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All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, Book 1) (original 1992; edition 1992)

by Cormac McCarthy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,282167487 (3.94)515
Member:Isgodchekhov
Title:All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, Book 1)
Authors:Cormac McCarthy
Info:Vintage (1993), Paperback, 301 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:America, Contemporary Read, Read

Work details

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (1992)

  1. 40
    Cannery Row by John Steinbeck (mabith)
    mabith: McCarthy's border trilogy reminded me so heavily of Steinbeck. I think if you enjoy one author you'll enjoy the other as well.
  2. 10
    Butcher's Crossing by John Williams (thatguyzero)
  3. 00
    Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (sturlington)
  4. 00
    In The fall by Jeffrey Lent (jhowell)
  5. 00
    Close Range by Annie Proulx (chrisharpe)
  6. 01
    Griffintown by Marie Hélène Poitras (Serviette)
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» See also 515 mentions

English (160)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (167)
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
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 |
{ VOLUME ONE OF "The Border Trilogy" }

Set in 1949, this is the story of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen years old finds himself at the end of a long line of generations of ranchers. John Grady is cut off from the only life he ever wanted when his grandfather dies; his father comes back somehow changed from the war; and his mother wants to move far from west Texas.
  MerrittGibsonLibrary | Jun 24, 2016 |
I read this books years ago when it first came out but recently reread it for the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die group. John Grady Cole is a young man who is forced to leave his family ranch in Texas after his grandfather’s death. Through the evil machinations of his unworthy mother, the ranch is sold and Cole must make his way alone in the world. With his friend Rawlins, and a hanger on named Blevins, the three progress into Mexico looking for work. Through no fault of their own, Rawlins and Cole end up in jail where only sheer luck saves them from death. Rawlins lights out for home and Cole tries to get back what has been taken from him. This is a disturbingly powerful Western novel of horses, crooked lawmen, and life on the range that will leave you wanting to read the other two books in the trilogy. For me, this is an absolutely wonderful book since I live and breathe horses. I am able to tell you from personal experience it is not possible to have enough books on horses and mules for I must have over 50 books specifically on equines, mules, their gear, and training. I didn’t have John Wallace’s “The Horse in America” but I do now since I downloaded it from archive.org ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
Review: All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy.

I felt like I was reading a western novel. The book is well written and often depicts the characters emotional feelings through the descriptive landscape. The plot is not complicated but the reader may have some confusion with the dialog because Cormac McCarthy doesn’t use punctuation marks and some of his sentences are long. Yet, I really like the author and story that I flew through with flying colors. Slow reading through some pages but the reader should keep reading because the plot does gain momentum and the ending is fulfilling to the last page.

It’s about a young boy losing his grandfather and their family’s estate. John Grady Cole decides to move on and establish a new life in Mexico. John and a friend got up one day and decided to travel and live a life as a rancher but awakes one day and finds out he cannot go back in time to his grandfather’s era. This is a story of a boy becoming a man, through many struggles and learning how to cope with his losses. His first hurdle was the loss of his grandfather, then his innocence, his first love, and his pride. At one point he is met with challenges of loss of hope and contentment. All together there are three young boys traveling through the beauty of the vast plains, mountains and wilderness. During this time the author slowly identifies the deception of Cole’s dreams by eliminating all of Cole’s hopes and desires one by one…..

Great story, enjoyable read more visual descriptive creation of words then dialogue, yet, amazing.
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
It was more like 3.5 stars. I enjoyed the story, but didn't love it. Reading Cormac McCarthy, you know you're going to get elegant prose, dark situations, and a general lack of punctuation. All the Pretty Horses holds true to this style. ( )
  codyacunningham | May 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 160 (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.
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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.

(summary from another edition)

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