pulled out and headed up the road.

On the interstate he picked out a late model Ford sedan with a single driver and turned on the lights and hit the siren briefly. The car pulled onto the shoulder. Chigurh pulled in behind him and shut off the engine and slung the tank across his shoulder and stepped out. The man was watching him in the rearview mirror as he walked up.

What's the problem, officer? he said.

Sir would you mind stepping out of the vehicle?

The man opened the door and stepped out. What's this about? he said.

Would you step away from the vehicle please.

The man stepped away from the vehicle. Chigurh could see the doubt come into his eyes at this bloodstained figure before him but it came too late. He placed his hand on the man's head like a faith healer. The pneumatic hiss and click of the plunger sounded like a door closing. The man slid soundlessly to the ground, a round hole in his forehead from which the blood bubbled and ran down into his eyes carrying with it his slowly uncoupling world visible to see. Chigurh wiped his hand with his handkerchief. I just didnt want you to get blood on the car, he said.

Moss sat with the heels of his boots dug into the volcanic gravel of the ridge and glassed the desert below him with a pair of twelve power german binoculars. His hat pushed back on his head. Elbows propped on his knees. The rifle strapped over his shoulder with a harnessleather sling was a heavybarreled .270 on a '98 Mauser action with a laminated stock of maple and walnut. It carried a Unertl telescopic sight of the same power as the binoculars. The antelope were a little under a mile away. The sun was up less than an hour and the shadow of the ridge and the datilla and the rocks fell far out across the floodplain below him. Somewhere out there was the shadow of Moss himself. He lowered the binoculars and sat studying the land. Far to the south the raw mountains of Mexico. The breaks of the river. To the west the baked terracotta terrain of the run- ning borderlands. He spat dryly and wiped his mouth on the shoulder of his cotton workshirt.

The rifle would shoot half minute of angle groups. Five inch groups at one thousand yards. The spot he'd picked to shoot from lay just below a long talus of lava scree and it would put him well within that distance. Except that it would take the better part of an hour to get there and the antelope were grazing away from him. The best he could say about any of it was that there was no wind.

When he got to the foot of the talus he raised himself slowly and looked for the antelope. They'd not moved far from where he last saw them but the shot was still a good seven hundred yards. He studied the animals through the binoculars. In the compressed air motes and heat distortion. A low haze of shimmering dust and pollen. There was no other cover and there wasnt going to be any other shot.

He wallowed down in the scree and pulled off one boot and laid it over the rocks and lowered the forearm of the rifle down into the leather and pushed off the safety with his thumb and sighted through the scope.

They stood with their heads up, all of them, looking at him.

Damn, he whispered. The sun was behind him so they couldnt very well have seen light reflect off the glass of the scope. They had just flat seen him.

The rifle had a Canjar trigger set to nine ounces and he pulled the rifle and the boot toward him with great care and sighted again and jacked the crosshairs slightly up the back of the animal standing most broadly to him. He knew the exact drop of the bullet in hundred yard increments. It was the distance that was uncertain. He laid his finger in the curve of the trigger. The boar's tooth he wore on a gold chain spooled onto the rocks inside his elbow.


Excerpted from No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Reading Group Guide

1. The title of the novel comes from William Butler Yeats's poem "Sailing to Byzantium": "That is no country for old men, the young / In one another's arms, birds in the trees, /—Those dying generations—at their song." The poem also contains the lines: "An aged man is but a paltry thing, / A tattered coat upon a stick, / Unless soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing / For every tatter in its mortal dress." Why has McCarthy chosen a line from Yeats' poem for his title? In what ways is No Country for Old Men about aging? Does Sheriff Bell experience any kind of spiritual rejuvenation as he ages?

2. McCarthy has a distinctive prose style—pared down, direct, colloquial—and he relies on terse, clipped dialogue rather than narrative exposition to move his story along. Why is this style so powerful and so well-suited to the story he tells in No Country for Old Men?

3. Early in the novel, after Bell surveys the carnage in the desert, he tells Lamar: "I just have this feelin we're looking at something we really aint never even seen before" [p. 46]. In what way is the violence Sheriff Bell encounters different than what has come before? Is Anton Chigurh a new kind of killer? Is he a "true and living prophet of destruction," [p. 4] as Bell thinks? In what ways does he challenge Bell's worldview and values?

4. After Llewelyn finds the money and comes home, he decides to go back to the scene of the crime. He tells his wife: "I'm fixin to go do somethin dumbern hell but I'm goin anways" [p. 24]. Why does he go back, even though he knows it is a foolish and dangerous thing to do? What are the consequences of this decision?

