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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
7,704224438 (4.01)257
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. 10
    Descent by Tim Johnston (sturlington)
    sturlington: The authors have similar styles, and both thrillers explore questions of fate and chance.
  3. 10
    A Simple Plan by Scott Smith (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both are books in which found money leads to unexpected, horrific consequences.
  4. 10
    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.
  5. 00
    Sunset and Sawdust by Joe R. Lansdale (cometahalley)
  6. 00
    The Nightrunners by Joe R. Lansdale (cometahalley)
  7. 00
    Cities of the plain by Cormac McCarthy (cometahalley)
  8. 22
    The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (derelicious)

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» See also 257 mentions

English (208)  Italian (7)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (224)
Showing 1-5 of 208 (next | show all)
Loved the movie and the book. The writer comes across as socially concerned in a subtle way, how things have gone downhill since drug cartels have become so murderous. Seeing the movie first didn't spoil it for me. ( )
  Gary_Power | Jul 10, 2016 |
I read the book after having seen the movie. The movie deviates from the book somewhat; as usual, the book is better.

The story line: a man finds a couple of cars and bodies - the apparent aftermath of a drug deal gone wrong. He also finds a bag with $2.4 million, which he appropriates. The local sheriff learns of the killings, and finds that neither the money nor the drugs are in any of the cars. The sheriff figures out who has the money. So, too, does Chigur, a hitman who maybe enjoys his work too much. So the race is on - both Chigur and the sheriff are looking for the man and the money, and it is a question of who gets to him first.

The story is told in McCarthy's inimitable sparse prose style which - after having read all of his books - I find to be one of the most effective literary styles going. At least, in terms of the type of books he tends to write. Nasty, brutish and short - a Hobbesian storyteller. No extraneous details, no fluff, nothing fancy. No attempt to convince the reader that the author has a prodigious command of the English language.

For all of his efforts to keep to the point, however, McCarthy does not ignore his characters and their motivations. These are real people - a man who realizes that one impulsive act has made him a target, regardless of what he does; a sheriff who sees his life as making restitution for what he believes was a cowardly act; a psychopath who places no value on life, not even his own.

McCarthy can leave you stunned with his brutality, but in the end, you admire the way he does it. ( )
  jpporter | Jul 5, 2016 |
The movie is better. Yes, you read that right. In the movie I can do with Tommy Lee Jones's character - here, not so much. And everyone speaks in such a typical Cormac McCarthy way that it's impossible to say which character is which without the tags. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Jul 3, 2016 |
A good novel but it took the Coen Brothers' film adaptation to really bring out the genius of it. If I hadn't already seen that excellent movie I think I would have been rather more lost in Cormac McCarthy's book. The writing is as sparse and menacing as McCarthy always is, and in Anton Chigurh he created one of the great literary villains (though, again, Javier Bardem's performance took it to a whole new level). But his attempts at getting across the central theme are rather choppy and the theme itself – which seems to be that you don't know how life is going to turn out, or how the choices you make will affect what happens in the long run – is presented rather underwhelmingly. This is exemplified by the rather weak ending (I have to go with the general consensus here) which destroyed any momentum the book had built up. It's always enjoyable to witness a great artist go about his craft, but No Country for Old Men is a bantamweight amongst his other heavyweights. ( )
  MikeFutcher | Jun 13, 2016 |
Forty-five-year-old Sheriff Ed Tom Bell must deal with the growing amorality affecting his small border town as a result of the drug trade. The old "rules" do not apply, and Bell faces a wave of violence involving at least ten murders. Running parallel with Bell's investigation of these murders is the story of Llewelyn Moss, a resident of Bell's town, who, while hunting in the countryside, has uncovered a bloody massacre and a truck containing a huge shipment of heroin. He has also discovered and stolen a case containing two million dollars of drug money, which results in his frantic run from hired hitmen. Hunting Moss is Anton Chigurh, a sociopathic cartel avenger, a Satan who will stop at nothing, the antithesis of the thoughtful and kindly Bell. A rival hitman named Wells is, in turn, stalking Chigurh.

"No Country For Old Men", what can I say about it? It was an excellent storyline, very exciting but also very violent. Ran along smoothly - until....the end. The problem was it had no ending. I watched the movie - the same - no ending. Literally everyone in the theater sat and looked at one another as the credits rolled as if they expected someone to jump out on the screen and finish the movie. I didn't hate it. The story itself should get 4 stars, the 2 stars is for the ending (?) ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 208 (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)

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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.
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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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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.
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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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