Okay, I'll start this review by saying that I'm glad I read this trilogy. However, I don't understand the 5-star ratings. McCarthy's writing is inaccurate. It's one thing to put poor grammar and incomplete ideas in the uneducated speech of the protagonists, but when the descriptions include these errors, it's quite disturbing. He LOVES subject pronouns (HE, SHE, etc) and at times the reader has no idea who "HE" is. The writing is surprisingly unclear at times, peppered with incomplete sentences. Also, the writing is full of Spanish sentences that he does not explain to the non-Spanish speaking reader. I speak Spanish, so this didn't bother me. However, the poor and inaccurate Spanish grammar in the mouths of Spanish speakers did.
Here is my breakdown of each of the novels:
1) ALL THE PRETTY HORSES: I enjoyed the story, but the conclusion was weak and not convincing.
2) THE CROSSING: By far the most annoying of the three books. The random episodes, the ambiguity of characters, the philosophical meanderings of certain characters, and the stark and long descriptive passages were almost too much to handle. The first 100+ pages are about Billy and a wolf! Needless to say, not a very exciting beginning.
3) CITIES OF THE PLAINS: The fastest-paced story of the three and the most engaging. The novel's conclusion, however, is ruined by a HORRIBLE 25-page epilogue that mirrors the long, philosophical "meaning of life" passages that doom THE CROSSING. Without this ending, the plot of this novel is the most exciting.