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No Country for Old Men

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In his blistering new novel, Cormac McCarthy returns to the Texas-Mexico border, setting of his famed Border Trilogy. The time is our own, when rustlers have given way to drug-runners and small towns have become free-fire zones. One day, Llewellyn Moss finds a pickup truck surrounded by a bodyguard of dead men. A load of heroin and two million dollars in cash are still in In his blistering new novel, Cormac McCarthy returns to the Texas-Mexico border, setting of his famed Border Trilogy. The time is our own, when rustlers have given way to drug-runners and small towns have become free-fire zones. One day, Llewellyn Moss finds a pickup truck surrounded by a bodyguard of dead men. A load of heroin and two million dollars in cash are still in the back. When Moss takes the money, he sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence that not even the law–in the person of aging, disillusioned Sheriff Bell–can contain. As Moss tries to evade his pursuers–in particular a mysterious mastermind who flips coins for human lives–McCarthy simultaneously strips down the American crime novel and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible and as bloodily contemporary as this morning’s headlines. No Country for Old Men is a triumph.


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In his blistering new novel, Cormac McCarthy returns to the Texas-Mexico border, setting of his famed Border Trilogy. The time is our own, when rustlers have given way to drug-runners and small towns have become free-fire zones. One day, Llewellyn Moss finds a pickup truck surrounded by a bodyguard of dead men. A load of heroin and two million dollars in cash are still in In his blistering new novel, Cormac McCarthy returns to the Texas-Mexico border, setting of his famed Border Trilogy. The time is our own, when rustlers have given way to drug-runners and small towns have become free-fire zones. One day, Llewellyn Moss finds a pickup truck surrounded by a bodyguard of dead men. A load of heroin and two million dollars in cash are still in the back. When Moss takes the money, he sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence that not even the law–in the person of aging, disillusioned Sheriff Bell–can contain. As Moss tries to evade his pursuers–in particular a mysterious mastermind who flips coins for human lives–McCarthy simultaneously strips down the American crime novel and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible and as bloodily contemporary as this morning’s headlines. No Country for Old Men is a triumph.

30 review for No Country for Old Men

  1. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    So are we gonna talk about No Country For Old Men, he said. Why not, she replied. Then we gotta do it like McCarthy, he said. Short sentences. Southern dialect. No punctuation. I can drop the punctuation, she said. But I can't do Southern. You can try. Well then I caint. That good enough for you? Youre tryin. That's the important thing. Caint do more than try. Thank you. I wish I could speak it. It's a beautiful language. But I aint got his ear. He's got the best ear for dialect this side of Mark Twai So are we gonna talk about No Country For Old Men, he said. Why not, she replied. Then we gotta do it like McCarthy, he said. Short sentences. Southern dialect. No punctuation. I can drop the punctuation, she said. But I can't do Southern. You can try. Well then I caint. That good enough for you? Youre tryin. That's the important thing. Caint do more than try. Thank you. I wish I could speak it. It's a beautiful language. But I aint got his ear. He's got the best ear for dialect this side of Mark Twain. He's got a mighty fine ear, that's for sure. Well like I said I loved the language. And I loved the characters. Sheriff Bell and Llewelyn and Chigurh and even the minor ones. Carla Jean and Loretta and Carson and the hitchhiker. They are all fine characters. They just come alive off the page. They do. I aint gonna forget none of them soon. But I dont know what it's about. It's gotta be bout somethin? Hell yes. Chigurh is more than just a man. He's some kinda elemental force. A symbol of somethin. A symbol. And his duel with Llewelyn. That's a symbol too. It's like that Swedish movie we saw. Where the guy plays chess with Death. The Seventh Seal. That's the one. But I dont think Chigurh is Death. He's somethin else. Somethin else we caint escape from. Now what would that be. I bin lying here thinkin and I caint rightly say. Maybe he aint no more than what he looks like. I know what I know, she said. But I caint put it in words. I dont think this conversation is goin noplace, he said. They lay there for a while until she heard he was asleep. She got up quietly so as not to wake him and checked the door was locked. Then she got back into bed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kemper

    This is officially the 1000th review I’ve written on Goodreads, and I wanted to make sure that the book would fit the occasion so that’s why I decided to re-read this one. What better novel could I choose than this heartwarming tale of human kindness from one of the most optimistic men on the planet, Cormac McCarthy?* * Note - That statement is sarcasm done in the interest of humor. 1000 reviews have taught me that I apparently have to explain that or someone with poor reading comprehension will This is officially the 1000th review I’ve written on Goodreads, and I wanted to make sure that the book would fit the occasion so that’s why I decided to re-read this one. What better novel could I choose than this heartwarming tale of human kindness from one of the most optimistic men on the planet, Cormac McCarthy?* * Note - That statement is sarcasm done in the interest of humor. 1000 reviews have taught me that I apparently have to explain that or someone with poor reading comprehension will troll me in the comments. In 1980 Llewellyn Moss is just a working Texan living in a trailer home with his young wife, Carla Jean. One day Llewellyn goes out hunting and comes home with a lot more than meat for the stew pot after he stumbles across the aftermath of a huge drug deal gone wrong in the desert. Over $2 million in a satchel would be hard for anyone to resist taking with no one around to know better, but giving into temptation unleashes hell in the form of Anton Chigurh, a relentless enforcer who removes any obstacles in his path with a cattle bolt gun and a silenced .12 gauge. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell is also on Llewellyn’s trail, and he has to bear witness to the incredible violence unleashed by Chigurh and others. When Chigurh’s actions grow too much for the men who sent him they hire the savvy Carson Wells to stop him and recover the money. An unsuspecting reader unfamiliar with the story or McCarthy’s work might expect this to be simply a crime novel, and that’s how a good chunk of the story plays at first. Llewellyn may seem like your average good-ole-boy, but he’s also a Vietnam vet who shows a fair amount of caution and smarts even when he’s forced to go on the run. He’s clear eyed enough to know that once he’s taken the money that there’s no going back, and he’s actually got some good survival instincts for this kind of thing. However, for all the determination and capability he shows, and even knowing that he’s put himself in the crosshairs of very dangerous people by taking the money, Llewellyn doesn’t truly understand what he’s gotten himself into. The actions of those involved in the drug trade at that level have created an ocean of evil and chaos. The satchel full of money is just a bit of debris that washed up on shore that Llewellyn found like a piece of driftwood that he thinks he can scamper off with, and he’ll be fine as long as he stays off the beaches. However, something else lurks in those depths. Maybe it’s something new or maybe it’s something ancient that was awakened by all the noise around it, but this creature won’t stop at the water’s edge. Anton Chigurh strides out of that ocean on two legs but still fully capable of devouring anything in his path with no more thought than a shark gives any fish it chomps. He can swim or run, it makes no real difference to him as long as he gets to eat. Sheriff Bell has been aware of existence of men like Chigurh, and he’s not sure how to stop them or even if they can be fought. Take a boat out on the those waters and you’ll probably get dragged down into the depths with them. Battle them on the shores and you’re still likely to get pulled in and chewed up. What really worries Bell is that it seems like water is rising, and a lot of people seem willing to dive in so he's pretty well convinced that the entire world is sliding into hell. That’s why I consider this a next level book. The idea of a guy finding a bag of money and getting bad people on his trail has been done before. The characters also could be cliches. The regular guy with a tough streak, the bad ass pursuing him, the honest law man, the worried wife, the roguish hustler looking for an angle, etc etc. McCarthy is good and sneaky enough to let that play to the point where you think that you know how the story will end, and that’s when he pulls the rug out from under you. It’s also where the book really shifts from what seems like a straightforward thriller to a brooding contemplation about fate vs. free will as well as good vs. evil. I could make some complaints about that might ordinarily knock it down from 5 to 4 stars for me. McCarthy’s style of doing a minimum of punctuation so that quotation marks aren’t used and apostrophes are seldom seem can cause confusion and often seems like a distracting affectation, but on the other hand this is a book about the normal rules not applying so it does seem to work in a way. The story also seems to be littered with anachronisms for 1980. There’s a mobile phone capable of fitting in a shirt pocket at a time when a cell phone was essentially a bag, and while ATMs existed I don’t know if they would have been common in south Texas at the time. A Glock pistol is mentioned, but they wouldn’t exist for at least another year or two. Plus, I’m no gun expert, but I don’t think it’s actually possible to silence a shotgun. Despite that nitpicking this book hits an intersection of things I love. It’s a fusion of genres that draws on crime stories and westerns, but it ultimately becomes Very Serious Lit-A-Chur that’s done in a minimalist way that works very well for me. I’m also a deeply cynical person who agrees with McCarthy’s dim view of the world so I appreciate a story that isn’t blinding rainbows and unicorn farts. It also has the advantage of being turned into the fantastic flm by the Coen brothers which is one of my favorite book-to-screen adaptations. So I’ll stick with the 5 stars and consider it among the best of the best. Since this #1000, I’ll also provide a little bonus content. The violence associated with the drug trade in Mexico and it’s creep into the US has sparked a lot of great fiction that can be genuinely chilling in it’s depiction of the way it can corrupt and utterly destroy people. If you’re into that sort of thing I also recommend: - The film The Counselor was also written Cormac McCarthy. It isn’t nearly at the level of this one, but I do think it was unfairly savaged by critics. It’s not great, but it is good and shares similarities. You’ll also never look at Cameron Diaz in quite the same way again. - Writer Don Winslow has been researching the history of the drug trade on the American/Mexican border for years, and he has two fantastic books that are essentially historical fiction that shine a lot on how US policies helped create that monster in The Power of the Dog and The Cartel. His Savages is also a black action comedy about people who think they can just dip their hands into that flow for profit and not get sucked into it. They are wrong. - Sicario is a great and criminally overlooked film from last year that features a haunting performance by Benicio del Toro. It should also come with a warning label to abandon all hope before watching. Thanks to all those who voted and commented without being a trollish asshat on my first 1000 reviews. It's genuinely appreciated, and I hope that you now all know better than to try and keep a bag of drug money you find in the desert.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Glenn Russell

