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No Country for Old Men Paperback – July 11, 2006
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- Publisher : Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (July 11, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 309 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0375706674
- ISBN-13 : 978-0375706677
- Lexile measure : HL610L
- Item Weight : 8.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.19 x 0.73 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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This was my first Cormac McCarthy book, suggested by a friend who well knows my penchant for Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style.” Commas are a rare breed, and quotation marks were extinct long before this book was written. Even so, the author’s style is fairly easy to understand, and the story drives this book anyhow. The down-home conversations reveal a lot about the characters, and the interludes with Sheriff Bell (where it seems as if he is speaking directly to us) tell us everything we want to know about the man, and more.
Mr. McCarthy balances multiple characters, allowing each to share the main stage and have their moment to shine as the book races to an unexpected climax. The plot examines motivations, particularly why different people make different decisions and the underlying currents that cause or force them to continue, right or wrong, to embrace whatever path was chosen. These moments are very revealing, and it is interesting to view each character’s interpretation of what is ethical behavior. This is not a speed read. The author’s style arm-twists us into slowing down, and for that I am grateful. Five stars.
writes a hard, cold, mean prose almost devoid of heroes. He juxtaposes good, decent ordinary human beings up against the 21st centuries' Hannibal Lecter only this psychopath has absolutely no charm nor charisma nor overpowering intellect. Anton Chigur is a psychopath with only one saving grace; he is as relentlessly ruthless and savage as death. Read the book and maybe you'll root for the sheriff or the man who stole the dope deal gone bad's brief case full of drug money. It is a truly remarkable and enjoyable book.. The 20th century had Hannibal Lecter, a suave and brilliant psychopath. The 21st century has Anton Chigur, a frozen creature without even a hint of a soul. Take your pick: charm and great taste or the bloodless soulless threat of a great white shark on the hunt.
Top reviews from other countries
The novel is framed by the thoughts of the aging and upright Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, a man of integrity and simplicity haunted by past errors, faced by an increasingly violent society which he struggles to understand and which is incompatible with the purer, more moral world of his memory and family lore. Bell is a man adrift, but also a man whose self-awareness provides a nuanced perspective upon the brutal and murderous drug trade which has infected his county and brought horrific death to his doorstep. Bell might not know why men do the wrongs they do, but he tries hard to understand what leads them down paths that will lead to their destruction, although recognising that whatever his efforts, he cannot prevent others from that rendezvous with death their choices will bring. But Bell's empathy and compassion provide no guide when faced with the amoral killing machine, Anton Chigurch, an evil demiurge, part Biblical demon, part classical representation of Nemesis. Chigurch is Fate made human for those who come into his realm of death and retribution, even those innocent of wrongdoing, whose violent end is but collateral damage in a world where violence not only begets violence, but where violence and mortality are mere events in an inevitable process of reckoning.
The tone, as usual with McCarthy, is laconic and elegiac, with beautifully drawn characters, whose moral reality is clear in their words and their actions. It is a novel written with beautiful simplicity about a world made complex by the failures of men to stay true to the simple truths that experience has revealed as the best basis for a better world.
This is a profoundly moral and thoughtful book that is a worthy entry in the canon of great American novels, and Cormac McCarthy is one of the great American novelists.
Characterisations of the three main protagonists wonderful.
Even the ending leaves you with the thought, did they get the right man.
That’s the reality of life. Ninety one percent of books leave you feeling good, “right has prevailed over might”.
This one tells the way things really are, evil can & does prevail despite our best wishes.
Finally, a wonderful discussion on social trends over the generations.
Both are 5 star entertainment.