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No Country for Old Men

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  166,453 ratings  ·  8,561 reviews
In his blistering new novel, Cormac McCarthy returns to the Texas-Mexico border, the setting of his famed Border Trilogy. The time is our own, when rustlers have given way to drug-runners and small towns have become free-fire zones.

One day, Llewellyn Moss finds a pickup truck surrounded by a bodyguard of dead men. A load of heroin and two million dollars in cash are still
Paperback, 309 pages
Published July 11th 2006 by Vintage (first published July 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.…moreAbsolutely fantastic read! Then see the movie, with Javier Badem as the maddest, baddest baddy you've ever encountered.(less)
Milo Paulus Right in the beginning you mean?

I was puzzled by that choice as well at first but I re-read it, and it is insinuated that Moss felt bad for not helpin…more
Right in the beginning you mean?

I was puzzled by that choice as well at first but I re-read it, and it is insinuated that Moss felt bad for not helping the Mexican who asks him for water, so he returns to the site with a jug of water to give to him, but the Mexican is dead and mayhem ensues.(less)

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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
Glenn Russell
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing

“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
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy

No Country for Old Men is a 2005 novel by American author Cormac McCarthy who originally wrote the story as a screenplay.

The story occurs in the vicinity of the United States–Mexico border in 1980 and concerns an illegal drug deal gone awry in the Texas desert back country.

The plot (of the book, rather than the film) follows the interweaving paths of the three central characters (Llewelyn Moss, Anton Chigurh, and Ed Tom Bell) set in motion by events relat
Richard (on hiatus)
‘I just have this feelin we’re looking at somethin we really ain’t never even seen before’

Sheriff Ed Tom Bell is having a bad day. A bloody body has been found in the trunk of a car.
Arriving at the scene, Bell, an ageing WWII vet, feels an awful sense of foreboding. Stuff like this doesn’t happen in sleepy Terrell county, on the Mexican border.
Llewelyn Moss, a thirty something veteran of Vietnam is out hunting in the desert. In a barren landscape of rock and dust he comes across some SUV’s full
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Is No Country for Old Men a great book.
It is.
Is Cormac McCarthy becoming one of my favorite authors.
He is.
You reckon I outta read more of his books.
I do.
I don’t know why I love this book so much. I surely dont.
Read it bout three times now. Bout three times or so.
Dont ever seem to get old does it sheriff.
It dont. It surely don’t.
Got a bad man in it. Flips a coin. Scares people.
Call it. It’s your lucky penny.
Books got an old west flavor to it with a contemporary tone all at the same ti
Michael Finocchiaro
Coac McCartney's No Country for Old Men is a quick but intense read. For those that saw the Cohen brothers' movie first (as I did years ago), the book is as bleak and violent as the movie was. Chigurh is probably up there with The Joker as one of the most evil, conscience-free bad guys in literature. He kills willfully and without a shred of remorse before slinking back into the woodwork unseen and uncaught. Moss is a tragic, but heroic character who gets caught up with something far beyond his ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 devotion to a natural order that I think is McCarthy's embodied illustration of evil - a man cut off
Bill Kerwin
May 24, 2009 rated it liked it

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.
Dec 26, 2014 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 & morality. Chigurh is one very prototypical Boogeyman: a walking, talking Michael Myers (c.a. 1978 by J. Carpenter) that is not immortal, though the concept of him will rule all the ages, prevailing like a force of nature. Powerful stuff, emotional & heartless at the same time, & of cours
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I was reading this book I began noticing how much the killings in it reminded me of the bible. They are the same book, I thought, No Country for Old Men and the bible. Only one is more graphic than the other. You have to really use your imagination when reading the bible. McCarthy fills in the cracks, takes away your imagination.

I once read a story about a woman who lived with a tribe, and a man from another tribe came in and raped her. After that her people killed every one of his people,
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: good old boys and girls
Recommended to Robin by: Javier Bardem
This is No Book for Tender Hearts. No Book for Gore Haters. No Book for Punctuation Police.