    “How does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?” ― Cormac McCarthy, No Country For Old Men My first contact with this work of fiction was listening to a 'Partially Examined Life' podcast with 3 young philosophers and Eric Petrie, a university professor who has made a study of Cormac McCarthy's dark novel set in Texas in 1980. This fascinating discussion motivated me not only to read the book but listen to the audiobook read by Tom Stechschulte. I'm glad I did. Stechschute's reading is sp “How does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?” ― Cormac McCarthy, No Country For Old Men My first contact with this work of fiction was listening to a 'Partially Examined Life' podcast with 3 young philosophers and Eric Petrie, a university professor who has made a study of Cormac McCarthy's dark novel set in Texas in 1980. This fascinating discussion motivated me not only to read the book but listen to the audiobook read by Tom Stechschulte. I'm glad I did. Stechschute's reading is spot-on, particularly his portrayal of one of the main characters, a good old boy by the name of Sherriff Bell. Since there are many reviews posted, in the spirit of freshness, I'd like to share a few reflections of a philosophical nature. My observations are in light of what contemporary British philosopher Simon May has to say about the nature of love. According to May, love isn't what philosophers like Plato say it is, that is, love being a longing for the Good and Beautiful; rather, May argues love has a wider range: we fall in love inspired by an anchoring for our life, an anchoring giving us a home in the world. Such a love is worth dying for, since we want so much to be rooted in the world with a feeling of being fully alive. So, keeping Simon May's idea of love in mind, let's take a look at McCarthy's novel. An entire essay could be written for each main character, but, in the interest of concision, I'll limit my remarks to a few sentences on each man's way of living and loving: Llewelyn Moss is a 37 year old welder who served as a army sniper in Viet Nam. Moss is out in the desert with his sniper rifle hunting game when he sees something unusual off in the distance--- a bunch of cars and trucks appearing to have been abandoned. He walks down to have a closer look and finds the aftermath of a drug deal gone bad - men and even dogs filled with bullets and covered with blood. Moss then comes across a briefcase filled with $100 bills. He takes the money and knows this is the moment his life will be changed forever. Why would he do such a thing? I see one big reason Moss would take the money: by so doing he will be skyrocketed into a world where the intensity of being alive is a thousand times greater than being a welder. Having had an experience of life-and-death intensity in Viet Nam, Moss knows the feeling well. Anton Chigurh, also a Viet Nam veteran, is the man from the drug world who comes after Moss. As we follow Chigurh in the story, it quickly becomes clear he sees himself as a grim-reaper -- anybody who stands before him, if he so chooses, has come face-to-face with their own death. Well, not exactly his choice alone. Chigurh will occasionally flip a coin and ask the person to call it. If anybody shows the least hesitation to face their own choices in life or the reality of their own death, then, well, by Chigurh's standards, they might as well be dead. We would have to go a long way to find a character in literature, perhaps Richard III, who is equally the embodiment of pure evil. Love? Chigurh loves death; he is a true necrophilia, and he shares his love whenever the occasion presents itself. In the course of this McCarthy novel, Chigurh kills men and women left and right. Sheriff Bell is a World War II veteran who sees his county losing its moral glue. And moral glue anchors Sherriff Bell's life and gives him a home in the world. He reflects toward the end of the story, "These old people I talk to, if you could of told em that there would be people on the streets of our Texas towns with green hair and bones in their noses speakin a language they couldnt even understand, well, they just flat out wouldnt of believed you. But what if you'd of told em it was their own grandchildren?" We also learn what especially anchors Bell's life (what Bell loves) is a prime military virtue: loyalty to your men. And Bell tells his old uncle about the major regret of his life -- when a Sergeant in the war he faced a choice: stick with his men or save his own life. Since at one point in a battle the overwhelming odds were that all of his men were dead, he made the choice to save himself by leaving. Bell says he has been reflecting on this event over the years and concludes he violated the code of loyalty. He goes on to say that if he had to do it over again, he would have died with his men rather than leaving. These observations about the nature of love are made as a kind of invitation to read McCarthy's novel and see where you stand philosophically. Is love only love for the Beautiful and Good, or can love have, as Simon May puts forth (and illustrated by the respective objects of love of these 3 men), a more expansive and darker range? American novelist Cormac McCarthy - Born 1933

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Breznican

    Here's an unusual encounter. I met Cormac McCarthy at the Oscars this year, and we had a very pleasant little chat. This was an important moment for me not only because he is the author of Blood Meridian, No Country For Old Men and The Road, all books I worship, but also because McCarthy is famous for his almost Salinger-like reclusive tendencies. He does not do interviews nor does he show up on The Tonight Show. He doesn't walk red carpets, tour colleges on the lecture circuit, or do any of the Here's an unusual encounter. I met Cormac McCarthy at the Oscars this year, and we had a very pleasant little chat. This was an important moment for me not only because he is the author of Blood Meridian, No Country For Old Men and The Road, all books I worship, but also because McCarthy is famous for his almost Salinger-like reclusive tendencies. He does not do interviews nor does he show up on The Tonight Show. He doesn't walk red carpets, tour colleges on the lecture circuit, or do any of the public events that come with being one of the nation's greatest prose stylists. He writes these remarkable, beautiful, elegiac tragedies, steeped in prose that at times become Biblical in their sweep and intensity. Then he stays utterly quiet about them. (With few exceptions – he did a New York Times interview in 1992 and sat down with Oprah Winfrey last June.) I saw him at the Oscars on Sunday, just a face in the crowd gathered in the three-story lobby of the Kodak Theatre before the show, where champagne flutes were being clinked by the beautiful horde in anticipation of the big night. Of course, the Coen brothers' adaptation of No Country For Old Men was up for many of the top prizes, and that is why McCarthy was making this rare public appearance. At first, I wasn't sure it was really him, and then I lost sight of him. A female voice over the sound system announced that there were 45 minutes before the start of the telecast. Soon after that, he vanished. My job on this night is to be a reporter covering the backstage area, trying to capture true behind-the-scenes stories that no one sees. After cruising around a bit, talking with host Jon Stewart, making sure I didn't miss Jack Nicholson's annual pass-through (last year he showed up with a shaved head) I ducked into the main hall of the theater. I am one of the few reporters with a pass that opens pretty much all doors. I spend most of the night in the wings of the stage, catching candid moments from the winners and presenters, chatting with the folks I know or have interviewed before, gathering the backstory for USA Today's Oscar lead the next day. The theater was mostly empty. A few dozen seat-fillers were lined up along one side of the theater, getting instructions for the night, and some crew guys were checking the camera rigs near the foot of the stage. McCarthy was sitting by himself, alongside his young son, John, (the inspiration, incidentally, for The Road) about four rows from the front, with no one else around. One crew member walked by and shook his hand, and the author seemed genuinely pleased to chat. On one hand I thought I should leave him be. He is famously press-averse, as I said, and I didn't see any value in trying to disturb him. My job is to do interviews, to gather anecdotes from the scene, but if someone doesn't want to talk, I try not to hassle. The New York Times, in its interview 15 years ago, described him as a "gregarious recluse" who "has lots of friends who know that he likes to be left alone." On the other hand, when you are at these events as a reporter, you are also constantly aware of your status as an outsider. Not only that, but when you come from a little town outside of Pittsburgh and find yourself in the glittering swirl of a setting such as the Academy Awards, you can't help but have a little pang of squirming desperation. It's easy to feel lonely in these crowds. McCarthy's charming reaction to the crew worker who recognized him suggested he was not shy or hostile. I don't think this Pulitzer-winning author needed company from the likes of me, but he is a human being – and one I admire – so I decided to just put away the notebook and take a chance on saying hello. I approached respectfully and said that I was a reporter, but not one who wanted to interview him. He smiled, stood up and shook my hand. "What's your name?" he asked, and I told him. "Bresnihan?" he asked. "Is that Irish?" "No, it's Slovak," I told him. "Breznican," he repeated. "How is that spelled?" Momentarily unable to remember the letter order of my own name, I looked at my credential. He said isn't it interesting how it could sound so much like the Irish name Bresnihan and yet be from somewhere so far away? I agreed that was a funny coincidence. "Is this your son?" I asked, leaning over to wave at the little boy. He reminded me of the little kid from There Will Be Blood – a round head with neatly combed hair and wise little eyes. "This is John … John, this is Anthony," McCarthy said, and I shook the kid's hand. He had a big smile on his face. McCarthy asked me what paper I was writing for, and I told him, gesturing back to the stage where I would spend most of the night, describing my duties in brief. Then I told him that I just wanted to shake his hand, to thank him for all the remarkable work, and wish the both of them an enjoyable evening. He said, "It should be fun. It should be trippy," and we both laughed. He seemed pretty relaxed, and that was such a great line -- very unexpected. So I took another chance and said, "You know, I am writing about the scene here tonight, and … if you didn't mind, could I quote you? Could I get your thoughts on all this?" If he'd said no, that he'd rather not, that would have been fine. I tried not to put the pressure on. I know the guy's reputation. Showing up at Thomas Pynchon's door is not going to persuade him to pose for a snapshot, you know? But McCarthy didn't balk. He looked around and waved one arm from the stage to the lobby. "What's there to say — I'm at the Oscars and I'm not even in the film business!" He said again that he thought it would be fun, and – knowing how stressed all the nominees have been – I said, yeah, it should. After all the snark and cynicism of Hollywood, it was a relief to hear some pure cheerfulness for a change. I'm grateful he didn't shoo me away, and hope he doesn't regret chatting (or me describing the encounter here.) I told him the thing that surprised me the most about the film was how similar the scenes in the movie seemed to the book, that the way I had pictured certain sequences were almost exactly as they appeared in the film – which means the Coens must have followed even the most subtle of descriptions from the novel. McCarthy said, "Well, you can never put a whole book on the screen," but said he admired the movie they made from it. "They got the heart of it," I told him, and he nodded, saying that he was surprised anyone wanted to make the movie at all, since the book has such an unusual ending. "I'm just glad people didn't run screaming from the theater," he said, chuckling. I said it was the best kind of ending: one that gives you something to talk about later. With that, I decided to cut these two fellows loose. I could have stood there and talked to him from then until the end of the three-and-a-half hour show, grilling him about his stories, hearing the greater writer's thoughts on his work. That, he really would have hated. And I knew that was never going to happen anyway. I wished them both a good evening, and waved good-bye. Part of me wondered if it had not been a missed opportunity. So few people get to encounter him, should I not have gathered some thought or nugget from him, some insight into the mind that has so eloquently pondered the violent and cruel tendencies of our species? Where are we headed? Why are we this way? What's next? Where did these tales originate in his synapses? But that's heavy business, and interesting to me, but probably not to him. Surely he would have hated it – and has said so in the past. I decided beforehand that I wasn't going to talk to the great author, I was going to talk to a guy I respected. I only rolled the dice and asked to quote him because he ultimately did seem so friendly and happy to be there, and it seemed okay to ask. For someone whose writing explores our darkest natures, I enjoyed the opportunity to share an exchange about a happy moment. McCarthy doesn't attend events that are held in his honor, and yet here he was at the Oscars – and he was the first one standing and clapping in honor of the Coens when they won best picture. Just meeting the man was a treat. Glen Hansard, the actor-singer from Once who won the best song trophy that night, told me that when he met Bob Dylan, he told Dylan: "This means as much to me as when you met Woody," referring to the iconic folk singer Woody Guthrie. I don't pretend to be on that level, but as a writer getting to meet McCarthy, there was nothing better for me that night, despite all the other famous folks around. My brief, light encounter reminded me in some ways of Allen Ginsberg, describing in his poem Death News the time he and Jack Kerouac and some of the other Beats met William Carlos Williams and "inquired wise words." W.C.W. looked out his window and said, "There's a lot of bastards out there…" My exchange was much more lighthearted, but no less surprising. I might have expected McCarthy to be grim, more stone-faced than he was, or to find him brutally uncomfortable with conversation. As it turned out, he was very warm and kind, surprisingly so … And I enjoyed meeting his little boy and seeing a father and son sharing a fun night out. McCarthy and I didn't exchange any secrets of life, but we exchanged pleasantries. In a world where cruelty is too often the top commodity, that's something, at least. I hope he felt the same. (UPDATE: I'm an author myself now, and my novel "Brutal Youth" comes out in June 2014. If you liked this story, maybe you'll be interested in finding me here on Goodreads.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    Coac McCartney's No Country for Old Men is a quick but intense read. For those that saw the Cohen brothers' movie first (as I did years ago), the book is as bleak and violent as the movie was. Chigurh is probably up there with The Joker as one of the most evil, conscience-free bad guys in literature. He kills willfully and without a shred of remorse before slinking back into the woodwork unseen and uncaught. Moss is a tragic, but heroic character who gets caught up with something far beyond his Coac McCartney's No Country for Old Men is a quick but intense read. For those that saw the Cohen brothers' movie first (as I did years ago), the book is as bleak and violent as the movie was. Chigurh is probably up there with The Joker as one of the most evil, conscience-free bad guys in literature. He kills willfully and without a shred of remorse before slinking back into the woodwork unseen and uncaught. Moss is a tragic, but heroic character who gets caught up with something far beyond his abilities (which are great to say the least) to control. Bell is precisely how he was portrayed in the film: tired, old, jaded. The writing is typically devoid of quotation marks but full of wonderful descriptions: "It was a big redtail...Any small thing might venture to cross. Closing in on the prey against the sun. Shadowless. Lost in the concentration of the hunter." (P. 45). This attention of Bell for the dead hawk mirrors his attention to the various victims of the cartel and Chigurh. "Anything can be an instrument, Chigurh said. Small things. Things you wouldn't even notice. They pass from hand to hand. People don't pay attention. And then one day there's an accounting. And after that nothing is the same." (P. 57). This is sort of the leitmotif of the entire novel. Nothing is ever the same. Moss and the hitchhiker: "What do I gotta do for it? You don't gotta do nothin. Even a blind sow finds a acorn ever once in a while." (P. 233) Moss never asks for help and yet throws himself into what he knows is a deadend quest - for a goal he is not even aware of, other than knowing that he will never reach it. The last time we see Chigurh with Carla Jean, he again leaves her fate to the toss of a coin: "I only have one way to live. It doesn't allow for special cases. A coin toss perhaps. In this case to small purpose. Most people believe there cannot be such a person. You can see what a problem that must be for them. How to prevail over that which you refuse to acknowledge the existence of." (P. 260) As in most of McCarthy's novels, there is not really a moral to be found here. There is inescapable evil in the world and at some point you place yourself on one side or the other. When you straddle the line as Moss did, things usually do not come out well. Nonetheless, it is powerful reading and of course was made into an epic film. Hard to forget

