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The Border Trilogy: All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, Cities of the Plain Hardcover – 28 Aug 2008
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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
This handsome edition of McCarthy's completed Border Trilogy in one volume gives the reader one of the most important works of American fiction of the last decades. McCarthy's work is far more than a western, but crosses the borders between fiction and philosophy, the real and the world of dream. With influences ranging from the traditional western; the coming-of-age story; the courtly romance; classical tragedy; and magical realism, McCarthy's masterpiece is a work to be read and read again. This new volume containing all three of the novels, All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, and Cities of the Plain, is a welcome addition to the canon of McCarthy's works in print.See all Product description
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The trilogy is a saga of courage, despair and triumph against adversity, interrupted by several excessively lengthy yarns by various strangers they meet, which the author uses as a vehicle for expounding various philosophies on life, but which are irrelevant to the story and don’t appear to progress it in any way. Dialogue is laconic, none too articulate, often humorous (and punctuated with much spitting and tooth-picking), while the narrative is often long-winded to the point of being boring. His descriptions are graphic and often poetic, the story strangely compelling, but some long tracts make heavy reading.
McCarthy’s writing style is varied, ranging from acute brevity to excessive detail, in which he will never settle for two words if he can manage to squeeze in twenty. I was intensely irritated by his discourtesy to the reader by omitting apostrophes, hyphens and quotation marks (although one does get used to it), and am nonplussed by his consistent use of lower case initials for ‘ italian’,’jew’, ‘english’ and ‘french’, while honouring Spanish, American and Mexican with capital letters. Most irksome is the fact that a lot of the dialogue is in Spanish, for which only occasionally does he employ any of the usual devices for assisting understanding. Much of this I could fathom from a passing knowledge of other European languages, but the precise meanings of some long conversations were obscure, and required constant recourse to a Spanish dictionary, which was time-consuming and frustrating.
Nevertheless, the saga is very moving, and leaves a strong impression.
Except that I have read this [ and Suttree and Blood Meridian ] at least thrice.
Brilliant,riveting stories/storytelling transport you to another place ; wonderfully drawn characterisation; beautiful prose poetry splurged & splashed onto the pages in great dollops ----- What more could you ask for ? The meaning of life ? That is, of course, central to all of Mr McCarthy's works.
The complete works of Cormac McCarthy would do very nicely on my desert island.
Every time I finish one of his books I feel a strong sense of gratitude.
I think Mc Carthy descriptive powers, his ability to weave a complex story; to create credible characters with whom the reader may empathise or dislike in their happiness, fear or loneliness; to build mood and tension and to create scences of violence, or calm and serenity , whether it is pastoral or landscape, the sky at night, the vastness of the plains or of an interior, are truly compelling.
I have also some of his other works, including Blood Meridian, No Country for Old Men, The Orchard Keeper, Suttree, The Road.
What I find so interesting about his writing is how Mc Carthy can write in different styles from very terse brief sentences as in No country and the Road , to almost lush descriptive styles as in some of the Trilogy.
I consider Cormac Mc Carthy is one of the finest modern novelists writing today.