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The Crossing (The Border Trilogy #2)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  19,471 ratings  ·  1,249 reviews
In The Crossing--the second volume of the Border Trilogy--Cormac McCarthy fulfills the promise of All the Pretty Horses and at the same time gives us a work that is darker and more visionary, a novel with the unstoppable momentum of a classic Western and the elegiac power of a lost American myth.

In the late 1930s, sixteen-year-old Billy Parham captures a she-wolf that has
Paperback, 426 pages
Published March 14th 1995 by Random House Vintage International Books USA (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jason Koivu
One decision, as innocent as it may be, can fuck up your life forever. Now, you can live in fear and hide yourself away, or you can keep making those decisions and hope for the best, and if and when the shit hits the fan, you can stand strong and push on.

That's life. That's The Crossing.

Cormac McCarthy's "The Border" trilogy is where you'll find dusty plains, hard living, and a recent past populated by a people still living in an even more distant past. His characters are full of character, thei
Enormously affecting. A boy and his father set out to trap a wolf that is preying on their cattle. The man who had trapped them in the past, who opened the plains for countless thousands of cattle to graze is now dead, and the wolves have begun to return to their old hunting grounds from their retreat in Mexico. The father and son try to take up the trapping in the manner of the past master. The Crossing is about many things: the three journeys over four years into Mexico taken by the young Bill ...more
Joe Briggs
The Crossing is an astonishing book, more downbeat than All the Pretty Horses, yet not as bleak as the likes of Blood Meridian, it is a sprawling coming-of-age tale filled with moments of beauty and sorrow. The descriptions are as beautiful as anything Cormac McCarthy writes, the action is sparse but nailbiting when it comes and the characters are brilliantly realised. There are moments when the book lags but whenever this happens you can be assured that within a couple of pages McCarthy will co ...more
Yesterday, I made a pot of beans. This in itself isn’t unusual for me, but when you pair it with the chiles and pupusas I made the day before, you can start to see a pattern. It might not have all been authentically Mexican (the pupusas certainly weren’t), but it was all the sort of thing that you might find a cowboy enjoying. Never in my life have I had such cravings for tortillas and beans.

I suddenly find myself attracted to horses. And not just sexually. For the past two days, I’ve actually m
Marco Tamborrino
È il dolore ad addolcire ogni dono.

Grazie, Cormac McCarthy. Grazie all'infinito. Hai scritto il libro della mia vita. E ti chiedo scusa se lo chiamo libro. Ti chiedo scusa per quelli che lo hanno disprezzato e lo disprezzeranno. Perdonali, perché non sanno quello che fanno. Io non posso fare altro che inchinarmi davanti a tanta capacità letteraria. Non posso far altro che piangere sapendo che un autore ancora vivente ha prodotto questo libro. Sapendo che ha scritto queste pagine, che non è stato
Magnífica Travessia!
Tem umas passagens árduas, tem. Umas em que se fala de Deus e de Fé, e que facilmente impacientam uma ímpia infiel como eu… Mas o resto deixou-me extasiada.
Cormac consegue expor o Homem no seu estado mais Puro; um Ser absolutamente livre e corajoso e determinado, que se entrega e sacrifica aos outros não por Dever mas por Querer. Não será por acaso, talvez, que a personagem principal tem apenas 16 anos; já é fisicamente um homem mas a alma ainda é de menino…

Estou viciada em
Alice Munro said in an interview that our lives begin as straightforward stories with the typical arc of fiction, but that as we go on living they become strange, experimental narratives, convoluted and difficult to interpret. It seems to me that's what's happening in this second volume of the Border Trilogy. Volume One was pretty straightforward, taut and clear in its construction. It told a story of a young man's searing introduction to the adult world. Volume Two does the same--with a differe ...more
After finishing All the Pretty Horses, I felt (maybe somewhat unjustly) that the bar of expectation had been set extremely high. I realize that some (most?) people have a particular favorite part of McCarthy’s Border Trilogy, but I’d be hard-pressed to choose one after reading The Crossing. However, the change was noticeable and I was relieved that the second book wasn’t just a rehashing of the first in theme and tone. The Crossing does maintain the elegant, sprawling prose contrasted by McCarth ...more
This is a campfire tale about the humble genesis of a teenage Bad Ass cowboy from the desert southwest.