  6. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    Is No Country for Old Men a great book. It is. Is Cormac McCarthy becoming one of my favorite authors. He is. You reckon I outta read more of his books. I do. I don’t know why I love this book so much. I surely dont. Read it bout three times now. Bout three times or so. Dont ever seem to get old does it sheriff. It dont. It surely don’t. Got a bad man in it. Flips a coin. Scares people. Call it. It’s your lucky penny. Books got an old west flavor to it with a contemporary tone all at the same ti Is No Country for Old Men a great book. It is. Is Cormac McCarthy becoming one of my favorite authors. He is. You reckon I outta read more of his books. I do. I don’t know why I love this book so much. I surely dont. Read it bout three times now. Bout three times or so. Dont ever seem to get old does it sheriff. It dont. It surely don’t. Got a bad man in it. Flips a coin. Scares people. Call it. It’s your lucky penny. Books got an old west flavor to it with a contemporary tone all at the same time. Feels older than it is. Feels like it coulda been written decades ago, not this century or no time like that. I always enjoyed the movie too. Always loved those Coen brothers and what they did with the story. And other stories. Sometimes I like to pour a cup of lukewarm black coffee into a styrofoam cup and watch that movie. Always takes me outta this world with its problems and makes me feel a little better. I dont reckon I put that right. It aint a feel good story or nothin. It surely aint. Should you read this book. You should. Should you watch the movie. You should. There aint many books out there written as good as this one. Ive read a few of em. There aint.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    A taut thriller with crisp, naturalistic dialogue, this book refuses to avert its eyes from the darkness. Perhaps I'm rating this a bit low, but--considering the author's reputation--I expected more. Besides, I liked the movie better.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    Cormac McCarthy has created - again - the perfect villain, this time in the form of a former special forces killer named Anton Chigurh. Like Judge Holden and Glanton in Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West, Chigurh is intelligent, resourceful and utterly devoted to violence and chaos. Yet, like the antagonists in Blood Meridian, McCarthy has imbued in Chigurh a strange integrity, a devotion to a natural order that I think is McCarthy's embodied illustration of evil - a man cut off Cormac McCarthy has created - again - the perfect villain, this time in the form of a former special forces killer named Anton Chigurh. Like Judge Holden and Glanton in Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West, Chigurh is intelligent, resourceful and utterly devoted to violence and chaos. Yet, like the antagonists in Blood Meridian, McCarthy has imbued in Chigurh a strange integrity, a devotion to a natural order that I think is McCarthy's embodied illustration of evil - a man cut off and separated from the love of man or God. McCarthy's lean, muscular narrative style is in masterful form for this dialogue on good and evil, and like other McCarthy novels, he pays no mind to popular ideals of what a story should say or do. McCarthy is the quintessential post-modernist with his bold disregard for traditional plot structure and unsettling dénouement. There is no warm and fuzzy Hollywood ending here, no cathartic summation. Mccarthy leaves the reader to ponder this modern tragedy without a clear sense of resolution, this is the present day, cultural Lamentation of Jeremiah, but without the prophet's faith.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Fabian

