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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
7,177195495 (4.02)239
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
    Rivers by Michael Farris Smith (sturlington)
    sturlington: Michael Farris Smith's writing reminded me strongly of Cormac McCarthy. Both The Road and No Country for Old Men are similar in tone, style and theme to Rivers.
  3. 10
    A Simple Plan by Scott Smith (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both are books in which found money leads to unexpected, horrific consequences.
  4. 10
    The 25th Hour by David Benioff (sturlington)
  5. 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.
  6. 00
    Sunset and Sawdust by Joe R. Lansdale (cometahalley)
  7. 00
    Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy (cometahalley)
  8. 22
    The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (derelicious)
  9. 00
    The Nightrunners by Joe R. Lansdale (cometahalley)

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» See also 239 mentions

English (180)  Italian (7)  Dutch (3)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (195)
Showing 1-5 of 180 (next | show all)
I love Cormac McCarthy's style of writing. He uses intricate dialogue to describe versus paragraphs of descriptive prose. If he does have to describe a location or a person or an event, he is very stingy in the number of words he uses for the description. He is a master at using dialogue to describe characters and to get a feel for the details.

The book followed the movie closely, however, there were several scenes in the book that never made it into the movie. I am sure they probably ended up on the edit room floor. I will not mention which scenes for those who have seen the movie and plan on reading the book.

As an author myself, I plan on utilizing some of McCarthy's techniques. Two thumbs up. ( )
  branjohb | Mar 1, 2015 |
The outlook for America as envisaged by Mcarthy in No Country for Old Men is not a happy one. The “Old Men” frequently reminisce fondly about the old times when Sheriffs did not in fact carry guns. Unheard of now when it seems everyone carries one.

What normally happens in this genre is that the crusty old fashioned detective or sheriff in this case, will slowly and surely uses his years of experience and street smarts to outwit and eventually capture the nefarious psychopath who is terrorising the neighbourhood.

NCFOM breaks all the rules. I kept waiting for the clues to mount up, pin pointing the culprit, and the net closing inexorably in. Instead the predominant feeling is ennui; guns rule, violence wins, there is no hope, and I give up.

I saw the movie after I read the book. The film is loosely based on the book with major plot lines missing and characters altered. Different genres, different outcomes. ( )
  Robert3167 | Feb 25, 2015 |
Listened to this grisly tale. Didn't care for it too much since hearing about depraved killers who leave behind huge body counts and the men who fight them reflect upon hardness of life is not my cup of tea. It's well written, graphic, and the characters are realistic. But it's still depressing. ( )
  debs4jc | Feb 10, 2015 |
It’s easy to see when a master’s at work. They’re so secure in their craft that they don’t feel the need to dazzle with technical trickery or florid pyrotechnics. They’re passed through all that nonsense and honed their style to the point where they make what they do look easy. Peyton Manning on the gridiron, Maradona in football, Schumacher in Formula One. Few make their chosen fields look easier than McCarthy. If words can be said to get in the way of communication, McCarthy does his best to get them out of the way, using no more than he needs to achieve his effect. He manages to give his words such weight, yet retain a lightness to them that it’s often close to a strange kind of poetry. Like all McCarthy’s best work this is a lean, simple story which says so much more.

No Country For Old Men is the story of what happens when Llewellyn Moss finds a couple of million dollars at the scene of a shootout between drugs gangs, and what ensues when he absconds with the money. How he’s pursued by Anton Chigurh, a man who makes a Terminator look indecisive and weak and how that chase ends. It’s complicated slightly by the presence of a local sheriff on the verge of retirement. McCarthy pursues this story with a relentless, terrifying logic until he appears to abruptly break one of the cardinal rules of satisfying storytelling. It’s a jarring moment which happens between scenes and shakes the reader out of any complacency. It’s also a hint that perhaps the reader who’s been taking the story at face value might be reading this the wrong way round, that perhaps this isn’t the story of the person you think it is. Perhaps you need to look at the angle you were reading from again.

Morally McCarthy raises the question of whether it’s better to live to fight another day, the narrator deliberately making a choice that perhaps doesn’t chime with absolute moral duty but makes perfect human sense. Ultimately it’s a metaphor for passing times. We’re all creatures of our own time, for better or worse, and no matter how much we try to keep up sooner or later a new world comes along with no place for us in it. The narrator’s choice is to let the new world, one he doesn’t understand or want to understand, pass him by. No Country For Old Men is set at the dawning of Reagan’s Morning In America, and McCarthy doesn’t appear to like what he sees when he throws back the curtains. The world is as hard as ever, but it’s harder and nastier in a different way.

How you feel about this book is going to depend on your reaction to the two key choices that deny what would usually be a satisfying resolution to the story. Both choices are the result of relentless plot logic and the abilities and behaviour of the characters, and given the author’s previous work it’s clear that they’re deliberate, a denial of the expectd. Sometimes it’s good to be denied what you were expecting. Unless you’re denying Anton Chigurh… ( )
  JonArnold | Jan 18, 2015 |
Una storia semplice raccontata con dialoghi scolpiti nel granito. Monologhi degni di un predicatore tragico e impietoso. Capisco Garth Ennis a cosa si è ispirato nel fare uno dei fumetti piu' importanti degli ultimi 20 anni. La stesura gia' cinematografica di McC. rende il testo immediato e limpido; sembra quasi di vederlo, lo sceriffo, quando parla. E lo fa guardandoti dritto in faccia, come tutti i personaggi piu' importanti di questa storia. L'unico che guarda a terra si gioca il futuro a testa o croce. Un libro che fa venire voglia di tenere la schiena dritta, come questi uomini, e queste donne, del Texas. ******** Alla seconda lettura, dopo aver visto l'inquietante film, è ancora migliore. Perche' conosci le facce, e tutto quello che i Coen non hanno potuto mettere nel film lo vedi narrato da Tommy Lee Jones, da Javier Bardem, da Barry Corbin. Ed è un must, come un libro-film-audio a 360 °. Mi vien gia' voglia di reiniziarlo... ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 180 (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 (22 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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:38 -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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