All the Pretty Horses

Posted by barb on May 16, 2004 in Books |

by Cormac McCarthy

I’m not sure why I picked this book up — it’s not my usual type of book; though I may have wondered if I should bother seeing the movie. I’m even less sure why I finished reading it. The writing style grated on my nerves the whole time. McCarthy doesn’t believe in proper punctuation (like putting quotes around what someone says), and while some (like the folks who choose the recipients of the National Book Award) might see this as an artistic choice adding to the flavor of the book, I found it distracting.

This is the story of John Grady who has been around horses on his parents’ ranch for his entire 16 years. Shortly after his grandfather dies, though, his parents split up officially, and his mother decides to sell the ranch to persue an acting career. John is not ready to leave the world of horses and ranches, so leaves with is horse and his best friend, and heads south into Mexico to see where their fortunes take them.

I had a difficult time figuring out when this story was taking place until I was about 75% finished. I did find that I cared about the characters, and wanted to know how the story ended, but I’m not sure it was worth the work it took to get there.

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