    Well, if you saw the Oscar-winning film, you pretty much got the gist. This is an examination of evil at its most primitive level, in which lawlessness, even in the modern world, reigns over conscience, reason & morality. Chigurh is the prototypical Boogeyman: a walking, talking Michael Myers (c.a. 1978 by Carpenter) that is not immortal, though the concept of him will rule all the ages, prevailing like a force of nature. Powerful stuff, emotional & heartless at the same time, & of c Well, if you saw the Oscar-winning film, you pretty much got the gist. This is an examination of evil at its most primitive level, in which lawlessness, even in the modern world, reigns over conscience, reason & morality. Chigurh is the prototypical Boogeyman: a walking, talking Michael Myers (c.a. 1978 by Carpenter) that is not immortal, though the concept of him will rule all the ages, prevailing like a force of nature. Powerful stuff, emotional & heartless at the same time, & of course, written in precise, minimalist prose.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    This is started as a one-star book, then progressed to four slowly as the story unfolded. The novel grows on you. No Country for Old Men starts out in a thoroughly disjointed way. Multiple POVs, total lack of punctuation, dialogue rendered exactly as the characters speak it... the reader is utterly confused as to where the focus is, who the protagonist is, and what the story is about. It could be about one Llewlyn Moss who stumbles upon a fortune while hunting antelope near the Rio Grande. A tran This is started as a one-star book, then progressed to four slowly as the story unfolded. The novel grows on you. No Country for Old Men starts out in a thoroughly disjointed way. Multiple POVs, total lack of punctuation, dialogue rendered exactly as the characters speak it... the reader is utterly confused as to where the focus is, who the protagonist is, and what the story is about. It could be about one Llewlyn Moss who stumbles upon a fortune while hunting antelope near the Rio Grande. A transaction between drug dealers has gone wrong, leaving a number of bodies, a huge stash of heroin, and a case full of cash. Moss takes the cash and runs, knowing fully well that his life is changed for ever. Or then, it could be about Anton Chigurh, hired gun and cold-blooded killing machine. He is entrusted with the task of finding the money taken by Moss. On the way, Chigurh leaves a trail of dead bodies, sometimes philosophising to his victims. Or it could be about Sheriff Bell, bent on doing his job of keeping law and order and protecting the citizens of his county to the best of his ability-even though most of the time, he fails. The story moves at a roller-coaster pace. The scenes are short and mostly disjointed: the author sometimes leaves a major piece of the action behind the scenes. Characters come and go without any introduction. The sentences hit you like machine-gun fire. If you stick with the novel, after some time, you get accustomed to the style; it loses its annoyance potential, and the real story starts coming through. For this is not the story of Moss, or of Anton Chigurh; but of Sheriff Bell, and the country he is a symbol of. This is the country of Daniel Boone and Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kidd and Jesse James: the country of "The Man With No Name", and a hundred Spaghetti Westerns we have seen and forgotten. This country is absolutely heartless but imbued with a certain terrible beauty. This country sends forth its sons to die in Vietnam and Iraq. It is, indeed, not a country for old men. Anton Chigurh is a masterly creation: one of the most frightening villains I have come across, because he is not "evil" in the traditional sense. Chigurh is a philosopher, a believer in the karma of what he is doing, the karma which is unstoppable and which will find you out no matter what. The scenes of him philosophising with Carson Wells and Carla Jean before he shoots them are terrifying for the lack of emotion in them. It is also ironical that an out-of-control car driven by three junkies, an entirely chance event, ultimately proves to be his undoing. But as I said earlier, this is the story of Sheriff Bell, who is atoning for a single act of cowardice during the second world war (rather like Lord Jim). We get to know this only towards the very end, after the whole affair of Moss and Chigurh is over and done with: then the story suddenly falls into focus, and the philosophical interludes of the sheriff interspersed throughout the novel with the main narrative starts to make perfect sense. The killers, the chase and the shootouts are all just window dressing for the story of this one man as he tries to make sense of the conundrum of the meaning of life. And he does find his answer, though maybe not the one he expected. The image of this man, standing alone in the midst of the desert, shoulders slumped in defeat against an increasingly violent and unjust world, is a touching one: and somehow heartening. Because we know that he is the real spirit of the desert, the gunslinger of American myth who rides off into the sunset after taking care of the baddies. And because we know that finally at the end of the trail, his dad will be waiting for him with the fire burning in the dark as he saw in his dream. Ride on, Sheriff Bell.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    4.5 to 5.0 stars. First, a pre-emptive apology...this is my first Cormac McCarthy novel and so my gush of praise may be a tad too CAPTAIN KIRKISH in its melodramatic over the top-ness, so please forgive me. I will attempt to keep my giddiness to a minimum...but man can this guy write a novel!!! I will start by saying without trying to sound overly stuffy or pretentious that I thought this was a brilliant, nuanced, multi-layered story that was told in extremely simple, straight-forward prose yet 4.5 to 5.0 stars. First, a pre-emptive apology...this is my first Cormac McCarthy novel and so my gush of praise may be a tad too CAPTAIN KIRKISH in its melodramatic over the top-ness, so please forgive me. I will attempt to keep my giddiness to a minimum...but man can this guy write a novel!!! I will start by saying without trying to sound overly stuffy or pretentious that I thought this was a brilliant, nuanced, multi-layered story that was told in extremely simple, straight-forward prose yet required the reader to sift through the dialogue and pull out the deeper meaning that McCarthy was trying to convey. Or, put another way...THIS BOOK WAS FULL OF ENOUGH WIN TO PUSH IT UP INTO UBER TERRITORY. I have a read quite a few books in my life with a large portion of them being read over the last five years when I have been old enough (hopefully) to more fully appreciate some of the “classics” that I was forced to read in high school and as an undergrad (in between a lot of science fiction, fantasy and thrillers). I have loved quite a few of the books and have a pretty healthy bookshelf of “All Time Favorites” and “6 star books.” However, for all of the books that I have loved, there are only a handful that have actually either changed the way I think or given me a deeper insight into my world and my history. These I would call my "life-changers" and comprise a fairly eclectic group: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and John Adams (both inspirational figures who demonstrate greatness to me); American Psycho (the loss of empathy and consequent brutality resulting from the isolation, shallowness and loss of true identity that resulted from the rampant consumerism of the 80’s); The Old Man and the Sea (the power and beauty to be found in a man’s simple determination to persevere and not give up); The Sparrow (a superb story that illustrates the battle a good person can have with their faith when they are faced with the question “How could a loving God allow such evil and pain to happen to good people?); The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas (the Short Story) (the most evocative and powerful rebuttal to the utilitarian theory of ethics I have ever read...it still gives me chills when I read it); Night (the stark reality of man's inhumanity to man is something I will never forget); Lost Boys (the short story) by Orson Scott Card; (as a parent, this was the most devastatingly emotional piece of literature I have ever read). To that list I now add this amazing book which if I was annotating it like the stories above I would say: the most concise, piercing and spot on description of the rapid, cataclysmic escalation of violence in America beginning at the start of the 1980‘s and the absolute inability of the previous generation of leaders (in all areas of life from education, to spiritual, to law enforcement) to respond to, cope with (or even understand) the new breed of criminal that arose during that time. I would also say that the fact that the reader (i.e., a regular person of today) is not as shocked or confused by the actions of people like Anton Chigurh as Sheriff Bell is in the book is a powerful statement about how numb and accepting we have become of brutal, sadistic violence being a part of our everyday lives. I thought the book was superb and I look forward to reading more by McCarthy very soon. OH, and I can not end this review without saying that ANTON CHIGURH is one of the most COMPELLING, DISTURBING AND AMAZING literary characters I have come across in a long while. I was riveted to the story every single time he was anywhere near the narrative. My advice, if he asks you to call it....JUST RUN!!!!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Orsodimondo

    FILOSOFIA DELLA GIUSTIZIA I tre protagonisti del film diretto dai fratelli Coen. Trovo Bardem così insopportabile che non sono riuscito a godere il film, che pure portò a casa ben quattro Oscar, tra cui quello sprecato proprio a Bardem. Si legge con gran facilità, con inconsueta scorrevolezza. Però, non è un pregio. Ho sentito la mancanza di certi incagli, della necessità di rileggere, di fermarmi a immaginare ed evocare che aveva il meridiano e la trilogia. Sono sostanzialmente deluso, da McCart FILOSOFIA DELLA GIUSTIZIA I tre protagonisti del film diretto dai fratelli Coen. Trovo Bardem così insopportabile che non sono riuscito a godere il film, che pure portò a casa ben quattro Oscar, tra cui quello sprecato proprio a Bardem. Si legge con gran facilità, con inconsueta scorrevolezza. Però, non è un pregio. Ho sentito la mancanza di certi incagli, della necessità di rileggere, di fermarmi a immaginare ed evocare che aveva il meridiano e la trilogia. Sono sostanzialmente deluso, da McCarthy mi aspetto e pretendo di più, storie così dovrebbe lasciarle a Jim Harrison & Co, e lui dedicarsi a qualcosa di altro, e oltre. Tommy Lee Jones, come sempre insuperabile. I dialoghi, però, sono da recitare più che leggere, magnifici in entrambe le lingue (ma anche per questo aspetto posso comodamente rivolgermi altrove, per esempio a Elmore Leonard). Un thrilleraccio, un westernaccio, con un improbabile imprendibile psychokiller. Riflessioni sul tempo, la vita, la violenza, le cose che cambiano per rendere la narrazione più pregnante di una saga di ol' timers. Josh Brolin, uno dei tre protagonisti del film del 2007. Manca la natura, solitamente grande protagonista nell’opera di McCarthy, assenza che pesa. Il pessimismo cosmico affidato ad Anton Chigurh (nome scelto per poter giocare sulla pronuncia e far confusione con sugar, ma ‘sto killeraccio malefico tutto è meno che uno zuccherino) e alla sua arma ad aria compressa si perde nei frammenti di calotta cranica, negli schizzi di sangue e nei cervelli spappolati. Funziona solo in parte, si legge, ma non incide. Probabilmente meglio il lavoro dei fratelli Coen, che restando bassi e meno universali, si avvicinano di più al bersaglio. Penso che quando non si dice più “grazie” e “per favore” la fine è vicina. Il film è stato girato principalmente in New Mexico, ma anche in Texas, e una puntata nello stesso Messico, a Piedras Negras, Coahuila.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    This is No Book for Tender Hearts. No Book for Gore Haters. No Book for Punctuation Police. But hot damn, it's a great book. I was worried that it might be dwarfed by the exceptional movie version, but then I read three pages and was completely in the hands of this writer. Yes, he writes without punctuation, in clipped, incomplete sentences. His voice is often and easily parodied. It didn't bother me, though. The bare, unsentimental style suits this ruthless 1980's cowboy story. There's almost no This is No Book for Tender Hearts. No Book for Gore Haters. No Book for Punctuation Police. But hot damn, it's a great book. I was worried that it might be dwarfed by the exceptional movie version, but then I read three pages and was completely in the hands of this writer. Yes, he writes without punctuation, in clipped, incomplete sentences. His voice is often and easily parodied. It didn't bother me, though. The bare, unsentimental style suits this ruthless 1980's cowboy story. There's almost no interiority here, by which I mean the author describing his characters' inner turmoil or thoughts. There's no big backstory or even much physical description. There's just action, killer action, and some of the best dialogue out there, which tells us pretty much all we need to know. Llewelyn Moss chances upon something that doesn't belong to him (fatal mistake #1) and then returns to the scene (fatal mistake #2) which sets the murderous story rolling along. Anton Chigurh is probably the most heartless villain ever written (if you can think of one worse, tell me!), and is hot on his trail in this vicious game of cat and mouse. When I say vicious, believe me. This should come with a rating of R for extreme violence. The themes of randomness and chance come up many times, as depicted by Chigurh and his dreaded coin. The shape of your path was visible from the beginning. Also, the big, dark question of destiny is answered bleakly: Your notions about startin over. Or anybody's. You dont start over. That's what it's about. Ever step you take is forever. You cant make it go away. None of it. Sheriff Bell is always a few steps behind, and is the source of all interiority in the book. He's disillusioned with the world. And who can blame him, after he sees the trail left by Chigurh and his terrifying air-gun-thing. The author speckles the Sheriff's thoughts throughout the book, in short, italicised chapters. They provide a sort of moral anchor to the book, which is necessary and works for the most part, but becomes too much towards the end. When all the spectacular action has wrapped up, when all the dead people are dead and the ones that survive have survived, somehow we are forced to keep reading more thoughts from the Sheriff - about how bad the world is, his experiences in the war, and other subtleties that are probably very meaningful but to which I became immune because by that point my interest had waned down to a disappointed blip. How this book could be so razor-sharp and then so blathering brought down my review a star. Just a star, because it's SO good, it's worth reading. But just be forewarned. It needs the cardio-conversion paddles towards the end.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Wanting to give up... Refusing to give up... Not knowing the meaning of giving up. When drugs and money come to a small Texas town, sheriff-about-to-retire trope Ed Tom Bell is tasked with solving a deal gone murderously wrong. This is indeed No Country for Old Men. A psychopath of a hitman, Anton Chigurh (that last name being pronounced cheekily similar to "sugar,") is making Bell's last days as sheriff a living hell. Vietnam vet Llewelyn Moss isn't making things any easier. Moss happened upon the Wanting to give up... Refusing to give up... Not knowing the meaning of giving up. When drugs and money come to a small Texas town, sheriff-about-to-retire trope Ed Tom Bell is tasked with solving a deal gone murderously wrong. This is indeed No Country for Old Men. A psychopath of a hitman, Anton Chigurh (that last name being pronounced cheekily similar to "sugar,") is making Bell's last days as sheriff a living hell. Vietnam vet Llewelyn Moss isn't making things any easier. Moss happened upon the drug deal aftermath, grabbed the loot and dashed. Chigurh's been on his heels ever since. That leaves Bell trailing along behind them, picking up clues and wondering what in the heck they all mean. I found myself actually pulling for all three men, yes, even the psycho killer and that scared the crap out of me. He was such a good "bad guy" that I didn't want to see him die. There are a multitude of colorful and carefully crafted characters herein, some as thorny as the landscape. How do I know the landscape is thorny? Cormac McCarthy made me feel it. The book is set in 1980. Thankfully, McCarthy doesn't overplay it with product placement...Oh look at me in my Lee jeans and pornstar mustache drinking from a glass bottle of Coke while sitting on the hood of my '76 Camaro....He uses period-appropriate props only when they are necessary. The plot is tight when it needs to be and breathes when it can. The action fluctuates from relaxed to tense and back again. Not-completely-necessary-but-still-enjoyable story asides (that you won't find in the movie) often contain pearls of homespun wisdom like "Every step you take is forever. You can't make it go away. None of it." I saw the movie version of this awhile back and, although the book and movie are very similar, this was still an exciting read for me. McCarthy's austere style may not set well with all readers - he doesn't fuck around with flowery words much - however, the spartan prose marches soldierly ahead, pressing the story on, delivering to the reader a tale victoriously told.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Annet

