borderTrilogy

A good friend had told me about Cormac McCarthy some years ago and it’s taken me a while to actually pick up any of his works.  After scanning Amazon, it seemed like The Border Trilogywas a good place to start.  Turns out that premonition was correct, it is quite good.

The first of three novels is All The Pretty Horses, which is by all means the best out of the three in my opinion.  McCarthy weaves vivid imagery of the old West with grace in such a way that modern times are wistful for what once was.  The tale is that of John Grady Cole and his quest into Mexico as a youth.  It’s an engrossing story that is at times brutal and more often brutally honest.  It’s an excellent introduction to his writing style and I couldn’t put it down.

The second novel is The Crossing, which follows two brothers Billy and Boyd through another escapade through Mexico after a family tragedy.  They are driving to recover their horses which were unlawfully taken.  This book is also engrossing and keeps that same expectation of the old West and unknown.

The final book is Cities of the Plain and was also good, though not as interesting to me as the first two.  It actually follows the protagonists from both the earlier books as they are grown and working on a ranch.  Rest assured, it is still well worth reading, but didn’t have the same interest as the first.

McCarthy has gained acclaim for having written No Country for Old Men and The Road, among other well received works.  He is certainly one of the better modern day writers that I’ve read and it would be difficult to imagine people not enjoying his works.  However, these books are not written to be “page turners” they are poignant and flow well, but not suspenseful.  They are slower paced, much like the environment they so aptly describe.

If you are like me and enjoy the old west, these will surely be worth reading.  If you do not enjoy questing novels it may not be your cup of tea, yet that still wouldn’t take away from McCarthy and his abilities.  I’ll certainly be reading more of his works in the future.