Sunday, July 29, 2007

No Country for Old Men - Cormac McCarthy

PLOT Llewelyn Moss, young Vietnam vet out hunting antelope, stumbles into a drug deal gone really, really bad -several dead men, a stash of heroin, and 2.4 million dollars. Even though he knows he's making a potentially fatal mistake, Lewelyn grabs the money and runs, and the chase begins immediately. He is now a the prey, hunted by miscellaneous Mexicans, the psycopath Chigurh and an ex-Special Forces agent. Set along the Texas-Mexico border in 1980, No Country for Old Men is an action-thriller laced with the thoughts of "the good guy," WWII vet, Sheriff Bell, who is himself hunting Moss to save him and his 19-year-old wife.
Why I Picked this Book My daughter, Savannah, recommended it.
COMMENTS No Country has enough action,with elements of old shoot-em-up westerns, to rivet the most rabid of action fans. By the time you arrive at the last page, the body count is quite large. Again, as in The Road, McCarthy's style is lean and quick. The dialogue is rapid fire, often propelling the story, acurately reflecting dialect. But, this novel works on another, deeper level in Bell's observations about the moral decline of our time - our slide into the world of The Road, perhaps. These digressions do not slow the action, but rather provide a moral underpining for the plot. And, there are echoes from The Road, particularly striking as Bell talks about his dead father: "And in the dream I knew that he was goin on ahead and that he was fixin to make a fire somethere out there in all that dark and all that cold and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there." Gave me chills.
FORMAT NOTE I both listened to and read No Country. (Listened in the car during my commute and read at night.) The narrator, Tom Stechschulte, was excellent. His vocal characterizations were superb. I could immediately recognize which character was talking.

4 comments:

tinylittlelibrarian said...

Wow, good for you! I tried reading this for my other book club and couldn't get past about page 6. The lack of apostrophes annoyed me and when I got to the page-long description of a rifle, I decided it wasn't for me. Maybe I could've managed it if I'd listened to it.

Vidalia said...

Listening to it (and the reader was great) was easy. I also re-read parts of it, so I can understand what you're talking about. With McCarthy, you really have to adapt to different style.

jenclair said...

I really liked Sheriff Bell and his struggle to understand the violence and the changes in society. I feel that way sometimes....

Vidalia said...

Hi Jenclair,
Thanks so much for your feedback. I know exactly what you mean by your comment - I can remember playing outside, catching lightning bugs and running around the neighborhood barefoot in Atlanta until the sun went down and no one worried. You wouldn't let your child do that today . . .