All the Pretty Horses Paperback – Jun 4 1993
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Part bildungsroman, part horse opera, part meditation on courage and loyalty, this beautifully crafted novel won the National Book Award in 1992. The plot is simple enough. John Grady Cole, a 16-year-old dispossessed Texan, crosses the Rio Grande into Mexico in 1949, accompanied by his pal Lacey Rawlins. The two precocious horsemen pick up a sidekick--a laughable but deadly marksman named Jimmy Blevins--encounter various adventures on their way south and finally arrive at a paradisiacal hacienda where Cole falls into an ill-fated romance. Readers familiar with McCarthy's Faulknerian prose will find the writing more restrained than in Suttree and Blood Meridian. Newcomers will be mesmerized by the tragic tale of John Grady Cole's coming of age. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
This is a novel so exuberant in its prose, so offbeat in its setting and so mordant and profound in its deliberations that one searches in vain for comparisons in American literature. None of McCarthy's previous works, not even the award-winning The Orchard Keeper (1965) or the much-admired Blood Meridian (1985), quite prepares the reader for the singular achievement of this first installment in the projected Border Trilogy. John Grady Cole is a 16-year-old boy who leaves his Texas home when his grandfather dies. With his parents already split up and his mother working in theater out of town, there is no longer reason for him to stay. He and his friend Lacey Rawlins ride their horses south into Mexico; they are joined by another boy, the mysterious Jimmy Blevins, a 14-year-old sharpshooter. Although the year is 1948, the landscape--at some moments parched and unforgiving, at others verdant and gentled by rain--seems out of time, somewhere before history or after it. These likable boys affect the cowboy's taciturnity--they roll cigarettes and say what they mean--and yet amongst themselves are given to terse, comic exchanges about life and death. In McCarthy's unblinking imagination the boys suffer truly harrowing encounters with corrupt Mexican officials, enigmatic bandits and a desert weather that roils like an angry god. Though some readers may grow impatient with the wild prairie rhythms of McCarthy's language, others will find his voice completely transporting. In what is perhaps the book's most spectacular feat, horses and men are joined in a philosophical union made manifest in the muscular pulse of the prose and the brute dignity of the characters. "What he loved in horses was what he loved in men, the blood and the heat of the blood that ran them," the narrator says of John Grady. As a bonus, Grady endures a tragic love affair with the daughter of a rich Spanish Hacendado , a romance, one hopes, to be resumed later in the trilogy.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
"All the Pretty Horses" is an elegy and a love story and John Grady is the American Cowboy who stars in both.
The elegy is for horses and for the riders who once raced them across the landscape.
The love story is about John Grady and Alejandra--the rancher's daughter that he can't have. "The Sun Also Rises" is the greatest novel about love that I know and I rate "All the Pretty Horses" right up there with it. It's ultimately about moments. When the lovers first meet. When they must hide and lie to make love. And when they must say goodbye forever.
Mexico is cruel to John Grady. But he survives.
What really makes this book special to me though is the theme of the book. It is the early 1940s and the Wild West has been fenced in, cars have taken over from horses and even the sprawling ranches of Texas are converting to large oil fields. John Grady Cole is a young man who longs to be a rancher and make a living taming horses and herding cattle, but he is prevented from doing this by his mother and the changing nature of his home, so he rides to Mexico with a friend to find the life he always wanted. Along the way, they have many adventures and relationships that keep the book lively, but I love the image of a boy standing on the border of what he has always known (Texas) and what he thinks he wants (Mexico) and hurdling that line and going after his desires. It is a very romantic idea, but one that McCarthy really makes come to life in the book.
I can not recommend this book highly enough and I think any lover of good writing, Westerns, coming of age tales, or just great fiction will agree that it is worth the short time it takes to read it.
Through this journey all the people in this close knit community are exposed to many situations and feeling such as love death and especially welcoming something that many experiences for the first time. This book expresses with great emphasis the changes that the characters went through in a way that different people can relate to.
I would recommend this book to anyone who like's reading books when you don't know what is going to happen next. There are many different parts of the story that don't make sense in the beginning but all come together by the end of the story. Cormac McCarthy puts many of the problems that humans face today in a storyline that everyone can enjoy. This is a classic story that will be in our hearts and on our shelves for many years to come.
A true classic adventure novel of life, injustice, love and freedom. The adventure of two friends as they travel on horseback to Mexico. As they meet the true life of Mexico. As love, deceit, and adventure collide in this great novel. As John and Rawlins brave Mexico they get tangled with a horse thief and assassin. While in Mexico they work at a ranch and saddle break five hundred horses. John also fell in love with Alejandra the ranch owner's daughter. They get thrown in jail for a crime committed by a man named Smith who looks like Rawlins. As they travel to Mexico a land where dreams are paid for in blood. They have the time of their lives dealing with what Mexicans deal with every single day 365 days a year. Alejandra and John fall in love against the wills of Alejandra's father and her divorced mother. Alejandra attends college in Texas but comes home to visit her father on break. One night Alejandra and John ride off to the upper part of the ranch and spend the night with the horses under the starry sky of Mexico. John sleeps with Alejandra the next night in his cabin but she has to pretend that she just got up early with John so her Dad doesn't find out about their love. Alejandra's father hired John and Rawlins to saddle break and ride over five hundred horses. Little did he know that his daughter would end up falling in love with John. Horse and adventure lovers a like will fall into this book and never put it down. All that read it will fall in love with All the Pretty Horses. Romance novel lovers will also like this book because of the sensual romance of Alejandra and John. All book lovers will like this book. This book has won the National Book Critics Circle Award. It is a great book for everyone to read and treasure.
Most recent customer reviews
Cormac McCarthy is an amazing talent. This is a book that will be read hundreds of years from now. It is the coming-of-age story of a young cowboy who is caught in a transition... Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2008 by bisbee
If you're sick of overrated literary fiction that's well-crafted but contrived, cleverness without a heart, I suggest "All the Pretty Horses" by Cormac McCarthy. Read morePublished on April 15 2008 by Carol Read
Cormac McCarthy was born in Providence, RI, in 1933 and saw his first novel - "The Orchard Keeper" - published in 1965. Read morePublished on April 14 2007 by Craobh Rua
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I loved the main character and, unlike some other McCarthy books, the plot is easy to follow. Read morePublished on June 11 2004 by grace
McCarhty paints a wonderful landscape across the border In All The Pretty Horses. This book by Cormac Mccarthy is a great book about the coming of age of 16 year old John Grady... Read morePublished on May 6 2004
Over the weekend, I determined to read this National Book Award winner. The first 100 pages were about as much fun as a forced march with the Marines through a swamp. Read morePublished on April 4 2004 by R. Davis
I found the book "All The Pretty Horses" by Cormac McCarthy to be an exciting and compelling story of a young boy going out into the world and doing what he loves best,... Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2003
This book contains the qualitites that make up a good book to me, horses, a cowboy and a romantic love story. Read morePublished on Oct. 14 2003