5. When asked about the rise in crime in his county, Bell says that "It starts when you begin to overlook bad manners. Any time you quit hearin Sir and Mam the end is pretty much in sight" [p. 304]. Is he right about this? Why would deteriorating manners signal a larger social chaos?

6. How can Anton Chigurh's behavior be explained? What motivates him to kill so methodically and heartlessly? How does he regard the people he kills?

7. Llewellyn tells the young woman he picks up hitchhiking: "Things happen to you they happen. They don't ask first. They dont require your permission" [p. 220]. Have things simply happened to Llewellyn or does he play a more active role in his fate? Does his life in fact seem fated?

8. What motivates Sheriff Bell? Why does he feel so protective of Llewellyn and his wife? In what ways does Sheriff Bell's past, particularly his war experience, affect his actions in the present?

9. McCarthy will often tell the reader that one of his characters is "thinking things over" without revealing what the character is thinking about [see p. 107]. Most novelists describe in great detail what their characters are thinking and feeling. Why does McCarthy choose not to do this? What does he gain by leaving such information out?

10. Sheriff Bell says, "The stories gets passed on and the truth gets passed over. . . . Which I reckon some would take as meanin the truth cant compete. But I don't believe that. I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. . . . You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt" [p. 123]. What incorruptible truths emerge from the story that McCarthy tells in No Country for Old Men?

11. In the italicized sections of the novel, Sheriff Bell reflects on what he feels is the moral decline and growing violence of the world around him. What is the moral code that Bell lives by? What are his strongest beliefs? How has he acquired these beliefs?

12. Jeffery Lent, writing in The Washington Post Book World, described No Country for Old Men as "profoundly disturbing" ["Blood Money," The Washington Post Book World, July 17, 2005]. What is it about the story that McCarthy tells and the way he tells it that is so unsettling?

13. Near the end of the novel, Bell says: "I think we are all of us ill prepared for what is to come and I dont care what shape it takes" [p. 295]. What kind of future is Bell imagining? Why does he think we are not ready for it? How can No Country for Old Men be understood as an apocalyptic novel?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 234 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(114)

4 Star

(71)

3 Star

(31)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(8)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 234 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    Gory, Intense, Engrossing, and Beautiful. Those are the first wo

    Gory, Intense, Engrossing, and Beautiful. Those are the first words coming to mind when I hear No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. This novel is near perfect. Cormac’s unique writing style suits the book entirely well and does the story itself justice. Aside from the superb writing, the story is entrancing and entertaining. The non-stop action and bizarre protagonists can keep even the smallest attention span intrigued. Lleweyn Moss finds millions of dollars in the desert and decides to keep it for himself. Little does he know that the most brilliant hit man in the entire south is right on his tail. Moss tries to keep his wife and the money safe at the same time, although has trouble juggling the two. We find Moss often times trying to find unique contortions and contraptions to hide the money but this brutal hit man isn’t falling for any of it, killing almost everyone he comes in contact with in order to obtain his prize. Alongside This hit man is the entire Mexican drug cartel, striving to conceive this case of money. Moss has a run in with all of these people and continues to survive these intense scuffles but when he realizes he has to leave the sate is when he also realizes that his luck may be running out. Detective Bell, a long time Sherriff in a small county in Texas is on these men’s tail also trying to get to the bottom of all the murders and guns fired in his once small, peaceful community. A true tail of cat and mouse that will have you biting your nails to the last flip of the page. Get ready for some late nights because it will be very hard for you to put down this book until you have turned all 350 pages of this seemingly easy read. 5 stars. Fantastic.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2008

    Actually, the movie was better

    After watching the film I ran straight out of the theatre and to Barnes and Noble and purchased this book. During the first pages of the book it's clear McCarthy doesn't use comas and it didn't feel like a natural read to me. The sentences ran a mile long and felt to amaturish. The movie and the book are about the same so if you want the entertainment just rent the film. Although this wasn't a horrible book with the characters development and the overall plot I thought it could've been written a little better. Of course i'm not saying that I won't give another one of his books a read but this one didn't cut it for me. I would actually like to read "The Road" seems interesting enough.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    A fast paced adventure

    The story was a little odd but really a fun read. McCarthy has such a unique writing style that challenges the reader but also adds to this short novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Fantastic

    Sure this book isn't the typical book we are acustomed to reading. By that I refer to the style it is written and the way it speaks to you. Cormac does an excellent job at throwing you into a unknown world and making you believe it exists. I watched the film adaption of the book first and when i heard there was a book to it I bought it as soon as possible. Because as we all know film adaptions tend to skim on things. To my surprise the book was alot like the film minus the character development and more filling details the film did not provide. Plus the different ending. Interesting story to say the least.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2012

    Faulty e-book

    I tried to purchase the ebook on my new tablet and paid the 11 dollars, and every single page is blank so im not able to read it...just be aware that there is a high chance it wont work if you have an ebook.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2011

    I have great difficulty in even giving this book one star.

