Cormac McCarthy – All the Pretty Horses

Title: All the Pretty Horses
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Year: 1992

When sixteen-year-old John Grady Cole learns that his grandfather is dead and that their farm has to be sold, he avoids the default move into town and instead heads southwards, towards Mexico, with his good friend Lacey Rawlins, there hoping to eek out a living as cowboys. On the road, they meet up with a mysterious boy who claims his name is Jimmy Bevins and who masters a number of skills very rarely seen even in adults. Together, they experience a lot, but the novel’s main focus is on John Grady Cole and his falling in love with the beautiful but unreachable Alejandra.

This being the third book I read by Cormac McCathry, I can without any doubt say that he really is a skilled author. As was clearly seen in both The Road and No Country for Old Men he knows how to use the English language is a simplistic and yet highly successful way, a skill I admire. I listened to this book, which means I cannot comment on the fairly unusual way in which it is written (almost no punctuation, for instance), but I highly doubt my impression would have been any better had I read it visually instead.

Whereas both the previous books had intensely interesting plots and characters, I find All the Pretty Horses lacking in this area. Sure, the story is well-composed and the characters portraits are attracting my attention, but that can only slightly cover the fact that the underlying story simply isn’t interesting at all. It’s classic, it’s been done many times before and thus I quickly lose interest. But it’s still a good book and as such I will award it three snails.

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