This is volume three of "The Border Trilogy". In "Cities of the Plain", two men marked by the boyhood adventures of All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing now stand together, between their vivid pasts and uncertain futures, to confront a country changing beyond recognition. In the fall of 1952, John Grady Cole and Billy Parham are cowboys on a New ...
This is volume three of "The Border Trilogy". In "Cities of the Plain", two men marked by the boyhood adventures of All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing now stand together, between their vivid pasts and uncertain futures, to confront a country changing beyond recognition. In the fall of 1952, John Grady Cole and Billy Parham are cowboys on a New Mexico ranch encroached upon from the north by the military. On the southern horizon are the mountains of Mexico, where one of the men is drawn again and again, in this story of friendships and passion, to a love as dangerous as it is inevitable."In a lovely and terrible landscape of natural beauty and impending loss we find John Grady; a young cowboy of the old school, trusted by men and horses, and a fragile young woman, whose salvation becomes his obsession...McCarthy makes the sweeping plains a miracle" - "Scotsman". "This haunting, deeply felt novel completes one of the literary masterworks of the 1990s" - "Daily Telegraph". "The completed trilogy emerges as a landmark in American literature" - "Guardian".
Cormac McCarthy is one the best, if not THE best American writer. I include him in the best of the "alive or dead" writers. His prose is elegant, yet brutal in it's honesty. This story, like all of his others, was meant to be read slowly and savored.
Publishers Weekly, 1998-04-06 This volume concludes McCarthy's Border TrilogyŠthe first two books being All the Pretty Horses, which won the National Book Award in 1992, and The Crossing, published to great acclaim in '94. Devoted McCarthy readers will know not to expect any neat or dramatic resolution in Cities of the Plain, for the author is more of a poet than a novelist, more interested in wedding language to experience in successive moments than in building and setting afloat some narrative ark. Cities, like the other books, takes place sometime shortly after WWII along the Texas-Mexico border. John Grady Cole, the young, horse-savvy wanderer from All the Pretty Horses, and Billy Parham, who traveled in search of stolen horses with his younger brother in The Crossing, are now cowhands working outside El Paso. John Grady falls in love with Magdalena, a teenage prostitute working in Juarez, Mexico; determined to marry her, he runs afoul of her pimp, Eduardo. That is basically the narrative. Along the way, McCarthy treats the reader to the most fabulous descriptions of sunrises, sunsets, the ways of horses and wild dogs, how to patch an inner tube. The cowboys engage in almost mythically worldly-wise, laconic dialogues that are models of concision and logic. Although there is less of it here than in the earlier books, McCarthy does include a few of his familiar seers, old men and blind men who speak in prophetic voices. Their words serve as earnest if cryptic instructions to the younger lads and seem to unburden the novelist of his vision of America and its love affair with free will. If a philosophy of life were to be extracted from these tales, it would seem to be that we are fated to be whatever we are, that what we think are choices are really not; that betrayals of the heart are always avenged; and that following one's heart is a guarantee of nothing. There is not much solace in McCarthy-land; there is only the triumph of prose, endlessly renewed, forever in search of a closure it will not find save in silence. 200,000 first printing; BOMC alternate; simultaneous audio, read by Brad Pitt. (May)
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