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The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2) by…
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The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2) (edition 1994)

by Cormac McCarthy

Series: Border Trilogy (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,742682,400 (4.01)209
In The Crossing, Cormac McCarthy fulfills the promise of All the Pretty Horses and at the same time give us a work that is darker and more visionary, a novel with the unstoppable momentum of a classic western and the elegaic power of a lost American myth. In the late 1930s, sixteen-year-old Billy Parham captures a she-wolf that has been marauding his family's ranch. But instead of killing it, he decides to take it back to the mountains of Mexico. With that crossing, he begins an arduous and often dreamlike journey into a country where men meet ghosts and violence strikes as suddenly as heat-lightning--a world where there is no order "save that which death has put there." An essential novel by any measure, The Crossing is luminous and appalling, a book that touches, stops, and starts the heart and mind at once.… (more)
Member:jammymammu
Title:The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2)
Authors:Cormac McCarthy
Info:Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 426 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:to-read

Work Information

The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy

  1. 40
    All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (donhazelwood)
    donhazelwood: The first of the border trilogy series.
  2. 10
    Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy (donhazelwood)
    donhazelwood: The next & final book in the border trilogy series.
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» See also 209 mentions

English (62)  Italian (4)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
I am at a season in my life where I feel drawn to books written in the past. There’s something thought-provoking about stories either written decades ago or set in a historical time period. Cormac McCarthy is an exceptional storyteller. His scene descriptions and character development pulled me right into this emotional story.

The Crossing, part two of The Border Trilogy, is a western novel that follows young Billy Pelham on three life-changing journeys across the New Mexico border into Mexico. At age 16, Billy and his father have been tracking a pregnant wolf. Billy captures the wolf by himself and spontaneously decides to take her back to the mountains in Mexico where she can reunite with her kind. This is such an unimaginable journey for a boy embarking on manhood. Billy is resourceful and faces challenges with courage.

Billy returns to his home in New Mexico to find an unexpected tragedy has taken place. He and his brother, Boyd, age 14, set out on their journey to Mexico to retrieve the family’s stolen horses. The boys encounter dangerous people as well as forge alliances. Young Boyd falls in love with a Mexican girl and embarks on a new adventure. Billy returns to New Mexico where he works and saves money with a goal of bringing Boyd and his girlfriend home. He also makes several attempts to enlist in the Army as the second world war commences.

Now, Billy is 20 years old and has the resources he needs to return to Mexico to find his brother. He meets other travelers along the way who provide him with necessities. He searches and finds people who had met his brother. This portion of the story reminded me of the beginning when Billy was tracking the wolf; at the end he was tracking his brother.

On each of these journeys, the travelers are met by a variety of people. I enjoyed the authenticity of these characters. Some were intimidating, careless, and violent. While others were compassionate, helpful, and resourceful. This story repeatedly broke my heart. It’s an emotionally heavy read, filled with tragedy and suffering. While also being a beautiful story. I suppose I have this reaction because McCarthy repeatedly offers hope in the story but doesn’t quite deliver. There isn’t a man on horseback riding off into the sunset in this ending.

I purchased the audiobook from Audible with perfect narration by Richard Poe.

I have photos and additional information that I'm unable to include here. It can all be found on my blog, in the link below.
A Book And A Dog ( )
  NatalieRiley | Mar 7, 2024 |
The Crossing (1994) is the follow-up to All the Pretty Horses (1992) and the second part of Cormac McCarthy’s acclaimed Border Trilogy, three novels focused on young American men coming of age in the early-to-mid-20th century on the border with Mexico.

Despite the singular title, it tells the story of young Billy Parham’s three crossings (or quests) into Mexico from New Mexico. So the book is somewhat three novellas in one. And while each story focuses on Billy, each story also focuses upon the beautiful, inconsolable landscapes of the New Mexico/Mexico border. The landscape is just as much a character as Billy is.

Like its predecessor, The Crossing concerns a young American rancher living near the Mexican border in the 1930s, a time when the old West is grudgingly entering the modern world while Mexico is being torn apart by revolution. And like volume one's memorable hero, John Cole Grady, 16-year-old Billy Pawson is drawn south in a nearly mythical journey to find himself. Billy initially crosses into Mexico to take a wolf he had trapped on his New Mexico ranch back to the animal's native mountains. When he returns, he finds that his home has been plundered, and he and his 14-year-old brother, Boyd, set off for Mexico to find their family's stolen horses. Traveling through the lawless ruins of the post-revolutionary Mexican countryside, they encounter Gypsy wanderers, carnival actors, horse-traders, horse thieves, revolutionary soldiers, and men of various religions.