    Saw the movie, read the book afterwards to fully understand the story. Fascinating story. Great writing. I'm have become a huge fan of Cormac McCarthy! Grand writer.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessaka

    When I was reading this book I began noticing how much the killings in it reminded me of the bible. They are the same book, I thought, No Country for Old Men and the bible. Only one is more graphic than the other. You have to really use your imagination when reading the bible. McCarthy fills in the cracks, takes away your imagination. I once read a story about a woman who lived with a tribe, and a man from another tribe came in and raped her. After that her people killed every one of his people, When I was reading this book I began noticing how much the killings in it reminded me of the bible. They are the same book, I thought, No Country for Old Men and the bible. Only one is more graphic than the other. You have to really use your imagination when reading the bible. McCarthy fills in the cracks, takes away your imagination. I once read a story about a woman who lived with a tribe, and a man from another tribe came in and raped her. After that her people killed every one of his people, men, women, and children. Sound like a McCarthy book? The murderers, in this case were the Israelites. God’s people. It was okay for them to kill because there was a reason, but whatever that reason was, I do not know, but I could not see the justice. The murderer in McCarthy’s book does the same thing, he kills innocent people, but he is a psychopathic killer. He feels nothing for those he murders. If you want a psychopath to feel your pain, he has to look into your eyes. They won’t for this reason. Did God look into the eyes of those he had killed? Did he feel anything for them? Moss, the main character in this book, lives in a Texas desert town with his wife, and he loves hunting antelopes. He was out hunting for antelopes on this fateful day, but instead of killing an antelope, he hunted up trouble. He got out his binoculars and scratched around the land for antelopes, finding instead three vehicles with dead bodies scattered on the ground. Remember Lot’s wife in the Bible? She was told by an angel of God to not look back, if she did she would die. Moss looked back instead of running from the scene. He couldn’t help himself anymore than Lot’s wife could. Moss went down to check out the dead too many times. The first time was fatal; the second was just dumb. But I am not saying that he died in the story; just saying. One man was still alive and asked for water, just like Lazarus,the man in hell in the New Testament, had. When Lazarus asked for water; God didn’t listen. Maybe He didn’t even look into his eyes to know his suffering. I don’t know. Moss, on the other hand didn’t have any water to give or he would have given it to him. Then Moss checked out the vehicles, found heroin. He left the heroin where it was and walked down a bloody path where he found another dead man--and money. He took the money, went back to his truck and then home to his wife. I thought then that his wife was now good as dead. She should have left him when he told her about the money. Maybe she should have left him long ago. Life is like that, sometimes you get only one window of opportunity. Moss leaves his wife at home and decides to check out the scene again, but by this time it doesn’t matter. Whatever happens now is fate.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    NO COUNTRY FOR OLD REVIEWERS Rayner took the bolt of the Uzi and slid the firing pin on. He aligned the springs and dropped the housing in. He felt and made sure it was seeded properly. He got the barrel and pushed that down. It rotated and found the notch. Bryant rolled a thin one, tamping the tobacco, pinching off the surplus and returning it to the tin. There was a dog. You fixin to make me flip a coin on you. No I particular aint. Don’t look like it to me. You shouldn’t likely do this. Well yo NO COUNTRY FOR OLD REVIEWERS Rayner took the bolt of the Uzi and slid the firing pin on. He aligned the springs and dropped the housing in. He felt and made sure it was seeded properly. He got the barrel and pushed that down. It rotated and found the notch. Bryant rolled a thin one, tamping the tobacco, pinching off the surplus and returning it to the tin. There was a dog. You fixin to make me flip a coin on you. No I particular aint. Don’t look like it to me. You shouldn’t likely do this. Well you know how this is goin to go when you done it. I know they gone say I stoled it from you, I knows it. But I aint. It was the only way to do it. Yep. You got that right. Stole it. Dint stole nuthin. Likely cant be done no other way. Tried it ever which way. Dint come out right. Rayner eased in a new clip, slid one into the magazine. Bryant watched the barrel. It was pointing at his gut. A dog poked ragged ears round the plywood door. Rayner moved the barrel three inches sideways and put a cartridge into its brains. The dog flew in a red arc about eight feet four inches in the air and landed somewhere they couldn’t see. It yowled somewhat and then it didnt. What you shoot a damn dog for. Wasnt your dog. Yeah wasn’t my dog. Aint sayin. Well, it might could be emphasisin a point here. Which you don’t seem to of got. Well, all right. You try an write a review of No Country for Old Men without doin it like in speech and like that. I’m getting tired of sayin cant be done. I knows you done it first. You shouldna kindly stole it. I’s thinkin we should flip a coin on thisn but we done here. The bullet put a hole the size of a fair sized bag of cashew nuts in around the upper middle of Bryants front carpicles. Blood pooled over the plastic chair legs and the rough plywood floor. Bryants arm spasmed out onto the laptop and pressed SAVE. Rayner stepped around the dead man and went into the sun. He got into the Dodge pickup and started the engine. He let it idle for a while. He took the list from his front shirt pocket and took a pencil and crossed through Bryant’s name. He studied the next name on the list then threw the Dodge into gear. ***** With apologies to my old GR friend Manny Rayner, who I firmly believe would never shoot a dog just to emphasise a point. I tried this where I shot Manny, and it was pretty funny, naturally, but also a little creepy assassinating a fellow reviewer, so I let him shoot me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matthias

    With a book like this, the movie pretty much made itself. You could've just as well filmed the pages being flicked through (preferably by Javier Bardem, I'm sure he'd do it astoundingly) and you'd get roughly the same experience. I understand the comparisons being made between the film and the book. That's the kind of understanding guy I am. I can only say both are masterpieces. It all starts with Cormac McCarthy though, and while the Coen brothers and the cast of the movie did a tremendous job, With a book like this, the movie pretty much made itself. You could've just as well filmed the pages being flicked through (preferably by Javier Bardem, I'm sure he'd do it astoundingly) and you'd get roughly the same experience. I understand the comparisons being made between the film and the book. That's the kind of understanding guy I am. I can only say both are masterpieces. It all starts with Cormac McCarthy though, and while the Coen brothers and the cast of the movie did a tremendous job, I think the biggest piece of the praisecake should go to the author. This book has many things that define good books: 1. Suspense: Danger looms everywhere as soon as that suitcase gets in the picture. You can feel it breathing down the neck of everyone who comes near it. The main personificiation of this danger, Anton Chigurh, is one of the most legendary villains I've come across. Cold, rational, in control. 2. Pacing: While this is a book where you wonder what will happen next, it doesn't give you much time for doing that. Because while you're wondering BOOM, there's a surprise for you. BAM, there's another one. WHOOSH, still didn't see that coming, did you? Chigurh moves faster than your fears do. 3. Characters: Bell, the good. Chigurh, the bad. And everyone else gloriously in between, with their little views and wisdoms. Speaking of wisdoms: The Bell-monologues are what really gave this book the extra touch for me. His fondness for his wife Loretta is the strongest counterweight to Chigurh. There are things that Bell possesses that Chigurh can never put a hole in. Reading those monologues is like listening to your grandfather, full of wisdoms that seem so commonplace to the person uttering them that it becomes touching, especially in contrast with what's really going on in the world that has gone and changed around them. Some of my favorites, that I'd like to print on little plaques and hang up around my kitchen: (without quotation marks, they wouldn't feel right) All the time you spend tryin to get back what's been took from you there's more goin out the door. He said there was nothin to set a man's mind at ease like wakin up in the mornin and not havin to decide who you were. I think that when all lies are told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it anymore than you can salt salt. You cant corrupt it because that's what it is. It's the thing you're talkin about. (...) I'm sure they's people would disagree with that. Quite a few, in fact. But I never could find out what any of them did believe. You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from. If you'd like even more wisdom, particularly pertaining to this book and its interpretation, you might like the views of someone who actually knows what he's talking about. (that mysterious review he refers to is also very interesting, but I don't want to reveal too much yet in this regard)

