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No Country for Old Men

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  105,076 Ratings  ·  6,023 Reviews
Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, has made a grim discovery - a load of heroin, $2 million in cash and a lot of dead bodies. He has two choices - leave the scene as he found it, or cut the money and run. Choosing the latter, he knows, will change everything. So begins a terrifying chain of events.
Paperback, 305 pages
Published January 4th 2008 by Picador (first published 2005)
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Pam Stagg Absolutely fantastic read! Then see the movie, with Javier Badem as the maddest, baddest baddy you've ever encountered.

Community Reviews

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So are we gonna talk about No Country For Old Men, he said.

Why not, she replied.

Then we gotta do it like McCarthy, he said. Short sentences. Southern dialect. No punctuation.

I can drop the punctuation, she said. But I can't do Southern.

You can try.

Well then I caint. That good enough for you?

Youre tryin. That's the important thing. Caint do more than try.

Thank you. I wish I could speak it. It's a beautiful language. But I aint got his ear. He's got the best ear for dialect this side of Mark Twai
This is officially the 1000th review I’ve written on Goodreads, and I wanted to make sure that the book would fit the occasion so that’s why I decided to re-read this one. What better novel could I choose than this heartwarming tale of human kindness from one of the most optimistic men on the planet, Cormac McCarthy?*

* Note - That statement is sarcasm done in the interest of humor. 1000 reviews have taught me that I apparently have to explain that or someone with poor reading comprehension will
Glenn Russell
Apr 20, 2014 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

“How does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?”
― Cormac McCarthy, No Country For Old Men

My first contact with this work of fiction was listening to a 'Partially Examined Life' podcast with 3 young philosophers and Eric Petrie, a university professor who has made a study of Cormac McCarthy's dark novel set in Texas in 1980. This fascinating discussion motivated me not only to read the book but listen to the audiobook read by Tom Stechschulte. I'm glad I did. Stechschute's reading is sp
Anthony Breznican
Aug 17, 2008 Anthony Breznican rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone wondering why human evil so easily trumps the good.
Here's an unusual encounter.

I met Cormac McCarthy at the Oscars this year, and we had a very pleasant little chat. This was an important moment for me not only because he is the author of Blood Meridian, No Country For Old Men and The Road, all books I worship, but also because McCarthy is famous for his almost Salinger-like reclusive tendencies. He does not do interviews nor does he show up on The Tonight Show. He doesn't walk red carpets, tour colleges on the lecture circuit, or do any of the
Nandakishore Varma
Jan 30, 2012 Nandakishore Varma rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
This is started as a one-star book, then progressed to four slowly as the story unfolded. The novel grows on you.

No Country for Old Men starts out in a thoroughly disjointed way. Multiple POVs, total lack of punctuation, dialogue rendered exactly as the characters speak it... the reader is utterly confused as to where the focus is, who the protagonist is, and what the story is about.

It could be about one Llewlyn Moss who stumbles upon a fortune while hunting antelope near the Rio Grande. A tran
Jul 18, 2011 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cormac McCarthy has created - again - the perfect villain, this time in the form of a former special forces killer named Anton Chigurh.

Like Judge Holden and Glanton in Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West, Chigurh is intelligent, resourceful and utterly devoted to violence and chaos. Yet, like the antagonists in Blood Meridian, McCarthy has imbued in Chigurh a strange integrity, a lawful devotion to a natural order that I think is McCarthy's embodied illustration of evil - a man c

4.5 to 5.0 stars. First, a pre-emptive apology...this is my first Cormac McCarthy novel and so my gush of praise may be a tad too CAPTAIN KIRKISH in its melodramatic over the top-ness, so please forgive me. I will attempt to keep my giddiness to a minimum...but man can this guy write a novel!!!

I will start by saying without trying to sound overly stuffy or pretentious that I thought this was a brilliant, nuanced, multi-layered story that was told in extremely simple, straight-forward prose yet
Bill  Kerwin

A taut thriller with crisp, naturalistic dialogue, this book refuses to avert its eyes from the darkness.