But hot damn, it's a great book. I was worried that it might be dwarfed by the exceptional movie version, but then I read three pages and was completely in the hands of this writer. Yes, he writes without punctuation, in clipped, incomplete sentences. His voice is often and easily parodied. It didn't bother me, though. The bare, unsentimental style suits this ruthless 1980s cowboy story. There's almost no
Paul Bryant
Dec 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Nandakishore Mridula
Jan 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Brett C
Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing

This was a great read in my opinion. The story reminded me of an American Western with a steady plot involving money, pursuits, shoot-outs, and the arid backdrop of West Texas. I saw the movie recently and that was only helpful because it provided visual aids while I reading.

The reading took some adjusting because the author employs a unique style of writing. McCarthy used a minimalist approach: short/quick dialogue, basic punctuation, and a gritty colloquial vernacular in the characters speech

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
Saw the movie, read the book afterwards to fully understand the story. Fascinating story. Great writing. I'm have become a huge fan of Cormac McCarthy! Grand writer. ...more
Jason Koivu
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: set-in-the-us
I'd already seen and loved the film. I found my memory though was ingenious in withholding knowledge of what happens next until it happened on the page. The novel is written in the simple prose a gifted but alienated teenager might adopt. Up to the half way point it reads like a darkish crime story without much depth. Then, of a sudden, there's this hallelujah moment. The baddie delivers a speech about why he has to kill this innocent girl and it's as if lights were suddenly thrown on to reveal ...more
May 22, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american
I’m almost certain that when you pick up a Cormac McCarthy novel, Ennio Morricone’s theme for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly starts playing immediately. The Southern ones, anyway. The sun is at its zenith, tumbleweeds are going by, dust is settling as the shimmering waves of heat move on the horizon. No Country for Old Men gave me this feeling from the first page. The voice that McCarthy lends his characters is undeniable. You cannot help but feel hot and sweaty as you read about the abhorrent a ...more
Oct 13, 2015 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,
Pantelis Andreou
“People complain about the bad things that happen to em that they don't deserve but they seldom mention the good. About what they done to deserve them things”.

The perfect example of a book about being good and all the dangers and evil that someone may encounter.

With the movie being one of my all time favorites for a long time, the flow and style of the book it’s so immersive and had that sense of dread that lurks on every corner, making it all the way hopeless till the end.

- What’s his name?
- Ch
Johann (jobis89)
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.”

Marking this one down as one of the books that has surprised me the most this year! I expected an action-packed chase with lots of violence, but what I got was so much more.

One day Llewellyn Moss finds a pickup truck surrounded by a bodyguard of dead men. A load of heroin and two million dollars in cash are still in the back. When Moss takes the money, he sets off a chain of catastrophic violence that not even the law can contain.
Dan Schwent
Jan 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 15, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Εyes-EisΝinΕ, a.k.a. Víðarr Andlát Fenris Liðster
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
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, audio

I enjoyed No Country for Old Men more then expected. I think what helped my overall experience with this book was the narrator, Tom Stechschulte. What a fabulous job he did and I'll be adding more audiobooks by him in the future.

No Country for Old Men felt like a western but had a criminal undercurrent to it. I enjoyed the dialogue in this one between all the characters and Cormac McCarthy did a fantastic job with the character, Anton Chigurh. What a scary guy he turned out to be!

The onl
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 weld
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part crime and part Western, No Country For Old Men is a classic on-the-run story. While out hunting one day, Llewelyn Moss comes across a scene of dead men, heroin, and a briefcase full of more than $2M cash. He takes the money, setting off a chase. Others involved in the chase include Wells, a former agent now working for the cartel, Chigurh, a dangerous murderer, and Sheriff Bell, who’s struggling with his own moral dilemma from the past.

I admit, it took me a good 30% into the story to famil
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Aug 16, 2011 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
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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 ...more

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