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The Crossing: 2/3 (Border Trilogy 2) Paperback – 1 Jan 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New Edit/Cover edition (1 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330511246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330511247
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 118,083 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

“The evocative prose and bilingual dialogue used by Cormac McCarthy pose a major challenge to any reader – and Brad Pitt, of all people, passes with flying colours, giving a measured, sombre performance”
Irish Times 3/5/97

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Volume Two of the Border Trilogy

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Melmoth on 10 May 2009
Format: Paperback
It is impossible to read a single paragraph of Cormac McCarthy's without being struck by the extraordinary power of his authorial voice. He writes with the rhythms of the King James Bible and with same alternate plainness and power. There is a weight to his words that is seldom seen, a heft behind each sentence. It as if his prose were carved in stone.

Into these sentences and paragraphs, onto these words, these stones, McCarthy scatters a cast of men (and fewer women) good and bad. Prophets, kindly, diligent doctors, wise women, sneering, jeering ruffians, petty officials, simple lunatics - all are to be found in these pages. Many of these figures come laden with tales, prophetic or otherwise, of broken churches and broken men, of lost wanderers, of lost heroes.

And McCarthy has heroes of his own, of course, both human and otherwise. The latter heroes are the landscapes of Mexico and the southernmost United States - harshly beautiful, uncompromising, demanding - and the animals that dot them: the she-wolf Billy Parham stalks at the opening of the tale, the horse he rides, the horses belonging to their father that Billy and younger brother Boyd seek to recover from across the border.

Lastly there come Boyd and Billy himself. The former young, impatient, is perhaps the more obviously heroic, a figure who becomes easily worked into song a into legend. The latter, loyal to a fault and beyond, dogged, determined to prove something - if not to the world then to himself - is the river that winds through the novel's stone-graven landscape, sometimes meandering, sometimes threatening to peter out but somehow always passing forward to his unknown, uncomprehended destinations.

Great stuff.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 May 1999
Format: Paperback
Once again Cormac McCarthy has written a novel that defines its time. Where All the Pretty Horses described the West in the years immediately after WW2, The Crossing travels back to the pre-war period where the Old West is in its death throes. The story of Billy Parnham, and the trials visited on him, is breathtaking and moving, climaxing in a violent manner that no-one can predict. The only drawback in the Border Trilogy novels is McCarthy's over use of Spanish dialogue. For non-speakers this can detract from what is otherwise a superlative read. I can't wait to read the last instalment Cities of the Plain. With the first two books of the trilogy McCarthy has taken his place alongside Hemingway as one of the great writers of the American Novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TomCat on 3 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
Cormac McCarthy's The Crossing isn't so much concerned with the violent and sudden breach of clearly demarcated borders as much as it is with the slow bleed-out and eventual death of innocence, tradition and stability. There's a parallel to be found between Billy's journey from affectionate and naive purity to hardhearted maturity (via, of course, the violent upheaval of cruel experience), and the changes that the American South underwent during the sudden industrialisation of the early Twentieth Century.

It's almost a truism for reviewers to draw a distinction between the literal crossing of borders undertaken by the book's protagonist (America to Mexico), and the subtextual crossing of child- into adulthood; but there's also a third implied narrative, one that concerns itself with national identity, with the U.S as a frontier nation, in a state of perpetual flux. It's telling that McCarthy begins the novel with an assertion that the country "was itself little older than [a] child", and ends with an allowance that "The past is always this argument between counterclaimants. It is history that each man makes alone from what is left. Bits of wreckage. Some bones.". It's these more allegorical boundaries which, much like its predecessor All the Pretty Horses, firmly establish this novel as a uniquely American bildungsroman.

The Crossing tells the story of three journeys made by teenager Billy Parnham from his home in New Mexico down into Mexico proper, all in the late 1930s.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jezza on 13 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
Really great book. It's amazing how such spare prose can be so powerful. The absence of artifice makes it really feel as if McCarthy really experienced all the things that he writes about. Tremendous. Must read the next one.

One tiny whinge - my spanish is not good enough to understand all the dialogue that is in Spanish. Couldn't it be translated somehow without ruining the flow?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By nebuchanezer on 23 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
The Crossing is the 2nd book in Cormac McCarthy's `Border Trilogy' (`All The Pretty Horses' being the 1st & `Cities Of The Plains' being the 3rd), but you don't need to have read `All The Pretty Horses' to read this as they are 2 completely unrelated stories, except in terms of theme.

Set prior to the Second World War, it's the story of Billy Parham, a boy who traps a wolf on his family's land, then on a whim sets off to return the animal to the mountains of Mexico. He doesn't realise that this journey will change his life forever and upon his return from Mexico he finds events have occurred that mean he can never again be who he once was.

This is a typical Cormac McCarthy book full of beautifully evocative description of the prairie landscape and well written characters, the story does slow down in places, but never enough to detract from the greatness of the book.

I would highly recommend this to anyone, but a word of caution, if you do not have a rudimentary grasp of Spanish I would suggest you keep a dictionary or Google Translate close to hand as there are some passages of dialogue conducted in Spanish.
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