    I just did not get it. Very confusing book to read. The beginning had great potential, and then just left me flat. Couldn't wait until I got to the end. Waste of time.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2011

    Hey you! Yeah you, READ THIS!!!

    Do you enjoy suspense? What about gunfighting? What about the desert? If you answered yes, then No Country for Old Men is definately for you! Cormac McCarthy uses detailed words and descriptive verbs to make you feel as if you are right there, first-handedly witnessing every event. The story realistically portrays the happenings of an extremely murderous fugitive and a wandering cowboy with a suitcase full of cash. McCarthy uses his words and imagery to paint lush landscapes and many crafty techniques to paint crafty pictures of the small Washington town in which the story takes place. The suspense of the novel comes from the seclusive nature of the events; You know something extreme could happen at any minute, but it stays unclear as to exactly when or how it may happen. This factor drew me to the novel greatly. The novel is unlike any other, in that it switches between two stories: One of the fugitive, and the other of the cowboy. It shows the paths they take, as those paths cross, one ends, and the other carries on. There are many unexpected events, such as suprise shootouts, random input from the sheriff on the hunt for the fugitive, and personal dilemnas, all leading up to an abrupt ending that will leave you completely and totally breathless. No Country For Old Men is a great story for any reader who loves action, suspense, vivid scenery, and much more. Cormac McCarthy has done great work in this novel, and I would highly recommend it to any reader who fits in any age group between young adult and elder. This is an exceptional piece of writing, and if I were you, I wouldn't hesitate to dig into it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2008

    No Reason to Read this Old Book

    As a regional writer('Esther's Race', Cloquet River Press, 2007 ISBN 97809792175001), I am always willing to learn from a master. So when all the accolades came down from on high about Mr. McCarthy's billiant prose, I had to pick up something he'd written and give it a go. So I trundled off to my local indie bookstore and bought a copy of 'No Country', thinking that I was going to be in for a treat. Wrong, wrong, wrong. What I got was a book long on senseless violence and sociopathic brooding with none of the poinancy of say, 'Silence of the Lambs.' The story moves along as if the ultimate goal is to dishearten and disgust, not tantalize and excite. I for one can get plenty depressed and morose for a lot less money--by reading the daily newspaper--rather than wasting days and dollars on a novel that would have been rejected by any publisher but for the author's name attached to it. To be fair, I didn't want my first and only exposure to McCarthy's writing to be based upon this piece of tripe so I did the unthinkable and went back to the same bookstore and bought a copy of 'The Road.' Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is a fine novel. Written in starkness and with all the bleak shades of gray that McCarthy should have used in 'Old Men' (where the only color of the rainbow is black) had he seen fit to write something worthy of posterity. 'The Road' is everything that 'Old Men' isn't: beautifully written, gloriously themed and supremely plotted. 'The Road' is like the best of Neil Young's music--stark, mystical yet heartfelt. In comparison,'Old Men' reads like purposeless heavy metal noise.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2014

    Lorrie

    Sometimes hard to follow, but enjoyed the story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2014

    Spelling

    I don't no if the Author did the wording on spite. Like add words that should not be there or no one proff read the book. Or that's how he wanted the people to speak Anyway its a good story. Guess I'm gone to have to watch the movie.

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  • Posted May 30, 2014

    If I ever decide to sneeze sawdust and spit nails, I might just

    If I ever decide to sneeze sawdust and spit nails, I might just have to change my name to Anton Chigurh and move my wife to the Texas-Mexico border. Of course, that assumes I own a cattle gun, determine fate through the flip of a coin, and have approximately $2.4M stuffed in my jeans. During my subsequent relocation, I’ll acquire a pair of recently shined ostrich boots and a white cloth for my boots and nose, not to be used successively without prior washing.

    NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN caused me to jump at even the slightest noise, and I might have pried my eyes open with toothpicks to help me sleep at night. The journey nearly led to a forty mph drive by through a stop sign, and I might have run a red light during the completion of this novel. The prose popped my nose and jaw out of alignment, and I might have hugged the sidewalk for warmth and comfort and moral support. Had I owned a shotgun, I might have tossed it out of my bedroom window (unloaded of course) and buried the shells in my backyard.