The story has 4 parts, each beginning and ending with a US-Mexico border crossing (hence the title). The crossing of the border takes Billy, the main character, a 16 year old boy, from a stark world of American reality to an almost dreamy, magical world of Mexican legend. There's a transcendental relationship between Billy and the earth & elements when he's south of the border. The relatio
Comparisons between this and All the Pretty Horses seem inevitable. Here we have another buldingsroman: a teenage cowboy who rides south into the Mexican frontier, coming of age through scenes of privation and violence. But Billy Parham's journey has a a peculiarly mystical quality all its own. He keeps meeting these extremely odd people out in the wilderness who feel the need to explain to him, in deliriously long, wide-ranging monologues, their gnostically inclined ideas of God, History, Man, ...more
The second novel in McCarthy’s Border Trilogy is not a sequel to All the Pretty Horses, but rather a parallel coming-of-age story. Billy Parham is a sixteen year old boy living on a ranch in New Mexico. When a wolf suddenly begins killing his family’s cattle, Billy’s father sets him with the task of trapping the wolf. A game of wits between boy and beast ensues, as the wolf repeatedly digs up the traps that have been set for her. When Billy finally outsmarts the wolf and catches her, he feels su ...more
Se ci si pensa, gli strumenti a disposizione di uno scrittore, o aspirante tale, si possono essenzialmente schematizzare in una prosa fluente e una storia da raccontare; e, come complemento, dialoghi credibili e ambientazioni suggestive, attenzione ai particolari e precisa caratterizzazione dei personaggi.
Il grande scrittore, però, possiede un’arma in più, ricevuta in dono da madre natura o, se si preferisce, per intercessione divina, ovvero una sorta di “fiammella” capace di imprimere animazio
Chiara Pagliochini
« Il mondo non ha un nome, disse. I nomi dei cerros e delle sierras e dei deserti esistono soltanto sulle carte geografiche. Diamo loro un nome per non perdere l’orientamento. Tuttavia, quei nomi li abbiamo coniati proprio perché avevamo perso l’orientamento. Non si può perdere il mondo. Siamo noi il mondo. Ed è perché questi nomi e queste coordinate sono frutto della nostra nominazione che non ci possono salvare. Non sanno ritrovare per noi il cammino perduto. »

Tra tutti gli oggetti che ci circ
Esta es una novela occidental, pero no es una novela occidental normales........oh wait a minute, I forgot I just finished the book and am now in review mode. Much of the dialogue in this one is Spanish, but never fear, you'll context it just fine.

McCarthy is a master of the slow paced, philosophical novel which crosses boundaries of mankind's struggles both real and imagined. He has a way of coaxing the reader along in a debate that they didn't bargain for and for which no clear side is being t
I'll admit it freely- I was unprepared for Cormac McCarthy. Sure, I've heard all the reviews: that he's bleak, despairing, has a dark and twisted worldview, offers little hope for the future, et cetera ad nauseum. It's one thing to hear about this and to know that cracking a Cormac McCarthy book is not going to be an exercise in gumdrops and rainbows, it's a whole other thing to actually open a book and expose yourself to over 400 pages of brutally hard-living and events that shake your faith in ...more
João Carlos
“A Travessia” (1994) é o segundo livro da “Trilogia da Fronteira” escrito pelo norte-americano Cormac McCarthy (n. 1933).
Se em “Belos Cavalos” a personagem principal é John Grady Cole, um jovem de apenas 16 anos, em “A Travessia” Billy Parham, com a mesma idade, é o centro de uma história, com contornos mais místicos (a relação “divina” com a loba), mas igualmente enquadrada pelas belíssimas paisagens do México - cruza a fronteira três vezes -, simultaneamente, agrestes e traiçoeiras, mas com um
It makes me a little sad to rate this so low, because there are certain parts of the book that I loved ... certain passages that were so breathtaking, I've already reread them a few times over. While part 1 was really excellent, especially the ending, I mostly found this book a chore to read. Not a whole lot of plot, more of a meandering journey meeting random people who give soliloquies lasting several pages. A lot of philosophizing, which fortunately was often not so esoteric and could be pers ...more
My impression of this one mirrors many of the reviews I've read:

The first section with Billy and the wolf is stunning and surely among the best descriptions of man's relationship with the wild in literature.

The middle section meanders. I felt I needed a map to keep track of the brothers' wanderings in and out of Mexico, and many of their encounters with minor characters were unsatisfying. It was difficult to believe Boyd's connection with "the girl" when she wasn't even given a name.

The final t
May 23, 2010 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: fiction
If you enjoyed ALL THE PRETTY HORSES which is the first book in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy, you will be equally enchanted by THE CROSSING.
The first time I tried this, 10 years ago, I couldn't get into it, but inspired by THE ROAD which I read this summer, I decided to try again and have been amply rewarded.
McCarthy is an eloquent writer. This is the story of a young American boy and his brother, who go to Mexico in an attempt to find the horses stolen from their ranch. They do find th
I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a book less. I was all the more disappointed because I have liked everything else I've read of McCarthy. This felt like paint by numbers McCarthy to me: male characters laconic to the point of absurdity, but stopping often to listen to portentous theological soliloquies. Wandering through desert landscape, and experiencing sudden senseless violence. It is devoid of feeling until the final page--practically an autistic novel--and ultimately offers nothing ...more
Nov 26, 2014 Richard marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
I couldn't get into this. I wasn't blown away by the first instalment and this isn't working for me after 120 pages. I'll give it the "it's not you, it's me" treatment and put it back on my shelf. It does have the honour of getting its own category on Goodreads with a "DNF" shelf created just for this book.