Perhaps I'm rating this a bit low, but--considering the author's reputation--I expected more. Besides, I liked the movie better.
Jason Koivu
Feb 13, 2012 Jason Koivu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jason by: everyone and the kitchen sink
Shelves: fiction
Wanting to give up...
Refusing to give up...
Not knowing the meaning of giving up.

When drugs and money come to a small Texas town, sheriff-about-to-retire trope Ed Tom Bell is tasked with solving a deal gone murderously wrong. This is indeed No Country for Old Men.

A psychopath of a hitman, Anton Chigurh (that last name being pronounced cheekily similar to "sugar,") is making Bell's last days as sheriff a living hell. Vietnam vet Llewelyn Moss isn't making things any easier. Moss happened upon the
Paul Bryant
Dec 13, 2014 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels

Rayner took the bolt of the Uzi and slid the firing pin on. He aligned the springs and dropped the housing in. He felt and made sure it was seeded properly. He got the barrel and pushed that down. It rotated and found the notch. Bryant rolled a thin one, tamping the tobacco, pinching off the surplus and returning it to the tin. There was a dog.

You fixin to make me flip a coin on you.

No I particular aint.

Don’t look like it to me.

You shouldn’t likely do this.

Well yo
Oct 13, 2015 Matthias rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matthias by: The Coen Brothers
Shelves: my-reviews
With a book like this, the movie pretty much made itself. You could've just as well filmed the pages being flicked through (preferably by Javier Bardem, I'm sure he'd do it astoundingly) and you'd get roughly the same experience.

I understand the comparisons being made between the film and the book. That's the kind of understanding guy I am. I can only say both are masterpieces. It all starts with Cormac McCarthy though, and while the Coen brothers and the cast of the movie did a tremendous job,
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

No Country For Old Men has an unprecedented FOUR POINT THREE TWO rating amongst my Goodreads friends so what’s even left to say at this point? Allow me a moment to let the book speak for itself . . . .

“Do you love it? I guess you could say I do. But I’d be the first one to tell you I’m as ignorant as a box of rocks so you sure don’t want to go by nothing I’d say.”

The story here is of Llewellyn Moss, a single-wide dwelling welder li
Apr 01, 2010 TK421 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
I appreciate the nuances of a McCarthy novel: his voice, the settings, the very real characters he conjures within that mind of his. But the one thing I cannot accept is when people say he only writes westerns. His books cannot be categorized with such a simple claim. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is a perfect example. Sure, McCarthy uses some sterotypes (easy-going sheriff, bumbling hero, and creepy psychopath) to tell his story, but he uses them in ways that few writers can--McCarthy breaths life int ...more
Dec 26, 2014 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, if you saw the Oscar-winning film, you pretty much got the gist. This is an examination of evil at its most primitive level, in which lawlessness, even in the modern world, reigns over conscience, reason and morality. Chigurh is the prototypical Boogeyman: a walking, talking Michael Myers that is not immortal, though the concept of him will rule all the ages, prevailing like a force of nature. Powerful stuff, emotional and heartless at the same time, & of course, written in a precise a ...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Aug 16, 2011 Paquita Maria Sanchez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
This is my least favorite McCarthy that I have ever, ever read. And you know what that tells you? Not shit, except that the man can basically do no wrong in my eyes. I can and will nitpick, but just know that I don't really mean it and it's only because I love you, baby.

First thing's first: I saw this movie about a zillion times before I read the book, though I wish, I wish, I wish that I hadn't. When an author bases a novel's emotional heft largely on the momentum of its action, suspense, and g
Dan Schwent
Jan 13, 2011 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
While out shooting antelope, Llewellyn Moss stumbles upon a crime scene: three trucks, all shot up, and numerous bodies. Upon further inspection, Moss finds a substantial quantity of heroin and a briefcase containing over two million dollars. Moss takes the money and quickly ends up a wanted man. Can Moss survive long enough to enjoy the money?