    The sparse prose rocked me more than the San Andreas, and I might have considered a four-wheeler purchase to aid my night travels. I’d remove the toothpicks from my eyes for the completion of this journey. The dialogue confused me at times, since I’m a simple man who prefers quotation marks and contractions with the aid of an apostrophe. But that could just be me. Who needs grammar rules if you have a Pulitzer swinging from your gun belt? I ask you. Since I own neither a Pulitzer (unless you count the one I stole from that bastard from Kentucky) nor a gun belt, I guess I’ll have to continue to use punctuation correctly. But when I do acquire my Pulitzer through legal means, you bastards better watch out.

    If you like your world filled with reprehensible characters and you want to watch as the world gets blown to smithereens, or maybe just the backseat of a Jeep, then this novel might just make you feel all warm and cuddly inside.

    Robert Downs
    Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

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  • Posted March 12, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Arresting

    The impact of this book hit me every chapter. The violence shook me as well as the insights of the sheriff. The veracity strung my soul out and made me taught. I won't forget it.

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  • Posted March 11, 2013

    This is by far one of the worst books i have ever read. I have

    This is by far one of the worst books i have ever read. I have been reading crime fiction for a very long time, have a library of all the masters, and this one went straight to the garbage. The authors style left me baffled at times. Will not read anything else by this author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    One of the rare books that I cannot seem to be able to put down,

    One of the rare books that I cannot seem to be able to put down, one if no they best book I've ever read. It is the definition of a page turner, absolutely love it, it just sucks you. And this is coming from a university level reader, who is not the biggest fan of reading, but with a book like this, Cormac McCarthy might be replacing ABC, FX, Fox, E!, etc. I recommend this to anyone who believes in great literature

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  • Posted November 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    I grew up reading Hemingway, where all the dialog was written by hand so there wouldn't be too much of it. This novel explores the other side, where the dialog is the story. There is much here to be discovered.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    O.k.

    This book was not what i expected it to be. Shockingly,the movie was much better,although the book did answer questions for me that are not answered in the movie. The book didnt use quotation marks during dialogue which was very weird.i have read way better novels.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    Fast paced thriller

    No slow start in this thriller - the murder of a deputy and escape of a sadistic killer; the fortuitous find by the hunter, Moss, amidst the corps of a Mexican drugs war gone wrong; propels the reader into the heart of the action immediately. But then Moss makes a stupid decision, and the hunter becomes the hunted. The writing style is spare, with short clipped sentences that help to keep the action moving apace. Sheriff Bell is investigating the deaths, which are occurring all over the state, and he is trying to get to Moss before the sadistic killer does. He appears to have an affinity for Moss and his young wife, Carla Jean, it could be because they remind him of himself and his wife when they were younger. But as the gruesome end unfolds, we learn that Sheriff Bell carries a secret, he made an error of judgement when he was younger and it has haunted him all his life, and he wants to save Moss and Carla Jean from making a similar error. I enjoyed the novel, but I think the film was better, mainly because whilst a film can be carried by plot and action, I think a novel needs to be carried by a stronger theme throughout. The theme which links Moss' actions to actions taken by Sheriff Bell when he was younger feels tagged on near the end. A week after finishing this book I wasn't still thinking about the theme in the way I did when I read The Road by the same author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    Fast paced thriller

    No slow start in this thriller - the murder of a deputy and escape of a sadistic killer; the fortuitous find by the hunter, Moss, amidst the corps of a Mexican drugs war gone wrong; propels the reader into the heart of the action immediately. But then Moss makes a stupid decision, and the hunter becomes the hunted. The writing style is spare, with short clipped sentences that help to keep the action moving apace. Sheriff Bell is investigating the deaths, which are occurring all over the state, and he is trying to get to Moss before the sadistic killer does. He appears to have an affinity for Moss and his young wife, Carla Jean, it could be because they remind him of himself and his wife when they were younger. But as the gruesome end unfolds, we learn that Sheriff Bell carries a secret, he made an error of judgement when he was younger and it has haunted him all his life, and he wants to save Moss and Carla Jean from making a similar error. I enjoyed the novel, but I think the film was better, mainly because whilst a film can be carried by plot and action, I think a novel needs to be carried by a stronger theme throughout. The theme which links Moss' actions to actions taken by Sheriff Bell when he was younger feels tagged on near the end. A week after finishing this book I wasn't still thinking about the theme in the way I did when I read The Road by the same author.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    pause the movie..read the book

    good book ....way better than the movie

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  • Posted September 21, 2010

    Probably better if you haven't seen the movie

    With a few exceptions, most titles are better in the written form than as movies. That is what I was hoping when I purchased this book. However, the directors of the movie stuck to the book extremely closely. I am positive I would have enjoyed the book more if I hadn't seen the movie.

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