  19. 4 out of 5

    EisNinE

    Elevating and Transcending Genre: McCarthy and 'Existentialist Crime' [WARNING: Here there be spoilers.] Another world unrolled like a carpet of dry, golden plains when I started reading 'No Country for Old Men'; the prose was vivid, but every word was a careful expenditure of idea and style. Cormac McCarthy is not an overly descriptive writer. But the antelope hunt in Southwest Texas that leads Llewelyn Moss to the bullet-riddled cars and corpses of the silent cartel battlefield is told with ab Elevating and Transcending Genre: McCarthy and 'Existentialist Crime' [WARNING: Here there be spoilers.] Another world unrolled like a carpet of dry, golden plains when I started reading 'No Country for Old Men'; the prose was vivid, but every word was a careful expenditure of idea and style. Cormac McCarthy is not an overly descriptive writer. But the antelope hunt in Southwest Texas that leads Llewelyn Moss to the bullet-riddled cars and corpses of the silent cartel battlefield is told with absolute clarity. It played out somewhere in my cerebrum like a memory, nearly identical to the film adaptation by Joel and Ethan Coen. It is a testament to the genius of all three men that the movie felt like a 'remake' of the 'original film adaptation'... by which I mean the film that played out in my head. McCarthy condenses his prose into clean, spare lines of poetic brevity. The skeletal structure of his language is porous, like the bones of eagles and vultures: it can take flight when it needs to fly, it can sink its narrative talons into heavy prey and dead-ugly notions, it can take to the air with these blood-soaked prizes. Very few writers are comfortable with the high places he makes for his home, or the low places where he hunts for stories. His narrative voice marks him as a blood relation to Faulkner, with a casual grandiloquence strained from the apocalyptic cryptograms of Revelations and the more ominous books of the Old Testament. 'No Country for Old Men' was not well-received by many of McCarthy's fans, seen as an unnecessary digression from literature, 'slumming' in the ghettos of genre-fiction. But if 'NCfOM' is a 'crime novel', and it is, McCarthy not only matches the genre's previous high water marks, but with 'No Country For Old Men', he floods the deep-carved banks of the Genre's narrative current with all the force of a million-year old glacial dam's final collapse, ice-cold waters turning parallel genre streams into a mega-river before spilling into an impossible system of ancient and carefully engineered locks, dams and channels, flowing to feed into the archetypal ocean of human knowledge. The channel of Philosophy was built for regulating the tidal algorithms and powerful undercurrents that would protect the data by isolating whatever play-science variables find important to objectively judge just how sea-worthy the vessels of hypothetical Philosophy truly are as they pass through the system. Dostoevsky's 'Crime & Punishment' was probably the first work of fiction to navigate both the well-traveled central canal/canon of Western literature AND the philosophical channel of proto-relativism. It was portrayed as it had to be: a cautionary tale, concerning an arrogant young man who renounced god and imagined himself beyond good and evil. But all the questions asked by the existentialism of Sartre and Camus are plainly asked or hiding in subtext: How can I justify the restraint of selfish, natural impulses if good and evil are arbitrary and outdated notions used to manipulate the weak-minded? Is a morality based entirely on logic and serving individual needs possible? Is it cowardice to submit to a moral and legal code that contradicts one's core philosophy? In a world without gods and heavenly rewards, how can the individual justify self-sacrifice? With nothing but the void waiting for us after death, is dying to keep a secret that will save lives justifiable... when the world essentially dies with you? This presaged the overtly existentialist currents of Albert Camus' 'L'Etranger', with their fictional meditations on the dilemmas facing atheist or agnostic protagonists who let their individualistic philosophy guide their actions, taking them into territory deemed immoral and criminal, and then trapped inside hostile legal institutions with illusions of permanence and religious foundations built on shifting moral sands. NCfOM should also be read as a conflict between the conservative notions of right and wrong held by Sheriff Bell, and the terrifying personification of moral relativism and the Nietzschean ubermensch, Anton Chigurh. Again: 'No Country for Old Men' is a perfect example of great writing that both elevates genre and transcends it... (view spoiler)[High-Brow and Crime & Semi-Crime Fiction Favorites: 00. Cormac McCarthy 01. Jim Thompson 02. Dashiell Hammett 03. Raymond Chandler 04. Denis Johnson 05. James Carlos Blake 06. Thomas Pynchon 07. James M. Cain 08. Jonathan Lethem 09. Richard Price 10. Dennis Lehane 11. Charles Willeford 12. James Ellroy 13. Richard Stark 14. Norman Mailer 15. William S. Burroughs 16. Ron Hansen 17. Michael Chabon 18. Paul Auster 19. Charles Portis 20. Larry McMurtry (hide spoiler)] Just as Llewelyn Moss declares war on Anton Chigurh, after realizing that the only way the assassin will let the woman he loves live is by sacrificing his own life, the Mexican drug-lords find him instead. The narrative symmetry that favored a violent showdown between Moss and Chigurh is thwarted, in a shocking subversion of genre expectations. And just as the enigmatic killer makes good on a terrible promise, as smart and deadly and unstoppable as some capricious Celtic god, his car is T-boned at an intersection, and he is badly injured. A Random Act of Traffic; it comes too late to save a life, or to offer anyone an advantage -- Chigurh is the last piece left on the board. And it's not a punishment, or a condemnation, since his 'sins' would demand a far more severe accounting. It once again demonstrates that even the hardest and most terrifyingly competent killers are not immune to the many ways the world can kill us without caring or trying. Whatever plans we make, they cannot compensate for the endless variables that number our days. Sheriff Bell struggles to keep up. As the 'Old Man' of the title, his experience and intellect are not enough to stop the killer it is his sworn duty to stop. He is unable to protect the citizens it is his sworn duty to protect. His thoughts punctuate the action as philosophical prologue, interludes, and epilogue. His failure to understand the callous ease with which these younger men unleash death and suffering is a failure of age. The predatorial hunger and greed that drives the various gangsters of the borderland is something that fades with time. The willingness to inflict harm remains, but not the eagerness, and killers that survive long enough to get old delegate these tasks once their hair has gone grey. McCarthy rarely provides physical descriptions of his characters, leaving it to the reader to cast the roles. There is one scene in the novel that I felt was integral as a foreshadowing to the seemingly inevitable showdown that never happened. It's also one of the most powerful and suspenseful passages in a book that is perhaps more gut-wrenchingly suspenseful than any other I've read; this is a truly existential crime novel, lacking any connection to myth or morality, subverting reader expectation and creating a sense of near helplessness. With Cormac McCarthy, the reader always finds himself in terra incognita, without signs or maps or lines of demarcation. The sun is always buried behind the clouds, but that doesn't mean it's going to rain. In safer continuums of literature, an overcast day always foreshadows The Storm. This unpredictability is not a forced gimmick, it's thematic honesty, now that the young gods of chaos have taken an empty throne unchallenged. Archetypal heroes will die unsung and unmourned. The moon will break in two, and drown the earth with its blood. The pivotal confrontation between the protagonist and antagonist, as it occurs in the novel, further establishes expectations of a 'good guy'/'bad guy' dichotomy that doesn't really exist; but McCarthy uses it to perpetuate the illusion before exposing it. When the Coen brothers significantly altered this scene in the film, after remaining so faithful to the source material, it surprised me. Anton Chigurh's insistence on killing anyone who knows both his name and his face is a promise he fulfills several times throughout the novel. In both the book and the film, after Moss has checked into a motel room following his first close call, he realizes there must be a tracking device hidden with the money. He uses this device to get the drop on his pursuer. In the film, the dead-bolt is blown in by the compression-powered cattle-killer, stunning Moss. He fires blindly, then escapes through the window. In the novel, however, Chigurh enters the room quietly using a key -- which would have made more sense in the film as well, since he killed the motel-clerk. Moss waits until he enters, and manages to catch him off guard. Moss and Chigurh face one another, with the killer kept at gun-point, hands raised. It is here, through Moss's eyes, that the reader is provided with their first and only description of Chigurh: "(...)an expensive pair of ostrichskin boots(...) Pressed jeans... The man turned his head and gazed at Moss. Blue eyes. Serene. Dark hair. Something about him faintly exotic. Beyond Moss's experience." I won't explain how the stand-off ends. This is not McCarthy's best work... that honor goes to 'Blood Meridian'. But it's one of the most powerful crime novels ever written, and it is far more than a crime novel. Norman Mailer, Thomas Pynchon and Denis Johnson have all immersed themselves in the genre, and written excellent books. But 'No Country for Old Men' tops them all, in my opinion (and those are three of my favorite writers). Even though writer Michael Chabon, a brilliant author in his own right and a fan of McCarthy, dismissed 'No Country for Old Men' in his essay collection 'Maps and Legends' as an unfortunate effort unworthy of his talent, I think the novel will be remembered differently by most. Now that it has been adapted, and is one of the greatest films ever made, it will be nearly impossible to separate them. But this is a novel that deserves to stand alone. A Bizarre, Pointless Entreaty, Spoilage-Sealed to lock in the WTF?! Flavor: (view spoiler)["EisNinE Demands... no... he politely requests, that... You Submit to His Terrible Influence, And Read Until You Bleed... that is, if you're not, y'know... too busy or whatever, for a... Mental Invasion Too Powerful To Struggle Against, Making Any Attempt At Resistance Laughable [*Sniff*]... but I'm not - I mean HE - is not interested in being a dick, so if you're not into it... whatever. I'm cool with that. Your loss." (hide spoiler)] More Art-book Reviews More Comic-book Reviews More Novel Reviews A Mysterious Review That Might Be Related to the Book in Question, But Written By Someone Else Entirely

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ No Country For Old Men has an unprecedented FOUR POINT THREE TWO rating amongst my Goodreads friends so what’s even left to say at this point? Allow me a moment to let the book speak for itself . . . . “Do you love it? I guess you could say I do. But I’d be the first one to tell you I’m as ignorant as a box of rocks so you sure don’t want to go by nothing I’d say.” The story here is of Llewellyn Moss, a single-wide dwelling welder li Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ No Country For Old Men has an unprecedented FOUR POINT THREE TWO rating amongst my Goodreads friends so what’s even left to say at this point? Allow me a moment to let the book speak for itself . . . . “Do you love it? I guess you could say I do. But I’d be the first one to tell you I’m as ignorant as a box of rocks so you sure don’t want to go by nothing I’d say.” The story here is of Llewellyn Moss, a single-wide dwelling welder living near the Mexico-US border with his child bride who is out hunting one day attempting to put some meat on the table and runs across a bunch of (dead) bad hombres, a pickup bed full of bricks of heroin and a satchel containing two million dollars in used bills. Rather than leaving what was most definitely not well enough alone, Llewellyn takes the money before thinking things through, marking him as target numero uno for the baddest mahfah you ever don’t want to meet, Anton Chigurh. Entwined amongst this storyline is that of Sheriff Bell, an old timer who has watched his corner of world deteriorate over the years due to the narcotics trade. I don’t know how to “sell” a Cormac McCarthy so I’m not even going to bother. He is definitely not “normal” . . . . McCarthy is incomparable to any other author and is very much a love him or hate him type of storyteller. There is no world building – you are plunked right into the middle of a scene while it is taking place. He also has a deadly allergy when it comes to using quotation marks, so if you can’t follow along without the proper punctuation guiding you, you will find yourself struggling. His stories are not for everyone as they are super light and fluffy. Ha! Just checking to see if you’re actually reading this crap. That was total B.S. – dude is about as bleak as they come. I’m telling you, even Mitchell was pooping his nonexistent drawers when faced with the bad guy in this one . . . . He probably had a flashback to when he was a young warthog that I just couldn’t relate to . . . . . (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] If you aren’t brave enough to tackle McCarthy’s writing, opt for the film version instead. It won all the Oscars which filled Tommy Lee Jones with glee . . . . . Surprisingly, I had not ever seen this movie (but in the weirdest of coinky-dinks it happened to be on the night I finished reading so it’s at least now made it to the DVR). It’s probably a good thing too because although Josh Brolin is a quality actor, I picture him in the lead of “scientific motorcycle maintenance journals” (wink wink) and would have been easily distracted from all the stabby going down . . . . Book number something or other in the Library’s “Read to Reel” Winter Reading Challenge