This was my first McCarthy book and probably won't be the last. I devoured it in a single sitting. The clipped style really drove the story forward, remin
Elevating and Transcending Genre: McCarthy and 'Existentialist Crime'
[WARNING: Here there be spoilers.]
Another world unrolled like a carpet of dry, golden plains when I started reading 'No Country for Old Men'; the prose was vivid, but every word was a careful expenditure of idea and style. Cormac McCarthy is not an overly descriptive writer. But the antelope hunt in Southwest Texas that leads Llewelyn Moss to the bullet-riddled cars and corpses of the silent cartel battlefield is told with ab
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
I'm not really a huge fan of Westerns. Only rarely do I settle into this genre and find myself enjoying it. I'm also a bit hesitant when it comes to classics, perhaps from all the years in school of being beaten over the head with them and then forced to analyze the shit out of them.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by No Country For Old Men.

This book is a fast-paced, bloody chase. It's chalk full of morally questionable characters, with good and bad intentions. The setting is gritty and real
Paul Nelson
‘What’s the most you ever saw lost on a coin toss?’

No Country for Old Men joins the illustrious company of books that I've reread and more than deserves its place there, this is simply one of the most intense pieces of fiction I’ve read and narrated by Tom Stechschulte who I now rate as highly as the fantastic Will Patton.

There is just so much that makes this story, the dialogue centred around the hitman Chigurh is the highlight for me. Sheer menace and danger epitomizes this man, if ever the di
Cormac McCarthy is a goddamned poet with some mad, kick-ass storytelling skills. Speechless for the moment. Brain is goo. Please stand by.

This book broke my brain. On the surface, McCarthy is weaving a modern day western aptly soaked in blood and ruthlessness, where the line between hero and villain is sharply drawn. On that same surface, what we have is a cast of archetypes – the weary sheriff who has stayed too long and seen too much; the everyday man living right until he is undone by greed;
James Thane
On a morning in 1980, a Texas welder named Llewellyn Moss goes out to hunt antelope and gets a lot more than he bargained for when he stumbles across the site of a drug deal gone very, very bad. Several men and a number of pickups have been shot to death and Moss discovers only one survivor who is very near death and who pleads for a drink of water.

Moss ignores the request and searches the site, discovering a large amount of heroin remaining in one of the trucks. There is no corresponding amount
Aug 30, 2013 seak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2013
I read The Road about four or five years ago and it was a pretty powerful book to me. I didn't even have kids at the time, but now that I do I don't know if I could ever reread that book as I've always planned. It gave me a good taste of McCarthy and it's been long past time to read more of his work.

No Country for Old Men is a chilling story about how bad things have become. The depravity of certain individuals goes beyond comprehension. It's absolutely terrifying to think that this actually exi
Jun 15, 2008 Trevor rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: language
To be honest, I found this a bit irritating. It jumped around a little too much and the violence was pointless and excessive. I also found the ‘home-spun’ philosophy a bit hard to take.

There was not a single character in this book that I would urinate on if they were on fire – their deaths, therefore, were devoid of interest. I guess this book is Dirty Harry from the darkside. Same crap, same fascination with guns and the voyeurism caused by the effect bullets have on the human anatomy - I wond
Richard Vialet
I thought I'd get a re-read in before the year was out!

He's done it with the western and he's done it with the post-apocalyptic novel. And now Cormac McCarthy tackles a crime thriller and does what he usually does, turns it into something else that's part of a whole different genre: "Cormac McCarthy Fiction."

