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The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, Book 2) by…
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The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, Book 2) (original 1994; edition 1995)

by Cormac McCarthy

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2,955321,943 (4)128
Member:Jamz
Title:The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, Book 2)
Authors:Cormac McCarthy
Info:Vintage (1995), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

Work details

The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (1994)

  1. 10
    Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy (beebowallace)
    beebowallace: The next & final book in the border trilogy series.
  2. 10
    All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (beebowallace)
    beebowallace: The first of the border trilogy series.
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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
between 1.5 and 2.

i find myself struggling to find meaning in this book, and by the end was even wondering if that was part of mccarthy's point - that so much crap happens to people for no reason. but whatever he was doing in this book, i think i mostly missed it.

this was largely a slog for me. i enjoyed the first section of the book (with billy and the wolf) best, and actually thought it could have ended there. even though i liked this section best, i still felt there was no explanation for billy's motivation throughout it, and this bothered me a lot. actually, character motivation wasn't explained at all in the book; sometimes it's obvious but often there seems to be no reason at all for the characters to do what they do. which brings me back to maybe that being his point - that there isn't reason for the things that happen in this world. if that really is what he was saying with this book, he could have done it in far fewer pages.

there were some nice (by which i mean moving) parts toward the middle and end of the book, but overall i didn't connect with this book much at all and just wanted to get it done so i could move on to the third in the trilogy, which i'm hoping i'll find more like the first book.

i forgot to mention this in the first one, but couldn't possibly forget this time around - the amount of spanish in this book is...unfair. he never goes too long without putting some english in, but there is a considerable amount of dialogue (i would actually say that probably half of the dialogue in this book takes place in spanish) that isn't in english. i know enough spanish to make this not much of a problem for me, but seriously, this needs to be footnoted. most of it is glossed over enough in the english parts to make the spanish make sense, but not all of it. and some of the important things were said in spanish, like in the conversation with the blind man. ("Si el mundo es ilusion la perdida del mundo es illusion tambien." - which is more or less: "If the world is an illusion, than losing the world is an illusion as well.") there is way too much spanish here for the casual reader to comfortably be able to look things up. it was frustrating. which is generally the impression i'm left with, sadly, with the entire book.

"He said the wicked know that if the ill they do be of sufficient horror men will not speak against it." ( )
  elisa.saphier | May 9, 2014 |
It takes a certain masochism of the soul, I think, to enjoy a McCarthy novel. You can appreciate the stark beauty, the occasional humor, even the deep melancholy with which he addresses the world... but you cannot truly enjoy these books because they are too damn sad. And dry. And, dare I say it, often a bit boring. This novel could've been a hundred pages shorter and better for it - but I have to admit that I wouldn't've skipped certain scenes (the bickering between the brothers, the scene with Billy and the wolf at the Mexican camp) for the world. I just really want to go do something happy now, because I can't survive on a diet of hopelessness like this.

More about it at RB:http://wp.me/pGVzJ-qe ( )
  drewsof | Jul 9, 2013 |
I really enjoyed the earlier parts with the wolf, more so than the second half which was sad and frightening just like Blood Meridian. ( )
  alycias | Apr 4, 2013 |
Part 2 of the Border Trilogy. As excellent as the first. On to Book 3. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
Amazing book in three parts. At the end of the first I was wondering where the story could possibly go, and wasnt disappointed with subsequent "crossings". This book would easily be a five in all categories, but for one thing - the amount of spanish. I understand why it was there, and it does add to the exotic, otherworldly feel of Mexico in the book sharply distinct from the more ordered US (at least on the surface). However as a non-spanish speaker I found myself ripped out of the world in which I was willingly immersed by large sections of unintelligible (to me) dialogue. If only there were subtitles! I guess I figured out enough to get by and really loved the book overall... perhaps on a second reading I will get more out of it, maybe with an internet translator handy (!) ( )
  mattclark | Nov 30, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Mr. McCarthy, because he is interested in the mythic shape of lives, has always been interested in the young and the old or, if not the old, then those who have already performed some act so deep in their natures (often horrific, though not always) that it forecloses the idea of possibility. "Doomed enterprises," Mr. McCarthy's narrator remarks, "divide lives forever into the then and the now." So "The Crossing" is full of encounters between the young boys, who look so much like the pure arc of possibility, and the old they meet on the road, all of whom seem impelled, as if innocence were one of the vacuums that nature abhors, to tell them their stories, or prophesy, or give them advice.
added by eereed | editNew York Times, Robert Hass (Jun 12, 1994)
 

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCarthy, Cormacprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bernascone, RossellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carosso, AndreaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolf, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Kun he tulivat etelään Grantin piirikunnasta Boyd oli vielä melkein sylilapsi ja vastikään muodostettu ja Hidalgoksi nimetty piirikunta oli vain vähän lasta vanhempi.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679760849, Paperback)

The opening section of The Crossing, book two of the Border Trilogy, features perhaps the most perfectly realized storytelling of Cormac McCarthy's celebrated career. Like All the Pretty Horses, this volume opens with a teenager's decision to slip away from his family's ranch into Mexico. In this case, the boy is Billy Parham, and the catalyst for his trip is a wolf he and his father have trapped, but that Billy finds himself unwilling to shoot. His plan is to set the animal loose down south instead.

This is a McCarthy novel, not Old Yeller, and so Billy's trek inevitably becomes more ominous than sweet. It boasts some chilling meditations on the simple ferocity McCarthy sees as necessary for all creatures who aim to continue living. But Billy is McCarthy's most loving--and therefore damageable--character, and his story has its own haunted melancholy.

Billy eventually returns to his ranch. Then, finding himself and his world changed, he returns to Mexico with his younger brother, and the book begins meandering. Though full of hypnotically barren landscapes and McCarthy's trademark western-gothic imagery (like the soldier who sucks eyes from sockets), these latter stages become tedious at times, thanks partly to the female characters, who exist solely as ghosts to haunt the men.

But that opening is glorious, and the whole book finally transcends its shortcomings to achieve a grim and poignant grandeur. --Glen Hirshberg

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:09 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In the 1930s, two teenage brothers whose ranch in New Mexico was raided by bandits, cross into Mexico to search for stolen horses. The novel follows them through the revolution-torn countryside, meeting soldiers, peasants, priests and thieves, all proffering advice. By the author of All the Pretty Horses.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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