Cormac McCarthy is a quiet, unassuming presence in American fiction today, but like the slow, measured voices of many of his characters, he speaks with an authority and conviction that demands an audience. All the Pretty Horses, McCarthy's sixth novel, is a cowboy odyssey for modern times. Set in the late 1940s, it features the travels and toils of a 16-year-old East Texan named John Grady Cole, caught in the agonizing purgatory between adolescence and adulthood. At the start of the novel, Cole's grandfather has just died, his parents have permanently separated, and the family ranch, upon which he had placed so many boyish hopes, has been sold. Rootless and increasingly restive, Cole leaves Texas, accompanied by his friend Lacey Rawlins, and begins a journey across the vaquero frontier into the badlands of northern Mexico. In spite of its hard realities and spare telling, All the Pretty Horses is a lyrical and richly romantic story, chronicling-along with the erosion of the frontier-the loss of an era.
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"Great novel. Aligns itself with a lot of my personal thoughts and experiences. I have ridden my motorcycle throughout most of Texas and Coahuila (Mexico), so the descriptions of the towns and cities like Monclova (Coah), Cuatro Cienegas (Coah), Saltillo (Coah), Parras de La Fuente (Coah), Bracketville (TX), Ozona (TX), Del Rio (TX), etc., sat well with me. I've been to all of them. I can relate to the travels of the protagonists of this novel that made these travels on horseback while dealing with the weather, horse "maintenance," and other issues that come from unconventional travel. However, of greater meaning to me were the morals of the protagonists. They displayed moral and physical courage, something that I think has slipped away from today's modern, trendy, and effeminate male. My wife tells me there was a movie made of this novel. I wonder how much of it was metrosexualized by Hollywood. I will be reading the remaining novels of this trilogy for sure. Read on my Kindle."
Michael (5 out of 5 stars)