Barbara's Reviews > Cities of the Plain

Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy
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's review
Feb 09, 2011

really liked it
Read in February, 2011

I started Cities of the Plains, by Cormac McCarthy, on my way home from a long and relaxing vacation. I could not put it down until I finished it. It is the third in the trilogy with All the Pretty Horses, which I have read, but I had not read the second book when a friend gave this one to me.

It is beautifully written and spare - there is no waste in his writing. It is a simple story in many ways, and yet almost mythological in its themes and consequences. But what really struck me was the ending - - from a narrative that was really rich, to a suddenly, totally philosophical discourse - deeply existential - questioning life, death, the role of dreams, and so much more that I couldn't even grasp the first time around - I have to read it again when I am not lying prone in bed at the end of a long day. I so enjoyed this book and yet have to read the ending again to try to understand. Was Billy talking with Death? Just another traveler? The ghost of John Grady Cole?

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