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All the Pretty Horses (Border Trilogy) Hardcover – 1 Jan 1900

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; First Edition edition (1 Jan. 1900)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394574745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394574745
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2.9 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,077,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island. He later went to Chicago, where he worked as an auto mechanic while writing his first novel, The Orchard Keeper. The Orchard Keeper was published by Random House in 1965; McCarthy's editor there was Albert Erskine, William Faulkner's long-time editor. Before publication, McCarthy received a travelling fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which he used to travel to Ireland. In 1966 he also received the Rockefeller Foundation Grant, with which he continued to tour Europe, settling on the island of Ibiza. Here, McCarthy completed revisions of his next novel, Outer Dark. In 1967, McCarthy returned to the United States, moving to Tennessee. Outer Dark was published in 1968, and McCarthy received the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Writing in 1969. His next novel, Child of God, was published in 1973. From 1974 to 1975, McCarthy worked on the screenplay for a PBS film called The Gardener's Son, which premiered in 1977. A revised version of the screenplay was later published by Ecco Press. In the late 1970s, McCarthy moved to Texas, and in 1979 published his fourth novel, Suttree, a book that had occupied his writing life on and off for twenty years. He received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1981, and published his fifth novel, Blood Meridian, in 1985. All the Pretty Horses, the first volume of The Border Trilogy, was published in 1992. It won both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and was later turned into a feature film. The Stonemason, a play that McCarthy had written in the mid-1970s and subsequently revised, was published by Ecco Press in 1994. Soon thereafter, the second volume of The Border Trilogy, The Crossing, was published with the third volume, Cities of the Plain, following in 1998. McCarthy's next novel, No Country for Old Men, was published in 2005. This was followed in 2006 by a novel in dramatic form, The Sunset Limited, originally performed by Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago. McCarthy's most recent novel, The Road, was published in 2006 and won the Pulitzer Prize.

Product Description

Review

"'A uniquely brilliant book... as subtly beautiful as its desert setting' Sunday Times; 'The finest action writer since Hemingway... a darkly shining work... immensely entertaining... executed with consummate skill and much subtlety - the effect is magnificent' Observer; 'One of the great American novels of this or any time' Guardian" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Volume One of the Border Trilogy --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
THE CANDLEFLAME and the image of the candleflame caught in the pierglass twisted and righted when he entered the hall and again when he shut the door. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Oct. 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an astonishing and spellbinding book, a triumph of writing and storytelling. The first sentence is sufficient to draw the reader into a journey from a father's deathbed to the wild plains of the American West. But the time could be the present with its drab towns, unemployment and men either too intelligent or too stupid for the lives they are trapped in. The author can describe the American landscape with an honesty and lyricism that echoes the finest ancient literature. He does this in a unique style that sounds like the voice of a hardened cowboy who understands deeply his horses and his land. This book leaves Hollywood versions of the west behind in the dust. For McCarthy's world is tragic and poetic, blackened with brutality and rotten justice as much as it sparkles with the beauty of nature. Its heroes are tough, battered and compelling to the last page.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 April 2001
Format: Paperback
In the first instalment of his border trilogy, Cormac McCarthy has distanced himself somewhat from the bleak and dark themes and characters he created in his first novels, such as The Orchard Keeper and Outer Dark, and reset his prose in western America, in the border country that divides America from Mexico. Into this landscape of harsh beauty, he puts John Grady Cole, our protagonist, and his friend Lacey Rawlins, two old school cowboys who see the western life that they love changing, and decide to leave for Mexico in search of work as 'Vaqeuros', ranchers. On their way they encounter Blevins, a dangerous young boy with a keen shot riding a stolen horse. Their experiences shape the story into what i believe to be one of the finest books written by an American author in decades. McCarthy's prose is a joy to read, and the dialogue is often poignant and hilarious. And he also delivers what is probably the greatest fight scene in contemporary literature. Poetic, beautiful, funny, and at times almost unbearingly sad, read this.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Demob Happy on 6 April 2006
Format: Paperback
I'd never been greatly compelled to read a book in such a typically cinematic genre, but this is incredible. It combines the bloodthirsty epic sweep of the great Sergio Leone spagetti westerns with the harsh realism of later revisionist works such as Unforgiven. All this described in a language born of the genre - McCarthy has developed a kind of pure-Western prose seeped in the rugged, open country, the tough men trapped in their interior worlds, their bleak fatalism and capacity for violence. Its envisioning of Mexico as the new frontier for a dying breed of ranch men (ie., cowboys) is realised with unromanticised poeticism. The writing - like the cowboy dialogue - is economic yet vast in its capacity to evoke the landscape and its protagonists deep respect for it. McCarthy also has a great ear for dialogue that enriches what might otherwise be perceived to be rather clichéd characterisations, such as the ruthless Mexican captain. The first in McCarthy's Border Trilogy - this has also been adapted into a movie by Billy Bob Thornton that I haven't yet seen.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Feb. 1999
Format: Audio Cassette
Strange title - I only found it by chance because it is read by Brad Pitt. The first of a trilogy, this first book concerns one of the characters, the second another, and the two are brought together in the third. John Grady Cole, the hero, and his friends leave home at an early age and seek work on the ranches of Mexico. Here he finds love and also suffers much injustice and lawlessness, growing in character and stature the while. Many authors make the mistake of going into too much description, or expatiate about their characters emotions. McCarthy never does this; his prose is spare and basic, and only what you would have seen had you been there is described, never the thoughts or feelings of the characters. Nevertheless the landscape comes vividly before you and you do come to understand and care about the characters. Brad Pitt has just the right voice for it, sort of soft and smokey, with an accent you can imagine the characters using. Occasionally his intonation made me wonder if he completely understood what he was reading, but generally a good impression. I have gone on to listen to the other two books in the trilogy, so it must have been good!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Melmoth on 6 July 2008
Format: Paperback
There is a power in the words of Cormac McCarthy, a power that can take a reader up to the high ground and show him the land around and the people in it and make that reader know those people as he knows the scars on his body and the old ache in his limbs and the cold and lonely feeling that comes upon him in the middle of the night.

McCarthy ropes and ties his powerful words with the skill of a man born to the task, dancing nimbly through the herd, spying out his chosen phrases with an easy and accustomed eye and bringing them down with one swift movement, all the while whispering to them of the place he will give them in his great work and of all the things he and they will do together and of the wonders they will create.

There is a rhythm about All the Pretty Horses that belongs to mighty rivers and the slow, dignified dances that old men make in far-off lands. It pulls the reader along through a tale such as they say isn't told any more, a tale of friendship and of love and of honour and of death. As the wild horses move out upon the plains and sierras of Mexico, so young John Cole roves from his mother's fading Texas ranch to the strange, sad land to the south. In that land he finds fear and friendship and a large capacity for loyalty to his friends, his beliefs and the young woman he believes he loves more even than the horses, whose hoofbeats match the pulsing of the blood in his veins.

All the pretty horses is a rare and magnificent book, a genuine modern masterpiece.
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