Jonathan Loja's Reviews > The Crossing

The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
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's review
Feb 28, 2014

it was amazing

Although I have never touched anything by Hubert Selby Jr., this is by far the most depressing book I've ever read.
And it was a challenging one, at 400+ pages, the novel drawls on with all the elements for excitement but McCarthy ultimately allows the majority of them to fizzle out. Despite the length and the frustrating amount of untranslated spanish dialogue, I still enjoyed the novel quite a bit.
The reward is truly in the loneliness endured by Billy Parham.
The Crossing takes place over three migrations across and back and across again, over the mexico//new mexico border.
The bulk of this novel's quality is in the stories told by random characters that Billy encounters. In them, the reader is exposed to a density of religion and isolation-based suffering.

What I really love about this novel is the fact that it is a western taking place in an unlikely time period, the 1930's and early 40's. At one point, McCarthy describes Americans looking in awe at the horse-back teen as though the mode of transportation is entirely alien. WW2 is nothing but a rumor. When Billy is left with no family or home, not even the army will take him because of a mild heart condition.

This is a truly a bleak story of a character in search reason to ride on.

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