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    While out shooting antelope, Llewellyn Moss stumbles upon a crime scene: three trucks, all shot up, and numerous bodies. Upon further inspection, Moss finds a substantial quantity of heroin and a briefcase containing over two million dollars. Moss takes the money and quickly ends up a wanted man. Can Moss survive long enough to enjoy the money? This was my first McCarthy book and probably won't be the last. I devoured it in a single sitting. The clipped style really drove the story forward, remin While out shooting antelope, Llewellyn Moss stumbles upon a crime scene: three trucks, all shot up, and numerous bodies. Upon further inspection, Moss finds a substantial quantity of heroin and a briefcase containing over two million dollars. Moss takes the money and quickly ends up a wanted man. Can Moss survive long enough to enjoy the money? This was my first McCarthy book and probably won't be the last. I devoured it in a single sitting. The clipped style really drove the story forward, reminding me of Jim Thompson at times and Flannery O'Connor at others. The tension grows as Moss and Chigurh head toward the climax. Sheriff Bell does his best to piece things together and keep more people from dying. A recurring theme through the novel is choices, how one's choices make them who they are. I wanted to give this five stars but I couldn't for two reasons. The primary reason: What was with the lack of quotation marks and apostrophes? Was McCarthy's keyboard defective? A little dialogue attribution would have been nice, particularly in the later chapters with Moss talking to other characters. The other gripe is that the last fifty or sixty pages didn't live up to the promise of the rest of the book. I don't want to spoil things but a pretty important character dies like a chump and does it off screen, making the previous 200+ pages seem like a bit of a waste. All in all, No Country for Old Men was a good read, especially for those who like a good pulpy crime story. It's easily worth an evening of your time.

  22. 4 out of 5

    TK421

    I appreciate the nuances of a McCarthy novel: his voice, the settings, the very real characters he conjures within that mind of his. But the one thing I cannot accept is when people say he only writes westerns. His books cannot be categorized with such a simple claim. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is a perfect example. Sure, McCarthy uses some sterotypes (easy-going sheriff, bumbling hero, and creepy psychopath) to tell his story, but he uses them in ways that few writers can--McCarthy breaths life int I appreciate the nuances of a McCarthy novel: his voice, the settings, the very real characters he conjures within that mind of his. But the one thing I cannot accept is when people say he only writes westerns. His books cannot be categorized with such a simple claim. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is a perfect example. Sure, McCarthy uses some sterotypes (easy-going sheriff, bumbling hero, and creepy psychopath) to tell his story, but he uses them in ways that few writers can--McCarthy breaths life into his characters, gives them substance. He paints with his words a world fully realized; even with a sparse writing style (in most of his books) readers are subjected to a canvas that is multilayered, complex, and unique. If you've seen the Coen brothers movie of this novel you already know how creepy Anton Chigurh is; the book paints him much creepier. In a nutshell: if this is just a western where a man comes across some loot that doesn't belong to him, and then more men want what he has and they send a very bad dude after the man with the loot, then THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA is just a story about an old guy fishing. Layers, my friends, layers. Read the book. Then go out and read the rest of Cormac McCarthy's novels. You won't be sorry. Trust me, what have you got to lose? VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paquita Maria Sanchez

    This is my least favorite McCarthy that I have ever, ever read. And you know what that tells you? Not shit, except that the man can basically do no wrong in my eyes. I can and will nitpick, but just know that I don't really mean it and it's only because I love you, baby. First thing's first: I saw this movie about a zillion times before I read the book, though I wish, I wish, I wish that I hadn't. When an author bases a novel's emotional heft largely on the momentum of its action, suspense, and g This is my least favorite McCarthy that I have ever, ever read. And you know what that tells you? Not shit, except that the man can basically do no wrong in my eyes. I can and will nitpick, but just know that I don't really mean it and it's only because I love you, baby. First thing's first: I saw this movie about a zillion times before I read the book, though I wish, I wish, I wish that I hadn't. When an author bases a novel's emotional heft largely on the momentum of its action, suspense, and general thrills!, verily it doth suck when you know exactly where all that bing-bang-boom is headed. I am willing to acknowledge that it is unfair of me to judge the book based on this external factor. However, The Road was unaffected by my pre-read film viewing, and so I cast one stone. Okay, so No Country is not as excellent as The Road. Again, not saying much. Second thaaang: Unlike in that one book I just mentioned, the staccato style did occasionally get to me. I like to think of it as a warm-up exercise (since practice makes perfect and all), but still I found it to be excessively clipped and jarring in some places. Here and there, it was basically like this: "Moss needed to piss. He found a wall. He unzipped his Wranglers. He pulled out his penis. Moss urinated. The wall got wet. Moss felt relieved. So long, penis." Still, it's Cormac McCarthy; the bulk of the novel is putrid elegance. Expect no less. Third: McCarthy is a craftmaster at evoking vivid landscapes. Added to his skill at articulating scenic minutia, I was actually (just like Moss and his buddy, Chigurh) traveling by car, train, and foot in Texas as I read, completed, and proceeded to mull over this book. I felt the oppressive heat, witnessed the sprawling golden fields, and raced past the rotting roadside dives as McCarthy tromped through them in text. It is eerie-cool to feel double-whammied by a book like that, and so I think I will make a point of being similarly literal again some time in the near future. I'll try not to take it so far that I'm like some asshole who reads Under the Tuscan Sun on vacation in Italy right after a breakup, but ya know...something like that. I wonder if astronauts read sci-fi novels in space? Fourth and final point: I much prefer the fiery britches Carla Jean. That woman didn't actually quite take things lying down like a frightened and battered puppy. Her extended scene with Chigurh was quite telling, as was her Bonnie and Clyde-like resistance to Sheriff Bell's interrogation concerning Moss's whereabouts. I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say that despite the script's relative accuracy, there are some surprises yet as far as she, Chigurh, and Moss are concerned (to summarize, the latter has a long scene with a character who didn't make the cut for the screenplay, but who reveals a lot about Moss through her interactions with him). The book still has some stories to tell. It isn't all an echo. Anyway, read this book. Why? It's McCarthy, dude. C'mon.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    To be honest, I found this a bit irritating. It jumped around a little too much and the violence was pointless and excessive. I also found the ‘home-spun’ philosophy a bit hard to take. There was not a single character in this book that I would urinate on if they were on fire – their deaths, therefore, were devoid of interest. I guess this book is Dirty Harry from the darkside. Same crap, same fascination with guns and the voyeurism caused by the effect bullets have on the human anatomy - I wond To be honest, I found this a bit irritating. It jumped around a little too much and the violence was pointless and excessive. I also found the ‘home-spun’ philosophy a bit hard to take. There was not a single character in this book that I would urinate on if they were on fire – their deaths, therefore, were devoid of interest. I guess this book is Dirty Harry from the darkside. Same crap, same fascination with guns and the voyeurism caused by the effect bullets have on the human anatomy - I wonder what it is about modern life that eroticises violence so much? People say things like McCarthy is the ‘greatest living writer’ in the US. But obviously, they can’t have read Delillo. It doesn’t surprise me this was made into a film (or should I call that a movie?) – part of the reason I don’t watch American films anymore is that this would have seemed an absolutely obvious choice. If you need your prejudices confirmed and reinforced about America - (whatever those prejudices might be, I would suspect) – this is as good a book to read as any.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~

    I'm not really a huge fan of Westerns. Only rarely do I settle into this genre and find myself enjoying it. I'm also a bit hesitant when it comes to classics, perhaps from all the years in school of being beaten over the head with them and then forced to analyze the shit out of them. However, I was pleasantly surprised by No Country For Old Men. This book is a fast-paced, bloody chase. It's chalk full of morally questionable characters, with good and bad intentions. The setting is gritty and real I'm not really a huge fan of Westerns. Only rarely do I settle into this genre and find myself enjoying it. I'm also a bit hesitant when it comes to classics, perhaps from all the years in school of being beaten over the head with them and then forced to analyze the shit out of them. However, I was pleasantly surprised by No Country For Old Men. This book is a fast-paced, bloody chase. It's chalk full of morally questionable characters, with good and bad intentions. The setting is gritty and realistic. I will say that the writing style is rather... unadorned. But honestly it works well here and compliments the storytelling. It's a little strange to get used to if you're unfamiliar with this style of writing, but it wasn't much of a distraction. My favorite aspect of this story was the banter between characters. Everyone in this book is either pure as a cotton or a smartass bastard. Some very clever moments had me laughing out loud! The story can come off as a little preachy at times, but it depends on which character you put stock into. I got the impression that is a textual criticism of society's moral decay, but simultaneously a commentary about how previous generations view the unique problems and challenges of future generations. But hey! That's the wonderful thing about reviewing a classic outside of a classroom setting. No one's grading my opinion! I'll definitely be picking up the movie adaption of this book soon!

