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All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

All the Pretty Horses (1992)

by Cormac McCarthy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Border Trilogy (1)

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7,531171458 (3.95)523
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English (164)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All (171)
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
The final Western for my genre assignment, and boy howdy it was a good one. I've put off McCarthy for a while, always intending to read the copy of [b:The Road|6288|The Road|Cormac McCarthy|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1439197219s/6288.jpg|3355573] I have around but never really feeling it. All I knew was what I'd heard, that it's gritty and McCarthy doesn't like standard dialogue demarcations and I thought I had his number, but after reading this I know it's been bumped up on my list. I mean, those things still hold true, but I didn't anticipate what else I'd find in here.

In a lot of ways this book wasn't what I expected. The romanticism of this book is so strong you could forget it's set in the late-40s, which is part of it, part of this longing for an earlier way of life, even preferring the troubles of that earlier life to those of his present. I knew the pace would be quick, what with the generally curt dialogue and usually-simple language, but I didn't anticipate how much beauty he could pack into the structure of his prose. It's all and and and and and, but it reflects cowboy-storytelling, recounting events around a fire, achieving a verisimilitude of speech and thought patterns. I was also worried there wouldn't be any women at all, or that they'd be so poorly written I'd wish they'd been skipped altogether, but Alejandra and her aunt were both interesting characters. The latter's life story, I think, seemed a bit out of place in its depth and delivery, there in the latter quarter of the novel, and more like she ought to have her own book, but there's only so much you can wish for. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
Excellent read, albeit a departure from the gritty hellishness of The Road and Blood Meridian. All The Pretty Horses maintains the signature imagery and slow pace I've come to associate with Cormac McCarthy, but the characters feel more real this time around. Sometimes the dialog was tedious with the abundant Spanish conversations, but for the most part the meaning could be deciphered. The book stands perfectly fine on it's own which makes me curious for the approach McCarthy takes in The Crossing. ( )
  Cycyk | Feb 1, 2017 |
The first novel in McCarthy's Border Trilogy, All the Pretty Horses completely evacuates the Western of its prior generic significance. There's a cowboy hero, and he goes on an adventure, but it's unlike any other cowboy adventure you've likely encountered: dark and unsettling. He survives, but is hardly regenerated by the violence visited upon him. The prose is lyrical, dense, and muscular. If you think Blood Meridian might be too much for you, read this. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
Very much like McCarthy's other books. Rich, poetic prose, slow-pace, wishing-for-God-and-meaning, hopeless. ( )
  valzi | Sep 7, 2016 |
I really liked this book. However I had just read the crossing which I thought was better. But maybe that is in my own mind, there is some duplication between the stories. I didn't feel I got to know the characters as well in this one. It is still a really great book and I probably would have given if five if I read this one first in the border trilogy. ( )
  Gary_Power | Jul 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
You can’t just nip at darkness, so when you read this book, from page one you feel a threat following you, some animistic urging that keeps you going by the way McCarthy manipulates your demonic love of the sounds of speech.
All the Pretty Horses may indicate McCarthy's desire to come in out of the cold of those Tennessee mountain winters, but his imagination is at its best there with Arthur Ownby or with the monstrous Judge of Blood Meridian drowning dogs. He is best with what nature gives or imposes, rather than with the observations of culture.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Review of Books, Denis Donoghue (pay site) (Jun 24, 1993)
The magnetic attraction of Mr. McCarthy's fiction comes first from the extraordinary quality of his prose; difficult as it may sometimes be, it is also overwhelmingly seductive. Powered by long, tumbling many-stranded sentences, his descriptive style is elaborate and elevated, but also used effectively to frame realistic dialogue, for which his ear is deadly accurate.
Situada en 1949, en las tierras fronterizas entre Texas y México, la historia se centra en el personaje de John Grady Cole, un muchacho de dieciséis años, hijo de padres separados que tras la muerte de su abuelo decide huir a México en compañía de su amigo Lacey para encontrarse con un mundo marcado por la dureza y la violencia. Una novela de aprendizaje con resonancias épicas que inaugura un paisaje moral y físico que nos remite a la última epopeya de nuestro tiempo. Un estilo seco para una historia de emociones fuertes, ásperas, primigenias.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCarthy, Cormacprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Muller, FrankNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolf, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The candleflame and the image of the candleflame caught in the pierglass twisted and righted when he entered the hall and again when he shut the door.
There were storms to the south and masses of clouds that moved slowly along the horizon with their long dark tendrils trailing in the rain. That night they camped on a ledge of rock above the plains and watched the lightning all along the horizon provoke from the seamless dark the distant mountain ranges again and again. (p. 93 of original ed.)
The boy who rode on slightly before him sat a horse not only as if he'd been born to it which he was but as if he were begot by malice or mischance into some queer land where horses never were he would have found them anyway.
He thought that in the beauty of the world hid a secret. He thought the world’s heart beat at some terrible cost and that the world’s pain and its beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be exacted for the vision of a single flower.
Scars have a strange power to remind us of our past.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679744398, Paperback)

Part bildungsroman, part horse opera, part meditation on courage and loyalty, this beautifully crafted novel won the National Book Award in 1992. The plot is simple enough. John Grady Cole, a 16-year-old dispossessed Texan, crosses the Rio Grande into Mexico in 1949, accompanied by his pal Lacey Rawlins. The two precocious horsemen pick up a sidekick--a laughable but deadly marksman named Jimmy Blevins--encounter various adventures on their way south and finally arrive at a paradisiacal hacienda where Cole falls into an ill-fated romance. Readers familiar with McCarthy's Faulknerian prose will find the writing more restrained than in Suttree and Blood Meridian. Newcomers will be mesmerized by the tragic tale of John Grady Cole's coming of age.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:21 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Cut off from the life of ranching he has come to love by his grandfather's death, John Grady Cole flees to Mexico, where he and his two companions embark on a rugged and cruelly idyllic adventure.

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