Bobby's Reviews > All the Pretty Horses

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
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's review
Jan 12, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: reviewed
Read in January, 2012

I’m not a fan of the “Western” genre so not sure what inspired me to buy this book in the first place; in fact, had I known this is only the first part of a trilogy, I certainly would not have bought it. However, thankfully my myopia did not keep me from reading this book and much kudos to Cormac McCarthy for writing one of the finest crafted books I’ve read in some time. Part Huck Finn (albeit darker), part love story, this is the story of John Cole Grady who, along with a friend, leaves Texas and heads to Mexico where he feels he can live his life on his own terms. But Grady encounters two individuals—a boy who becomes his temporary companion and a girl with whom he falls in love—whose presences in his life start a chain of events from which Grady, much like the hero of a Greek tragedy, cannot escape. In the end, this is a story of the chaos and passion inherent in life, though it’s written in a rather controlled and Spartan, but still beautiful, manner. A note of caution to those who are annoyed by grammatical issues: there are no quotation marks in the book and often there are sentences which are fragments or have other syntax issues. Also, many sentences are in Spanish with no translation so some basic knowledge of Spanish is helpful. Personally I did not consider these issues to be issues at all and overall remain very impressed with McCarthy’s masterful storytelling. Frankly I am not surprised that this book won the National Book Award; what surprises me is that it didn’t win the Pulitzer.

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