Sorry Cormac, maybe some of your other work will appeal to me in the future
(Pese a todas las penas e infortunios) "Solo hay una vida que merezca la pena vivir y yo he nacido para vivirla. Eso compensa todo lo demás". En estas mil y una fronteras alegóricas se descubre otro McCarthy. Más sobrio. Menos violento. Menos oscuro. Pero igualmente brillante.

Some novels are never over, this is one. It's always going to be exquisite and cruel in the reading, it will be a book to read and love, to read and be devastated by: 'Some vast tragedy not of fact or incident or event but of the way the world was'.
Judging from the four—closing in on five—Cormac McCarthy novels I've read so far, he is not a writer eager to share an abundant sense of humor with his readers. So the folksy (and very funny) joke an elder fellow cattle-rancher tells to The Crossing’s protagonist Billy Parham less than fifty pages into the more than 400 page novel is a rarity, if not a singularity:
There was this Texas lion and this New Mexico lion. They split up on the divide and went off to hunt. Agreed to meet up in the spring
This book is everything a novel should be: transformative, heartbreaking, mysterious. I'm frankly surprised at how deeply I adored this book - since western-themed stories aren't typically my thing - which essentially commandeered most of my free thoughts during the several weeks I was reading it, and thereafter. I still can't shake it.

Above all, what this book left me with was an appreciation for life's ultimate indifference; that generosity and brutality coexist in the world in fairly equal me
Feb 09, 2008 Jenny rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenny by: Pete and the book club!
This was a fairly bleak read, the story of this boy's life as he journeys in and out of Mexico and New Mexico. But I walked away with a pretty Zen feeling, reminded that life has ups and downs and all sorts of surprise consequences, some good and some bad. It reminded me of my favorite quote from the Tao te Ching, "Things arise and she lets them come, things disappear and she lets them go." As he travels, he listens to older people share their thoughts on life, and here's my favorite part of the ...more
Guenda Ferri
Era da tempo che non leggevo un libro scritto così bene. Avete mai letto delle belle poesie? Dove le parole sono scelte con cura, in base al significato e all’armonia e al suono, dove la natura riesce a unirsi al verso come se le parole le fossero scolpite addosso? Immaginatevi di mettere insieme i versi in un testo in prosa: avrete “Oltre il confine” di Cormac McCarthy.
Almeno per quanto riguarda lo stile, la scelta delle parole, perché se si considerano questi aspetti non si può che convenire
Peycho Kanev
"It had ceased raining in the night and he walked out on the road and called for the dog. He called and called. Standing in that inexplicable darkness. Where there was no sound anywhere save only the wind. After a while he sat in the road. He took off his hat and placed it on the tarmac before him and he bowed his head and held his face in his hands and wept. He sat there for a long time and after a while the east did gray and after a while the right and godmade sun did rise, once again, for all ...more
Jim Hale
The Crossing will always be special to me. When I lived in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1997, I knew a gentleman who was an English professor. I asked him if he was reading anything interesting and he responded "Yes!" He mentioned McCarthy and the The Crossing. I'd never heard of either. When I sat down with the book, I knocked out 130 pages and was stunned. Never read anything like it. I grew up in Texas and spent some time around the border, and oh my, it gave me chills. It's interesting to me ...more
There are writers who explore one theme and leave their readers with an overwhelming sense of redundancy. Then there is Cormac McCarthy. McCarthy's worldview goes something like this: The world is a violent, ever-changing, unstable, and awful place. If there is a god, he is completely indifferent to our struggles, and, make no bones about it, human life is nothing BUT struggle. Searching for god is a fruitless waste of time, and, in this brutal and uncaring world, meaning must be found or made b ...more
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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...

Other Books in the Series

The Border Trilogy (3 books)
  • All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1)
  • Cities of the Plain (The Border Trilogy, #3)
The Road No Country For Old Men Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1) Child of God

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“Deep in each man is the knowledge that something knows of his existence. Something knows, and cannot be fled nor hid from.” 163 likes
“So everything is necessary. Every least thing. This is the hard lesson. Nothing can be dispensed with. Nothing despised. Because the seams are hid from us, you see. The joinery. The way in which the world is made. We have no way to know what could be taken away. What omitted. We have no way to tell what might stand and what might fall.” 59 likes
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