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No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

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

by Cormac McCarthy

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6,961185518 (4.02)225
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)

Recently added bykuddes59, mfedore, robkelly94, jockoflocko, mapninja, private library, cupocofe, KRoan
  1. 50
    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
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  5. 10
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    sturlington: Both are books in which found money leads to unexpected, horrific consequences.
  6. 10
    Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy (cometahalley)
  7. 11
    The Counselor by Cormac McCarthy (mondryle)
    mondryle: Another bleak tale of consequence in a contemporary setting, more like this earlier book than McCarthy's other work.
  8. 12
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English (170)  Italian (6)  Dutch (3)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (184)
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
My review of this book might be unfair. I saw the film first. In fact, I saw the film three times before I read McCarthy's book.Yes, McCarthy can write fantastic dialgoue. But almost all the dialogue is in the film. I was surprised just how much of the novel the Coen brothers' film was able to convey - almost all of it, in my opinion. To come to the book after the film one has the impression you are simply reading a very literary, accomplished movie tie-in. Ther just isn't that much here that isn't in the film. McCarthy's spartan prose reads almost like a screenplay, in parts. The other thing that struck me is that this is an extremely fast-paced, hard-boiled crime thriller, but McCarthy's success is that he has managed to weld that to a laconic, historically-conscious, landscare-aware voice. Furious action expressed in an almost mellow, if regretful, tone. The stuff about carrying the flame seems to be the same vague motif he repeats in a few of his novels, and the movie suffers not one bit by cutting a lot of that out. If the film is better than the book, how good can the book be? ( )
  Quickpint | Jul 14, 2014 |
This book was a surprise and a revelation to me in its unexpected brilliance! It was a Saturday morning here in downtown Bristol UK and as was my want I was visiting the local library and browsing the books they were trying to sell...clear the shelves of the used paperbacks making way for the new...when perchance I happened upon No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. I offered the librarian one English pound and she gave me change...lots of change...”we just want rid of these old books she said” I returned home happy and content with my purchase, I had seen the movie and hoped the novel would be a good read....I was not disappointed.....

This book is a deep dark noir of greed, corruption and the evil that men do. Llewlyn Moss discovers a large amount of money, the result of a drug deal gone wrong, and he selfishly decides that whatever happens...whatever the consequences he will keep this money and make a better life for both him and his girlfriend Carla cause that’s what he believed he could do. “You live to be a hundred, he said, and there wont be another day like this one” Moss however had not reckoned with the intervention of one of the greatest hired assassins in the history of storytelling; Anton Chigurh played brilliantly in the Coen Brothers excellent movie by Javier Bardem

However underneath this story, the real underbelly, and the message that McCarthy is trying to instill into the reader is the moral degradation of the American west. Sheriff Ed Bell is the lawman charged with making sense of all the killings and he together with his uncle Ellis lament the increasing violence in the region and the disrespect of a younger generation against those who fought and died for American values. “These old people I talk to if you could of told em that there would be people on the streets of our Texas towns with green hair and bones in their noses speakin a language they couldn’t even understand, well, they just flat out wouldn’t of believed you.”

It is the southern Texas language of this wonderful book that really shines through and gives such authenticity to the writing. As Moss is trying to evade his would be killer he gives a ride to a hitchhiker and over lunch...”She ate. She looked around. Can I get some coffee ? she said You can get anything you want. You got money. She looked at him. I guess I aint sure what the point is, she said. The point is there aint no point. No, I mean what you said. About knowin where you are. He looked at her. After a while he said: It’s not about knowin where you are. It’s about thinkin you got there without takin anything with you. Your notions about startin over. Or anybody’s. You don’t start over. That’s what it’s about. Ever step you take is forever. You cant make it go away. None of it. You understand what I’m sayin? .....I think so...I know you don’t but let me try it one more time. You think when you wake up in the morning yesterday don’t count. But yesterday is all that does count. What else is there? You life is made out of the days it’s made out of. Nothin else. You might think you could run away and change your name and I don’t know what all. Start over. And then one morning you wake up and look at the ceiling and guess who’s layin there?

There are some wonderful conversations that occurred between Bell and his Uncle Ellis that add such a poignant realism to the story. “What’s your biggest regret in life. The old man looked at him, gauging the question. I don’t know he said. I aint got all that many regrets. I could imagine lots of things you might think would make a man happier. I reckon being able to walk around might be one. You can make up your own list. You might even have one. I thing by the time you’re grown you’re as happy as you’re goin to be. You’ll have good times and bad times, but in the end you’ll be about as happy as you was before. Or as unhappy. I’ve knowed people that just never did get the hang of it”

If I was to tell you that I read this book in one sitting then you may come some way to understand both it’s importance and literary content...with just a little dark noir humour thrown in....

“We got another execution here Sherriff? No, I believe this one’s died of natural causes....Natural causes? Natural to the line of work he’s in.

“I’m like you. I aint sure we’ve seen these people before. Their kind. I don’t know what to do about em even. If you killed em all they’d have to build a annex on to hell”.....

A wonderful story by a literary genius that deserves to be read by all...and then read again! ( )
  runner56 | Jul 13, 2014 |
My second McCarthy novel, a novel that balances the turmoils that result from one man trying to take advantage of a drug deal gone wrong. Honestly, the storyline I was most compelled by was not the center of the story, and more time was spent on that of the local sherriff's, Ed Tom. I would not have minded if the whole novel was dedicated to the cat-and-mouse pursuit between Chigurh and Moss. ( )
  marthaearly | Jun 6, 2014 |
This is the second novel by McCarthy that I read. The first one was The Road, which I think is more praised than No Country for Old Men. But I struggled quite a bit reading the first one, and even if I enjoyed it, it didn't live to my expectations. Fortunately I didn't give up on McCarthy and picked up this one, which I enjoyed a lot more. This time I could connect with the story, McCarthy's writing style and the characters more easily. And everything made much more sense. I would definitely read some other McCarthy work in the future. ( )
  chaghi | Jun 1, 2014 |
I have seen the movie 4 times and the first question everyone asks is how close are they. Remarkably close. For the first half of the book I felt as though the screenwriter followed the book word for word. Granted, the movie scene where the dog chases Moss into the river is not in the book, but there is a lengthy chase of Moss by the two guys in the truck through the desert. In the second half of the book there is quite a bit more ruminating by Sheriff Bell, and as I read those pages I thought this was a big miss by the movie people. It really would have set up the highly criticized ending of the movie (the kitchen scene with Bell and wife Loretta) so much better, making the ending more palatable. I have one other major comment, and it is a spoiler for those who have neither read the book nor seen the movie....Even after seeing the movie X times, I never felt I understood the shooting of Moss, who did it, how did they know where he was, who got the money. The book does this very nicely, and I feel that 10 more minutes of video would made the movie so much better. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I have read a few things by McCarthy and I feel that this was by far the best. I believe that it will be enjoyable for those that have seen the movie, but best if there has been a time gap since your last viewing and perhaps your recollection is a bit fuzzy. A different book review I guess but if you want something more traditional you can find hundreds of the usual stuff on Amazon and Library Thing.
  maneekuhi | May 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 170 (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 (27 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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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 9 descriptions

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