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The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, Book 2) Paperback – March 14, 1995
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This is a McCarthy novel, not Old Yeller, and so Billy's trek inevitably becomes more ominous than sweet. It boasts some chilling meditations on the simple ferocity McCarthy sees as necessary for all creatures who aim to continue living. But Billy is McCarthy's most loving--and therefore damageable--character, and his story has its own haunted melancholy.
Billy eventually returns to his ranch. Then, finding himself and his world changed, he returns to Mexico with his younger brother, and the book begins meandering. Though full of hypnotically barren landscapes and McCarthy's trademark western-gothic imagery (like the soldier who sucks eyes from sockets), these latter stages become tedious at times, thanks partly to the female characters, who exist solely as ghosts to haunt the men.
But that opening is glorious, and the whole book finally transcends its shortcomings to achieve a grim and poignant grandeur. --Glen Hirshberg
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Cormac McCarthy is known for his profoundly dark fiction and masterful reflections on the nature of good and evil. Visit Amazon's Cormac McCarthy Page.
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Top Customer Reviews
We could easily call The Crossing a coming of age story, an adventure story, a quest or an epic poem, but it is all that and much more. As with any coming of age story, Billy Parham loss of innocence comes with a price of great consequence. Like an adventure story The Crossing is filled with action and unexpected situations. As with tales of quests as the Iliad and Gulliver's Travels we meet strange and interesting creatures along Billy's path. Like an epic poem The Crossing is filled with lyrical prose, both in Spanish and English.
Cormac McCarthy is one of the great American authors of the twentieth century and he proves it in once again in the Crossing the second book of his border trilogy. His prose is beautiful to read, with dialogue devoid of quotation marks and contractions missing apostrophes. He shifts from English to Spanish can be challenging to the non-Spanish reader. His scenes rich with descriptors can be stark and ruthless.Read more ›
And alas, lest you wonder, McCarthy was just leading me on. Up, up he took me. Wonderful story (expected). Humor (okay, not expected). But I was laughing and soaring and I was beginning to wonder if this book might be wildly different from the others. Certainly neither "The Road", nor "Blood Meridian" had me cackling: those were all grim fare. But rest assured. As high as McCarthy took me, that was where he dropped me from. It was a long plummet but finally I was back on familiar territory... heart torn out... feelings wrenched and twisted.
Five Stars. "The Crossing" is a McCarthy story that should make you laugh and then cry. Simply a wonderful tale with characters to care about. Exquisite prose.
And when he returns home, he finds his world forever changed. He and his brother, Boyd, return to Mexico to try to find his father's stolen horses and the men who stole them. Again, things don't quite work out as planned.
Without saying too much that would reveal the plot line, I'll mention that Billy eventually sets out to Mexico a third time on a mission of reclamation and redemption. And yet again, all does not go according to plan.
Along the way, there are long stretches of other travelers or characters Billy meets who tell their stories: a priest, a blind man, a gypsy, among others. The overall effect is one of melancholy, and of course, having been written by such a consummate master of the art, the eloquence of the language shines through everywhere. As a side benefit, you'll learn or re-learn quite a bit of Spanish along the way. I began by rewinding the tape and doing word for word translations from my rusty memory. By about tape #6 I became aware that I was understanding the Spanish perfectly, scarcely aware he'd shifted into it.
Spectacular book on tape.
After reading this desolately beautiful novel, I read "All the Pretty Houses" and then "Cities of the Plain." However "The Crossing" is in my opinion the best in the trilogy because. . . . .Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a really good story, Cormac McCarthy has a tendency wander off story and philosophize and then he loses me for awhile. Read morePublished 16 days ago by jdf
A dark novel which leaves you with a feeling of hopelessness. The Characters are very bland, and the story rambles, and is numbing to your senses. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Luther Mills
Powerful prose complicated by long passages of Spanish which can make the plot difficult to followPublished 1 month ago by N. Breaux
Significant amount of untranslated spanish dialogue adds to a difficult read. Several overdeveloped passages bogged down and added nothing to the content. Read morePublished 2 months ago by TEF
Great Cormac McCarthy story. I am more accustomed to watching films based upon his books, though did read The Road and The Crossing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by karmasoda
Fabulous story of compassion and hardship with no easy answers to the dilemmas presented. Thought provoking and carefully woven as Cormac McCarthy's books always are.Published 3 months ago by W Walsh