  26. 4 out of 5

    James

    ‘No Country for Old Men’ (2005) is Cormac McCarthy’s dark and violent thriller – which whilst steeped in blood, violent and psychopathic behaviour writ large – is much more than the standard ‘drug deal gone wrong…good guy vs bad guy’ fair that we have seen so many times before. McCarthy’s story follows said ‘deal gone wrong’ – well-intentioned Vietnam vet Llewelyn Moss who finds the seemingly ‘abandoned’ money; pursuer Anton Chigurh – one of the most chilling literary psychopaths of recent years ‘No Country for Old Men’ (2005) is Cormac McCarthy’s dark and violent thriller – which whilst steeped in blood, violent and psychopathic behaviour writ large – is much more than the standard ‘drug deal gone wrong…good guy vs bad guy’ fair that we have seen so many times before. McCarthy’s story follows said ‘deal gone wrong’ – well-intentioned Vietnam vet Llewelyn Moss who finds the seemingly ‘abandoned’ money; pursuer Anton Chigurh – one of the most chilling literary psychopaths of recent years and small town Sheriff Ed Tom Bell who narrates throughout. ‘No Country for Old Men’ is a dark and elemental story of drug wars, revenge and revelations, of life and death, of pursuit and survival – which rises above standard violent American thriller fare. With this novel (originally written as a screenplay) McCarthy has created something here much more effective and affecting; something with more meaning than perhaps we would expect from other authors of this genre. 'No Country for Old Men' has a chilling and disturbing feeling of authenticity and reality throughout. It is a compelling, engaging, page turning story – which whilst certainly not reaching the same level of (near) poetic perfection of ‘The Road’ (it’s a completely different kind of novel) – ‘No Country for Old Men’ is a very strong, powerfully written and intriguing novel and the story is never quite what you’d expect. Whilst Anton Chigurh is a great and frightening creation and Llewelyn Moss a solid and empathetic central character – it is Sheriff Ed Tom Bell who is the key to this story, as narrator and one of the main protagonists; it is he who is at the heart of this novel. It is Bell’s dedication, motivation, humanity and disillusionment, his memories and his dreams – told episodically throughout, that ultimately form the strong solid central core to the story – no country for old men indeed…

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul Nelson

    ‘What’s the most you ever saw lost on a coin toss?’ No Country for Old Men joins the illustrious company of books that I've reread and more than deserves its place there, this is simply one of the most intense pieces of fiction I’ve read and narrated by Tom Stechschulte who I now rate as highly as the fantastic Will Patton. There is just so much that makes this story, the dialogue centred around the hitman Chigurh is the highlight for me. Sheer menace and danger epitomizes this man, if ever the di ‘What’s the most you ever saw lost on a coin toss?’ No Country for Old Men joins the illustrious company of books that I've reread and more than deserves its place there, this is simply one of the most intense pieces of fiction I’ve read and narrated by Tom Stechschulte who I now rate as highly as the fantastic Will Patton. There is just so much that makes this story, the dialogue centred around the hitman Chigurh is the highlight for me. Sheer menace and danger epitomizes this man, if ever the dialogue contained in a book could put you walking on the precipice of a perilous encounter, this is it. The only character that comes close to this is Preacher Jack Collins from James Lee Burke's Rain Gods and is narrated by the same man. The audio highlights the threat this character portrays, the conversation between Chigurh and the store owner at the beginning of the story, over the toss of a coin is just disturbing, incredibly tense and your attention is riveted, as is the scene with Wells the second hitman, taut with not a waver in sight. Finally his conversation with the young woman and wife of Llewelyn Moss, something he doesn't have to do but something his own morally disquieting fucking code won't allow him not to do. And once more, all on the toss of a coin, life or death. 'Every moment in your life is a turning and every one a choosing. Somewhere you made a choice. All followed to this. The accounting is scrupulous. The shape is drawn. No line can be erased. I had no belief in your ability to move a coin to your bidding. How could you? A person’s path through the world seldom changes and even more seldom will it change abruptly. And the shape of your path was visible from the beginning.' No Country for Old Men is one of the most gripping stories I think I've ever read, my review again just highlights the parts that grabbed me and slapped me round the face, there's of course a few more things going on but most of you know that already. The film dialogue is copied almost word for word in many of the scenes involving the hitman and that in itself shows just how potent the story is. Intense and yeah, fucking powerful stuff.

  28. 4 out of 5

    seak

    I read The Road about four or five years ago and it was a pretty powerful book to me. I didn't even have kids at the time, but now that I do I don't know if I could ever reread that book as I've always planned. It gave me a good taste of McCarthy and it's been long past time to read more of his work. No Country for Old Men is a chilling story about how bad things have become. The depravity of certain individuals goes beyond comprehension. It's absolutely terrifying to think that this actually exi I read The Road about four or five years ago and it was a pretty powerful book to me. I didn't even have kids at the time, but now that I do I don't know if I could ever reread that book as I've always planned. It gave me a good taste of McCarthy and it's been long past time to read more of his work. No Country for Old Men is a chilling story about how bad things have become. The depravity of certain individuals goes beyond comprehension. It's absolutely terrifying to think that this actually exists in the world, especially to someone as sheltered as myself. Anton Chigurh gets arrested, pulls his handcuffed arms in front of him and brutally murders the deputy watching over him. This is right off the bat. Llewellyn Moss encounters a grisly scene as he's out hunting where there was obviously a gun fight and there's a lot of drugs. He finds millions of dollars and decides to take it. His life is turned upside down. I don't have a ton to say other than this book both had me at times pondering and just about puking. There's one part I want to talk about that is a spoiler and I wanted to talk about it vaguely, but then again I want to talk about some of the juicy parts. And everyone's read this book anyway right? I'll spoiler tag it anyway. (view spoiler)[Toward the very end things are ramping up to a major scene, the climax of the novel. Things have been crazy, but you just know this scene is going to take the cake. Everything's come down to this and I couldn't wait. ...and then we jump ahead to the aftermath. I had to go back on the audiobook and re-listen to the scenes leading up to the aftermath. Nothing. Moss is talking to his hitchhiker girl one moment and suddenly they're both dead and bloody. The injustice! I wanted that scene so bad! But then I got to thinking and for some reason I actually thought Moss had a chance against this lunatic. Even though McCarthy's been telling me the entire time that things are bad. Really bad. People like this are REALLY REALLY bad. The worst. And I still had hope. I think McCarthy is saying here that not only did he tell us (literally the entire book), but that it was so obvious that it didn't even need telling. Also, he's not telling that story. What he's telling is the story of how bad people are and what happens after Moss and the hitchhiker is a thousand times worse. To have that scene would have taken away from the horror that is that final discussion between Chigurh and Carla Jean. It didn't even compare to the atrocity that occurs in that scene. And I guess that's what I'll take from it. (hide spoiler)] If you have it in you, No Country for Old Men is quite the read. It's an experience, I guess, more than just a read the same as The Road. You're almost pulled through the pages once you start, but like an accident you just can't look away from. It's also extremely powerful and deeply disturbing. 4 out of 5 Stars (highly recommended sort of) EDIT: I realized I mentioned nothing about the narrator of this here audiobook. I guess that's a good sign, when it's so seamless that I didn't even think to make mention that someone else was reading the words of the book to me. At least that's what I'm going with from now on, it's much better than "I'm a complete idiot" even though the latter is more true. Anyway, Tom Stechschulte was incredible. He had that perfect rusticness in his voice, a nice drawl here and there and just about perfect hispanic accent. These types of narrators boggle my mind, they're that good.

  29. 5 out of 5

    James Thane

    On a morning in 1980, a Texas welder named Llewellyn Moss goes out to hunt antelope and gets a lot more than he bargained for when he stumbles across the site of a drug deal gone very, very bad. Several men and a number of pickups have been shot to death and Moss discovers only one survivor who is very near death and who pleads for a drink of water. Moss ignores the request and searches the site, discovering a large amount of heroin remaining in one of the trucks. There is no corresponding amount On a morning in 1980, a Texas welder named Llewellyn Moss goes out to hunt antelope and gets a lot more than he bargained for when he stumbles across the site of a drug deal gone very, very bad. Several men and a number of pickups have been shot to death and Moss discovers only one survivor who is very near death and who pleads for a drink of water. Moss ignores the request and searches the site, discovering a large amount of heroin remaining in one of the trucks. There is no corresponding amount of money and so Moss deduces that at least one person got away. A very good tracker, he discovers the path of one wounded person leaving the site. He follows the track and comes across the man, dead, and clinging to a suitcase with a little over two million dollars in it. Anyone who's ever read a book like A Simple Plan or seen a noir movie made from that or another book like it would know damned good and well just to walk away. But if he did that, of course, there would be no story. Llewellyn hikes out with the money, takes it home and hides it in his trailer home. So far, so good. But then, in the middle of the night, he's stricken by a pang of conscience and decides that he really should take some water out to the guy he left dying at the site of the shootout. Well, hell, a child of five knows that this is going to be a huge mistake. To his credit, so does Llewellyn. But he does it anyway. Naturally, when he returns he runs into several bad guys who know that someone got away with their money and are damned anxious to know who it might be. They shoot up Llewellyn's pickup, but he manages to escape and make it back home. He quickly sends his wife out of town to what he hopes will be the safety of her mother and then hits the road himself in an effort to somehow escape the rain of crap that he knows is about to cascade down upon him. On his trail is a particularly amoral and devious hit man named Chigurh who has a particularly awesome and deadly weapon and who seems to be almost prescient in determining where Moss will be. Also on the trail is an aging county sheriff named Bell. Bell is a veteran of World War II who is distressed about the changes taking place in the world around him and who speculates that in the drug warriors and especially in the person of Chigurh, there is a new sort of evil in the world that no one can hope to contain. The result is a powerful story told by one of the great masters. Moss's efforts to extricate himself from the mess he knew he was getting himself into all along are compelling. Chigurh's apparent total lack of all human sensibilities are horrifying, and Sheriff Bell's meditations on his marriage and on the evolution of the world around him are thought-provoking and elegiac. All in all, a great novel.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy No Country for Old Men is a 2005 novel by American author Cormac McCarthy who originally wrote the story as a screenplay. The story occurs in the vicinity of the United States–Mexico border in 1980 and concerns an illegal drug deal gone awry in the Texas desert back country. The plot (of the book, rather than the film) follows the interweaving paths of the three central characters (Llewelyn Moss, Anton Chigurh, and Ed Tom Bell) set in motion by events relat No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy No Country for Old Men is a 2005 novel by American author Cormac McCarthy who originally wrote the story as a screenplay. The story occurs in the vicinity of the United States–Mexico border in 1980 and concerns an illegal drug deal gone awry in the Texas desert back country. The plot (of the book, rather than the film) follows the interweaving paths of the three central characters (Llewelyn Moss, Anton Chigurh, and Ed Tom Bell) set in motion by events related to a drug deal gone bad near the Mexican–American border in remote Terrell County in southwest Texas. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: دوازدهم ماه دسامبر سال 2012 میلادی عنوان: جایی برای پیرمردها نیست؛ نویسنده: کورمک مکارتی؛ مترجم: امیر احمدی آریان؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، 1387، در 285 ص؛ شابک: 9789643626006؛ داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی قرن 21 م داستان در باره پسر جوان جوشکاری ست که روزی برای شکار به کوه میرود و آنجا شاهد یک صحنه بجا مانده از درگیری در حین داد و ستد مواد مخدر میشود. در صحنه مواد زیادی به جا مانده، افرادی کشته شده اند و پولها نیز در همان نزدیکی درون چمدان است. پسر، پولها را برمیدارد و فرار میکند و همین سبب تعقیب و گریزی طولانی میشود بین پسر، و کسی که در پی یافتن پولهاست و کلانتر آن منطقه ... ؛ ا. شربیانی

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