Old Reads That Are Good: McCarthy’s Pretty, Pretty Horses

by gbcpl on August 7, 2014

All The Pretty Horses (1992) has been on the reading lists of high schools and colleges for some time so you hardly need your friendly neighborhood librarian to tell you it’s a good book. The U.S. National Book Award? Won it. National Book Critics Circle Award? Won it.

So, search yep, symptoms good book. all-the-pretty-horses

The thing about Cormac McCarthy is he can be a struggle. And, order admittedly, he’s not for everyone. He has a tendency to fall in love with description. He is stylistically similar to Ernest Hemingway, but with clipped, short sentences sandwiched between long passages of landscape. He abhors quotation marks, meaning you really have to follow along with who’s saying what. Oh, and there’s no translation for the Spanish sentences, so if you don’t speak the language you might need a handy-dandy reference sheet, like the one here.

Violence plays a big part in his work (you practically have to wade through the slaughter in his seminal masterpiece Blood Meridian), and All The Pretty Horses is no different. What starts out as a simple border crossing from Texas into Mexico in 1949 by 16-year-old John Grady Cole and his friend Lacey Rawlins becomes a nightmarish ordeal as the two cowboys encounter bullets, blood and bad men.

And beneath all that is a love story.

If you’re looking for a Western story that’s a bit more literary than a William Johnstone or Louis L’Amour paperback, pick up McCarthy.

Just don’t look for many happy endings. (Download the eBook or Reserve it in Your Library)

Other Books By This Author: No Country for Old Men (2005), Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West (1985), The Road (2006), The Crossing (1994).

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