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It's A Mess, Ain't It Sheriff?,
This review is from: No Country for Old Men (Random House Large Print) (Hardcover)
'It's a mess, aint it Sheriff?' 'If it aint it'll do till a mess gets here.' "Sheriff Bell's deputy says to him. And, yes, what a hell of a mess. 305 pages of a riveting book that I read in almost one sitting. I could not stop reading. The "old man" of the book if there is one, is Sheriff Bell. And his wife, Loretta, is the calming influence. Bell's voice is heard through out this book, in italicized version; we recognize that his down to earth common sense views are sure to calm down the violence that starts on page 4. The first murder, and then the second on page 5 and...
The setting is Texas, and the title of the book may be a simile for what is happening in our world and in Texas. Llewellyn Moss, a young cowboy, who works hard for a living and is out hunting antelope, stumbles upon millions of dollars, drugs and 8 dead men in the Texas desert and highland. He does what many of us would do, he takes the money. He understands that his life will never be the same, but it is worth it, isn't it? Money is trouble and Moss is in for as much trouble as anyone could imagine. He has his wife move from their trailer to her mom's to keep her safe. And, Moss, well Moss goes looking for that trouble. And, Zagnorch? Well, find out for yourself.
The character that I am intrigued with is Anton Chigurh. We meet him via a murder in which Chigurh goes from being handcuffed by a West Texas county deputy to driving away in his patrol car, splattered with blood. The telling of the murder is so gory, your heart stops but for a second. The heartlessness of Chigurh is burned into our memory, he will allow some of his victims to flip a coin for their life, but that is just as grizzly as the murders.
The dignity and honor of Moss is contrasted with the heartlessness of Chigurh. We are rooting for Moss, and we understand this may be a little foolishness on our part. As Sheriff Bell says,the problems with our society now starts with the lack of manners. No one says, yes sir, anymore and it is all down hill from there. The lessons stated and learned in Cormac McCarthy's new book are many. We understand we are in the presence of a literary genius. Such a well written and played out novel.
As Sheriff Bell states, "I think if you were Satan and you were settin' around tryin' to think up somethin' that would just bring the human race to its knees what you would probably come up with is narcotics." Money is the root of all evil. Millions of dollars may be equitable to evil, but wouldn't we all like to have a chance to experience it? Anton Chigurh may be likened to evil; will we look evil in the face again?