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It's a first draft.
on 19 April 2016
All the Pretty Horses is a rather weak story that is well slathered in a sauce of literary description that is not of the main character's point-of-view; extended exposition via the dialogue of the aunt; and action sequences (especially those that relate to Grady, the Captain and the recovery of the horses and the subsequent escape) that border on the ludicrous. Since the POV, is that of the author, and not that of an ill-educated John Grady, I saw no good reason for the omission of commas, apostrophes and quotation marks. I saw no good reason as to why it was that the first part of the book was so subjectively choppy in terms of time and the introduction of characters and events. A distraction that made me forget the youthful ages of the main characters, until the characters (which they frequently do) tell others, that they are sixteen and seventeen. For a YA reader, All the Pretty Horses is not your dad's YA, YA book :-)
Overall, and, as per the philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge (and as a crticism that is not exclusive to Cormac McCarthy): "If a writer could infuse a "human interest and a semblance of truth" into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgement concerning the implausibility of the narrative."
Based on All the Pretty Horses, which is my first Cormac McCarthy book: If Cormac McCarthy was as good at crafting a solid story, as he is at crafting the titles for stories that are none too solid (that I have yet to read: Blood Meridian, No Country for Old Men . . .), he would be a better and much more appreciated writer.
En passant: I now see why it was that Billy Bob Thornton, failed to make much of a movie, out of All the Pretty Horses.