Friday, March 6, 2009

How does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

I've been meaning to read this since the movie came out, which is about the same time that I bought the book. I read this in conjuncture with Pride and Prejudice. Seems to me like I picked the two books I own that are least like each other to read at the same time.

Anyway, I enjoyed the book a lot. The movie was pretty faithful to the book, so I felt familiar reading it. The writing style that McCarthy uses took me a while to warm up to though. He does not use quotation marks for dialogue at all and has no apostrophes anywhere. After a few chapters is flowed, but that defiantly took me by surprise. Names also took me a little while to get the hang of; I kept having to picture their movie counterpoint.

The book is as bloody as the movie, which gave me about six heart attacks. I think that the book is creepier though. In the movie they have Anton Chigurh creeping around murdering people and the sense that he is amoral really comes across. However, I think there is one scene missing from the movie towards the end that hits that point home in the book.

I also think that the book does a wonderful job of leaving things unsaid. There are some great line breaks that cut right from a heightened situation to Chigurh suddenly having what he needed, which leaves the reader to determine what actually happened.

I read this book in a very short amount of time; it was really hard to put down. I'd read something by McCarthy again. Just a few quotes:

"It takes little to govern good people. Very little. And bad people cant be governed at all. OR if they could I never heard of it." - page 64

"the dead have more claims on you than what you might want to admit or even what you might know about and them claims can be very strong indeed. Very strong indeed." - page 124

"Well I guess in all honesty I would have to say that I never knew nor did I ever hear of anybody that money didnt change." page 128

1 comment:

  1. Great review. I was wondering how close the movie was to the book- I've never read him (kinda put off by his reputation for violence) but I appreciate your take on it! :-)