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All the Pretty Horses: Book 1 of The Border Trilogy and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
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All the Pretty Horses Paperback – Jun 4 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; New edition edition (June 4 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330325329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330325325
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11 x 2.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,370,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

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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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

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**spoiler alert** Let's talk labels. Cormac McCarthy is considered a capital "W" Writer so his books are American Literature. No one should argue with that. But there's another "W' that applies. McCarthy writes Westerns. Elmore Leonard's Westerns are wild. Larry McMurty's are wonderful. Cormac's are gritty. He tells the tales of cowboys who ride hungry and scared; cowboys who don't know where they're riding or what they'll do when they get there; cowboys who live only for the horizon. They don't wear black or white hats and they don't meet outside the saloon when the clock strikes 12 to see who can draw the fastest. They survive on the plains.

"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.

Carac
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By Z. Blume on Jan. 14 2004
Format: Paperback
As most of the reviewers have said, this is a terrific book. Cormac McCarthy has a unique writing style that is perfectly suited to the Western genre and he knows how to pace a story. It is a very well written book and well worth reading it for that reason alone.
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.
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By Myla on Oct. 8 2003
Format: Paperback
All the Pretty Horses is a story about a boy who is in distress and thinks that leaving home will help him deal with the problems that he faced throughout his life. The boy John Grady Cole was mourning over the death of his Grandfather and since the grandfather only had one child, a daughter, the family name would be gone forever. The ranch that his grandfather owned was now in possession of the boys' mother, which was an idea she wanted nothing to do with it. With this news John decides that he needs to get away. This decision composed of him meeting with his friend Rawlin to embark on a journey that they would remember for the rest of their lives, a journey that involved traveling on their own to Mexico. While riding they meet a young boy who is about the age of 13 and asks the men if he could join them on their journey to Mexico. They respond by saying, "You aren't riding with us", "You will get us thrown in jail with that stolen horse of yours." Even with these situations the men still allow him to travel with them but under a close watch.
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.
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By A Customer on Oct. 7 2003
Format: Paperback
All the Pretty Horses
Cormac McCarthy
Vintage International
June 1993
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.
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