It starts as a simple noir. Llewellyn Moss is out hunting game when he stumbles onto a botched drug deal complete with dead Mexicans, dead dogs, dead trucks, and a satchel of 2 million dolla
MJ Nicholls
Jan 05, 2012 MJ Nicholls rated it liked it
Shelves: novels, merkins
Ah sureas hell aint foolish enough to write this here review in dialect cause ah sureas hell know itll sound like ahm fixin for a spankin from the real deep south folks, but ah caint resist the urge when the whole damn novel sounds like this, an why the hell not? Ah mean were in some southern location maybe Texas aint we? But cain ah keep up the dialect for the whole review? No, I sure as hell can’t. So let me review in my usual arch and brusque manner and dispense with these dialectical fripper ...more
First time reading a McCarthy novel and I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected.
I'm very tempted to rate it 4 stars because the audiobook and its narrator made this thriller very gripping and the characters interesting. Had I read the book myself, I think I might have found it a bit dull in places.

There were some great scenes, pretty much all of them included Anton Chigurh, a very scary and memorable villain. I also really liked some of the sheriff's monologues.

Having not seen the movie adaptat
Maryam Hosseini
Jul 03, 2015 Maryam Hosseini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
،این کتاب داستان مردیه که اتفاقی و ناخواسته شاهد یه درگیری و جنایت میشه
...اما با حماقت خودش به موندنش تو این ماجرا کمک میکنه و

.من از مک کارتی "جاده" رو خونده بودم و فوق العاده جذبش شدم
.این کتاب هم خیلی خوبه و اگرچه کاملا متفاوت از جادهس، اما اشترکاتی هم داره
دغـدغـهی نویسنده برای پایان دنیا، عوض شدن آدمها، عوضی شدن آدمها، عجیب شدن اونها(حتی بچه ها)، اختلاف بین نسلها و... هم لابهلای این قصه و از حرفای کلانتر میشد پیدا کرد
فکر میکنم جذابترین بخش کتابهای مک کارتی دیالوگهاشه؛ که کوتاه، صریح و گویا هست
Right off the bat I have to say this is a book that I'm not so sure I can do enough justice to in my review. There are so many themes and subtleties here (this is another book as much about what isn't said/done as what is), and I'm not sure that I've entirely digested all of them. A lot of the "professional" reviews tie some of the themes to the Bible, and having little knowledge of the Bible, there's a chance I'm missing out on some things. That said, even without that knowledge, this book stil ...more
Mar 27, 2008 Annalisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: guys
Recommended to Annalisa by: Ryan
This is definitely a man's book, loaded with violence and male tendency toward underexplaining vs female overanalyzing. The first half I thought there must be nothing gained from the book over the movie (I haven't seen it) because it read like a movie script describing one violent murder after the next without any insight into characters' motives, emotions, intentions, all the reasons a book is better.

But near the end of the book, you realize that this is not Moss' story, but sheriff Bell's. Yo
Jul 09, 2013 Stian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I had no say in the matter. Every moment in your life is a turning and every one a choosing. Somewhere you made a choice. All followed to this. The accounting is scrupulous. The shape drawn. No line can be erased. I had no belief in your ability to move a coin to your bidding."

I've previously read Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West and found it to be rather disappointing. McCarthy's style didn't really 'click' with me. I read The Road a few days after that and found that it cli
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does the book explain things any better than the movie 12 378 Sep 01, 2016 07:16PM  
Around the Year i...: No Country For Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy 1 15 Apr 20, 2016 05:28PM  
Guardian Newspape...: April 2016- No Country For Old Men 5 16 Apr 11, 2016 10:17AM  
52 In 52: * No Country For Old Men 1 6 Feb 12, 2016 11:56AM  
Goodreads Librari...: add book to quote - Cormac McCarthy 2 18 Jan 24, 2016 10:26AM  
Incorrect Publication Date 1 14 Oct 07, 2015 01:43PM  
why did Moss take that money? 6 53 May 01, 2015 05:52PM  
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Cormac McCarthy is an American novelist and playwright. He has written ten novels in the Southern Gothic, western, and post-apocalyptic genres and has also written plays and screenplays. He received the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for The Road, and his 2005 novel No Country for Old Men was adapted as a 2007 film of the same name, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

His earlier Blood M
More about Cormac McCarthy...

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“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.” 3330 likes
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