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No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

No Country for Old Men (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Cormac McCarthy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,298204484 (4.02)243
Title:No Country for Old Men
Authors:Cormac McCarthy
Info:Vintage (2006), Paperback, 309 pages
Collections:Your library, 25-book List A, Read 2011
Tags:Fiction - Literary

Work details

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (2005)

  1. 51
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (dmitriyk)
    dmitriyk: Written simply, with a very similar style and attitude.
  2. 20
    A Single Shot by Matthew F. Jones (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: We all think money will solve our problems. Sometimes money creates problems . . . especialy when it's other peoples' money.
  3. 10
    The Nightrunners by Joe R. Lansdale (cometahalley)
  4. 10
    Sunset and Sawdust by Joe R. Lansdale (cometahalley)
  5. 10
    A Simple Plan by Scott Smith (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both are books in which found money leads to unexpected, horrific consequences.
  6. 10
    Cities of the plain by Cormac McCarthy (cometahalley)
  7. 22
    The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (derelicious)

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» See also 243 mentions

English (187)  Italian (7)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (203)
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)

( )
  Adam.Cooper | Aug 18, 2015 |
An enjoyable story even though it was very bleak. Carson Wells was a funny character and the contrast between him and the killer Chigurh was clever. ( )
  SebastianHagelstein | Jul 20, 2015 |
No Country for Old Men is one of the most disappointingly overrated books I have encountered. The ONLY point to the book is a few nostalgic and slightly poignant thoughts that Sheriff Bell has when narrating the book. The main plot just details a bunch of utterly meaningless violence -- which is the main issue disturbing Bell's view of the world. Unfortunately for the reader there's no mystery, only a little bit of predictable suspense, and absolutely nothing entertaining or enjoyable, even to a reader who loves suspense and mystery novels.

Since this book is presumably indicative of McCarthy's writing style this reader was left scratching his head as to how he could have won the Pulitzer Prize or any other major writing prizes. McCarthy's prose is pointlessly confusing in many areas because of his refusal to use quotation marks around any spoken words, and secondly because several chapters start with multiple paragraphs referring to "he" or "him" with no antecedent defined. Since there are multiple viewpoint characters and locations, you'll have to slog through such narrations with no sense of character attachment, hoping it doesn't last too long each time.

Several of the characters including our narrative protagonist Sheriff Bell are nearly illiterate. As just one example, ignorant phrases containing "should of" instead of "should have" litters so many pages and so many characters' speech it raises the question whether McCarthy himself speaks this way. There are also many other repetitive phrases in the author's narration (not the unquoted speech) that show little attempt to edit this book for stylistic problems.

There should have been some sort of redemption or purpose in the story and the life of at least one of the protagonists, but ultimately the book feels like an utterly depressing waste of time and energy. ( )
  Jack-in-the-Green | Jul 14, 2015 |
What I loved about this book is what I loved about the movie: every character is sharp and his/her wits about him/her, and is trying to outfox, outthink, and outlive the other guy. The narrative is powerfully propulsive, and McCarthy's unique stylings (no quotes around statements, missing punctuation, overuse of "and") help zip the story along. What keeps this book from being a flat out masterpiece is a needless coda following the core events. It should have ended where the movie ended. Great, great book. ( )
  MartinBodek | Jun 11, 2015 |
This morning I woke up and raced through finishing No Country For Old Men which I loved. The setting is southwest Texas where a botched drug deal has left multiple deaths, a substantial amount of heroin and some two million dollars, lying out in the morning desert sun. Moss, one of our three main characters happens upon the scene and can't resist taking the money and that sets in motion a tense and bloody cat and mouse game involving a Mexican drug cartel, a psychopath named Anton Chigurh and a local, wise, philosophical sheriff named Ed Tom. This short quick paced novel provides the reader with insights into all three men and the interplay of circumstances and consequences. Each chapter begins with a reflection from the Sheriff who is suffering some of his own demons from the Vietnam War and who is trying to solve this case as a way to make amends for past sins. His musings tend to reflect how much the country has changed and what has gone wrong. Here's Ed Tom::
"Finally told me, said: I dont like the way this country is headed. I want my granddaughter to be able to have an abortion. And I said well mam I dont think you got any worries about the way the country is headed. The way I see it goin I dont have much doubt but what she’ll be able to have an abortion. I’m goin to say that not only will she be able to have an abortion, she’ll be able to have you put to sleep. Which pretty much ended the conversation."
Here is another:
"I think if you were Satan and you were settin around tryin to think up somethin that would just bring the human race to its knees what you would probably come up with is narcotics. Maybe he did"
From another perspective here's a great line from the murdering psychopath, Anton Chigurh-
"What happened to the old people? They’ve moved on to other things. Not everyone is suited to this line of work. The prospect of outsized profits leads people to exaggerate their own capabilities. In their minds. They pretend to themselves that they are in control of events where perhaps they are not. And it is always one’s stance upon uncertain ground that invites the attentions of one’s enemies. Or discourages it."
I would recommend this book and will look forward to reading more of McCarthy's novels. ( )
  novelcommentary | May 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
All that keeps No Country for Old Men from being a deftly executed but meretricious thriller is the presence, increasingly confused and ineffectual as the novel proceeds, of the sheriff of Comanche County, one of the "old men" alluded to in the title.

"No Country for Old Men" is an unholy mess of a novel, which one could speculate will be a bitter disappointment to many of those eager fans. It is an unwieldy klutz that pretends to be beach reading while dressed in the garments of serious literature (not that those are necessarily mutually exclusive concepts). It is a thriller that is barely thrilling and a tepid effort to reclaim some of the focus and possibly the audience of McCarthy's most reader-friendly novel, "All the Pretty Horses." Worst of all, it reads like a story you wished Elmore Leonard had written -- or rather, in this case, rewritten.
Mr. McCarthy turns the elaborate cat-and-mouse game played by Moss and Chigurh and Bell into harrowing, propulsive drama, cutting from one frightening, violent set piece to another with cinematic economy and precision. In fact, ''No Country for Old Men'' would easily translate to the big screen so long as Bell's tedious, long-winded monologues were left on the cutting room floor -- a move that would also have made this a considerably more persuasive novel.
In the literary world the appearance of a new Cormac McCarthy novel is a cause for celebration. It has been seven years since his Cities of the Plain, and McCarthy has made the wait worthwhile. With a title that makes a statement about Texas itself, McCarthy offers up a vision of awful power and waning glory, like a tale told by a hermit emerging from the desert, a biblical Western from a cactus-pricked Ancient Mariner.
Cormac McCarthy's ''No Country for Old Men'' is as bracing a variation on these noir orthodoxies as any fan of the genre could expect, although his admirers may not be sure at first about quite how to take the book, which doesn't bend its genre or transcend it but determinedly straightens it back out.
added by eereed | editNew York Times, Walter Kirn (Jun 24, 2005)

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cormac McCarthyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Testa, MartinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vlek, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The author would like to express his appreciation to the Santa Fe Institute for his long association and his four-year residence. He would also like to thank Amanda Urban.
First words
I sent one boy to the gaschamber at Huntsville.
If you had told me we'd end up in a world with kids with green hair and bones in their noses I would have laughed in your face. But here it is.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Book description
Set along the United States–Mexico border in 1980, the story concerns an illicit drug deal gone wrong in a remote desert location.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307387135, Paperback)

In No Country for Old Men, Cormac 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:29 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Stumbling upon a bloody massacre, a cache of heroin, and more than two million in cash during a hunting trip, Llewelyn Moss removes the money, a decision that draws him and his young wife into the middle of a violent confrontation.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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