- Paperback: 301 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (June 29, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679744398
- ISBN-13: 978-0679744399
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (788 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, Book 1) Paperback – Print, June 29, 1993
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Part bildungsroman, part horse opera, part meditation on courage and loyalty, this beautifully crafted novel won the National Book Award in 1992. The plot is simple enough. John Grady Cole, a 16-year-old dispossessed Texan, crosses the Rio Grande into Mexico in 1949, accompanied by his pal Lacey Rawlins. The two precocious horsemen pick up a sidekick--a laughable but deadly marksman named Jimmy Blevins--encounter various adventures on their way south and finally arrive at a paradisiacal hacienda where Cole falls into an ill-fated romance. Readers familiar with McCarthy's Faulknerian prose will find the writing more restrained than in Suttree and Blood Meridian. Newcomers will be mesmerized by the tragic tale of John Grady Cole's coming of age. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Muller's straightforward, unembellished reading suits the spare drama of McCarthy's acclaimed novel, which has recently been released as a movie as well. John Grady Cole and his pal Lacey Rawlins set off on horseback for Mexico in the late 1940s in search of work and adventure. Along the way they are joined by another man, named Blevins. On a hacienda in Mexico, Cole displays his uncanny gift for working with horses, and he and Alejandra, the beautiful daughter of the hacienda's owner, fall in love--a love that is displeasing not only to Alejandra's father but also to her imperious but not unsympathetic great aunt. Muller's accent in conveying Mexican voices is as convincing and unforced as his others, and he evokes equally well a distinctive personality for each character--the laconic and stalwart Cole; the more emotional and impatient Rawlins; Blevins with his concomitant braggadocio and fear--and yet this tale is perhaps not best suited to the unabridged audio format. Long stretches of text convey slow-moving action or no action at all, but rather McCarthy's lush evocation of the wild landscape. Listeners may opt for the abridged audio version of this National Book Award winner.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
The first novel, "All the Pretty Horses" is one of the most beautifully told stories I've ever read. Not only is the writing here packed with imagery, and the story one of McCarthy's most accessible, but the textures of the words used to describe the images are as lush and as enfolding as anything F. Scott Fitzgerald ever wrote--even when McCarthy's describing the driest of desert plains, the most desolate of ruins, or the emptiest of lives.
The book tells the story of two young friends who leave home in 1948 Texas to ride south into northern Mexico in search of SOMETHING. What happens along the way is tragic and amusing, lovely and gripping, real and amazing. McCarthy seems to paint every scene perfectly, yet he does so using the fewest amount of words possible, and the simplest of details.
"The gray and malignant dawn." "Stars falling down the long black slope of the firmament." "The shelving clouds." "Their windtattered fire." "Narrow spires of smoke standing vertically into the windless dawn so still the village seemed to hang by threads from the darkness."
Long sentences shroud the reader in the events of every scene, and the author's trademark quote-sign-less dialogue gives every conversation a very biblical feel.
The trilogy's second book, "The Crossing" has only thematic and geographical elements in common with the first. The story deals with a completely different character, Billy Parham, a son in a late-1930s New Mexican ranching family. Billy traps a wolf that has been killing his father's cattle but realizes he morally can't kill it and has to return it to its home in the mountains of old Mexico. Billy crosses the border into Mexico, and as he does he crosses from real life into a world of dreams, where everyone moves as if the air was liquid, where every ruin has an irretrievable story, where soot and heat and danger hang in the air, and where nothing ever goes as planned.
The story is not as streamlined or as focused as its thematic predecessor, "All the Pretty Horses," but that's not necessarily a shortcoming. The book sprawls out like a wide hot desert--curling north and south, east and west, across the present and into the past. The writing is as good as any writing I've ever read ever, and certain metaphors and feelings will stay with you for years. For example: the coals of a campfire seeming like an exposed piece of the core of the earth.
The trilogy's concluding part is "Cities of the Plain." The book has some shortcomings, but it's still one amazing piece of work. YOU try writing something this good.
In this book, John Grady Cole--the genius horsetrainer of "All the Pretty Horses"--and Billy Parham--the kindhearted nomad of "The Crossing"--come together as ranch hands on a New Mexico estancia. Here, you can see why this actually is a trilogy. Both characters are older than they were in the previous books--Billy much older--but both are kindred spirits whose stories connect with and affect each another.
"Cities of the Plain" tends more heavily toward the lengthy philosophical monologues that appear only occasionally in the trilogy's earlier volumes, and the whole story at moments goes a little bit long if you've just read the two previous books right before.
However, the writing is gorgeous, and haunting. In one passage, a dead calf's "ribcage lay with curved tines upturned on the gravel plain like some carnivorous plant brooding in the barren dawn." Yeah. Yeah!
And the ending--the ending is amazing. It might not be quite what you expect or ask for, but it is thrilling in its perfectness, in its completess, in how true it feels. It gave me chills of ecstasy. It left me holding the book like a priceless religious relic, re-reading its back cover, flipping back through it to parts I had marked, reluctant and unwilling to let go of these characters or their world.
Reading these collected books is like having a vision: I feel as if I should tell the world about it, but at the same time it seems so sacred and personal that maybe I should just keep it to myself and try to figure out why it came to me, into my life, into my head. These are books that deserve readers. Pick this volume up, and let it seep into your skin, let it open you to other worlds and people and ideas, and let it change you. Let it open your eyes to the world, and to the West, and to the goodness and the hope and the sadness that haunts the lives of all of us.
This is a saga made up of all those ineffable things that most of us just can't put into words. But here, somehow, Cormac McCarthy has managed to do just that. Here is the intangible, but tangible. Here is the unnameable, but named. Here are the thoughts you could never express, expressed. Here is a book worth reading, a book that will change you--you, and the way you see the world.
So were it not for McCarthy's ferocious prose, "All the Pretty Horses" may have been just another coming of age story. But in McCarthy's special corner of hell, along with the obligatory introduction to "young love", passage to adulthood may include exile in a foreign country, being hunted on horseback across a barren desert, variously stabbed, shot, tortured, or imprisoned. John Grady Cole is a sixteen year-old son of a Texas rancher who, up until his grandfather's death, worked the ranch and developed an uncommon kinship with horses. With his grandfather gone, his father dying, and his mother flitting around the cultural scene in post-WWII San Antonio, John Grady sets out on horseback for Mexico with buddy Lacey Rawlings. What follows is an odyssey of restless youth across a rugged country, a bleak and sometimes bloody journey that is not without the humor and easy banter of young teenagers on their own; the "road trip" that turns nightmarish and accelerates the process of growing up into hyper drive.
John Grady is an endearing character; there are no Holden Caulfields in the Texas borderlands. A stoic young cowboy, he has had the youthful innocence to which he is entitled ripped out too early, replaced by a work-hardened cynicism and homespun wisdom of the Texas plains. The reader cares for John Grady in the way of the classic Greek heroes, watching helplessly as the protagonist stone-by-stone lays the foundation of his own downfall. This is Cormac McCarthy, and therefore not a fairy tale; the reader would be naïve to expect an ending with a smiling John Grady riding into the sunset with his girl's arms around his denim shirt. But since it is Cormac McCarthy, you can expect unparalleled prose that delivers its message with the power and subtlety of a cattle prod. An American classic - required reading.