The Crossing is a wandering tale. It is no tale of love or pure adventure. It is a novel about the harsh realities of the world. I will say I didn't find The Crossing to be as riveting as All The Pretty Horses was. The novel slumps in the middle, but the ending is quite superb and tragic as Billy's journey quickly turns into a quest for Boyd's remains as he was cut down in battle. In an interesting development, Boyd is remembered by ordinary Mexicans, somewhat erroneously, as a champion of the people.

For as beautifully written as The Crossing is, it is an obtuse book. All the Pretty Horses is a perfect novel of its kind - structurally and in terms of character development. The Crossing is a different beast of a book. More fatalistic, more violent, more bleak, with less character development. The Crossing is less Mark Twain and more Faulkner.

Perhaps The Crossing was meant to be the antithesis to All the Pretty Horses? And if that is the case, McCarthy succeeded.
( )
  ryantlaferney87 | Dec 8, 2023 |
Not as narratively cohesive or as philosophically potent as AtPH or Blood Meridian, but few authors capture solitary nihilism as powerfully as McCarthy. The loneliness, the raw survivalism are heartbreaking. Yes, the language is at times overwrought, but McCarthy is so precise at setting a tone, constructing an image, that this can be forgiven. Ultimately, I find the main characters lacking dimension, and the supporting cast merely floats in and out of the narrative like specters; of course, I suspect this is all precisely the point, but it makes for a less than satisfying reading experience. ( )
  BeauxArts79 | Jul 16, 2023 |
A rogue wolf has been killing calves in remote areas of the Parham family ranch. After checking traps for days Billy finally finds the wolf ensnared, and for reasons he can't explain himself, rather than killing her as was the plan he determines to capture her and lead her back over the border into Mexico, from whence he suspects she came. This is only the beginning of what will ultimately be a life-altering journey through the rugged and sometimes dangerous lands of northern Mexico.

I don't typically gravitate to westerns, but I've enjoyed everything I've read by McCarthy so far. Even his spare writing style has grown on me significantly. Many of the scenes are depicted in an almost dreamlike fashion, and there is a real sense for the reader of having been transported back to a simpler time. I appreciated that it tested my high school Spanish, and I felt like giving myself a pat on the back at how much I still understood subconsciously (Google Translate helped out in other instances where context didn't immediately provide insight). I also enjoyed following along Billy's travels on a map. Do I break the record for time elapsed between reading a book and its sequel? I first read All the Pretty Horses in August 2000 — a span of 23 years! ( )
  ryner | May 12, 2023 |
Spectacular. McCarthy’s liberal use of Spanish creates occasional listening challenges, but the sound of the language is an important part of the story. McCarthy is writing at a Nobel Prize level. ( )
  brook11trout | May 6, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (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 (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCarthy, Cormacprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bernascone, RossellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carosso, AndreaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hirsch, FrançoisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hrách, TomášTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jukarainen, ErkkiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kooman, KoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundgren, CajTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murillo Fort, LuisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ofstad, KnutTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaeffer, PatriciaTranslatorsecondary 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.
When they came south out of Grant County Boyd was not much more than a baby and the newly formed county they'd named Hidalgo was itself little older than the child.
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I aint goin nowheres.
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In The Crossing, Cormac McCarthy fulfills the promise of All the Pretty Horses and at the same time give us a work that is darker and more visionary, a novel with the unstoppable momentum of a classic western and the elegaic power of a lost American myth. In the late 1930s, sixteen-year-old Billy Parham captures a she-wolf that has been marauding his family's ranch. But instead of killing it, he decides to take it back to the mountains of Mexico. With that crossing, he begins an arduous and often dreamlike journey into a country where men meet ghosts and violence strikes as suddenly as heat-lightning--a world where there is no order "save that which death has put there." An essential novel by any measure, The Crossing is luminous and appalling, a book that touches, stops, and starts the heart and mind at once.

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