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The Border Trilogy

The Border Trilogy [Kindle Edition]

Cormac McCarthy
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'In these three fierce, desolate, beautiful novels, McCarthy has created a masterpiece' Sunday Times 'A landmark in American literature' Guardian

Book Description

From the author of The Road, and No Country for Old Men comes this trilogy containing All The Pretty Horses, The Crossing and Cities of The Plain

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2371 KB
  • Print Length: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (5 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GY6Q1KC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,024 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Despite its length, and its attention to repetitive detail, Cormac McCarthy's `Border Trilogy' is a gripping and addictive read. The capabilities of his teenage cowboy heroes, whether trapping a live wolf and leading it back to Mexico, breaking in wild horses, tracking down wild dogs, or taking on well armed bandits in fights, make the fable surreal, as does the graphic appearance of many larger than life almost pantomime characters.

But the struggle to survive the adversities of life, whether the hostility of nature in the wild, or the dysfunctionality of human society, are all too real. The duplicities and horrors of the Mexican revolution, the cynical abuse of women by pimps, the stealing and killing by roaming criminal gangs, are powerfully portrayed as the challenge for the heroic life. The survival of a supportive network of generous household hospitality and virtue to sustain the hero in action is a hope we might all share.

The delicate intricacy of McCarthy's text richly colours the detail of every event, absorbing the reader intimately into the narrative. The length of the book and the inclusion of Spanish in the dialogue, which have been criticised and sent up by some reviewers, most amusingly by J Taylor in a comment on his own review, in fact are effective devices to create and convey atmosphere. The reality is long and arduous, and southern US states are bilingual.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not enough stars to do this justice 2 Dec 2008
To try and do justice to these wonderfully original works in a few lines is an impossibility. The three books together make up what turns out to be a magnificent odyssey. It is a strange but ultimately rewarding journey you make with these characters. You get to know the characters well and enjoy their dry laconic wit. But the most striking feature is the main characters are so likeable. They are the best of American manhood. They stand up for all that is good in the star spangled banner. In fact they simply stand up for all that is good. If I could ride, which I can't worth a damn, then these are the young cowboys I would be happy to ride with if they'd have me.

In "All the pretty horses" we meet young John Grady Cole who with his companero set off South of the border on a whim. They meet a character called Blevins who seems like trouble and sure enough turns out to be trouble with a capital T. A mexican ranch and a pretty senorita are involved but the spectre of young Blevins comes back to haunt the good old boys. They end up suffering under Mexican justice. The rest I will not spoil other than to say it is a rollicking good read.

In "The Crossing" we meet the equally likeable Billy Parham and his younger brother. This is my personal favourite of the three books. The material is unpromising but McCarthy weaves magic with it. The boy Parham captures a wolf and decides to return it across the border to old Mexico where he stays for a bit longer than intended. On his eventual return he finds his parents have been murdered. He pauses briefly to pick up his brother and they head back over the border to hunt for the murderers. The book takes up an epic feeling as the journey takes on a never ending quest. Parham becomes a strange Quixotic figure in an alien landscape.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Post-war westerns 29 Nov 2012
If I'd known then what I do now... I'd have bought the first book in this trilogy and probably the third. I can see what all the fuss was about: McCarthy's prose is beautiful. I didn't notice the lack of punctuation commented on by other reviewers, but I was aware of the repetitive use of the word 'and' to stitch phrases together. This device, it seems, serves as his punctuation and I think it suits his style.

I found 'All The Pretty Horses' awesomely good. McCarthy's characters tend not to say what they mean, which makes for a deep subtext and a fearsome tension. The teenage John Grady has his future pulled out from under him at the start and his every word and action thereafter is loaded with meaning. I don't understand Spanish, but I understood the gist of the dialogue by what followed these exchanges.

'The Crossing', however, did nothing for me. It came across as a novel in search of a plot, little more than a dull travelogue. I didn't believe in Billy Parham; he didn't seem to have Grady's presence or motivation. I found his decision-making bizarre. As a consequence, the dialogue and technical detail wasn't as charged as it was in the first novel. This is also one of those novels that contains dozens of woolly, philosophical one-liners that don't add up to much. The best philosophical moments in the trilogy tend to arise from simple interaction between the characters. 'The Crossing' is the longest book of the three and felt twice as as long as it really is.

'Cities Of The Plain', in which Grady and Parham appear together (the first two books are set mostly during WW2, this one a few years after it's ended), is more than passable and builds up to a wonderful climax (though I have reservations about the epilogue).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing novels 13 May 2012
By A. Hill
I am a bit sold on Cormac McCarthy. "The Crossing" is my favourite from this bunch and then, I think, Blood Meridian overall. Everything by this guy is worth reading simply for the grandeur and beauty of the prose if for naught else. I am sticking this review in primarily to mention the Spanish included in the novels. There is not that much of it despite what other reviewers say. It is beautiful when it is there. And.... I don't speak a lick of Spanish but as Mickey Rourke said, "I understood every word". (You can work it out from context with little effort.)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Elegiac
This is not for the faint hearted. However for those that do read this book they will uncover a writer with an intelligence, understanding of the construct of language and... Read more
Published 1 day ago by N. E. Rosenberg
4.0 out of 5 stars Journeys into the past
McCarthy is not an easy writer to recommend, as I recognise that some readers will not tolerate his style and authorial idiosyncrasies, let alone his particularly American subject... Read more
Published 1 month ago by MR M H NUTT
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing set of books
What can you say about this that hasn't already been said. Amazing set of books.
Published 1 month ago by johnsowter
5.0 out of 5 stars Make me wish I was a cowboy, and then ...
Make me wish I was a cowboy, and then makes me wish I wasn't!
McCarthy gold, with flowing paragraphs and moody atmosphere!
Published 1 month ago by Mr R P R Warsany
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Would use again
Published 3 months ago by Kindlenovice
5.0 out of 5 stars sad but brilliant stories of a group of people who ...
sad but brilliant stories of a group of people who do not fit in, and drift through time looking to fit in.
If you like modern westerns these books are a must.
Published 4 months ago by Derek West
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Deservedly classic
Published 5 months ago by Marran Grey
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard work
I like Cormac McCarthy, "No Country For Old Men" is brilliant, but the trilogy was very hard work. At times, very Put Downable.
Published 7 months ago by Tony Mathers
4.0 out of 5 stars evocative, thought provoking !!
I have read the trilogy: all the pretty horses was the best read for me, the second book, however, did not hold the same magic and the final book was heartbreakingly sad. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Msongari
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring...
It bored me... I couldn' t even finish it. I hated what happened to the she-wolf. It is a book so masculine, so harsch, with so many jargon terms... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Lucia
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