The story starts well and clips along a a good pace suddenly it just stops! no wrapping up of characters or even a satisfactory conclusion.... then the real purpose of the book begins the writers platform for the introduction weak moralist diatribe and of course a bit of God thrown in - Big waste of time if it hadn't been on my i-pod I would have thrown it across the room.
This novel has somehow acquired a reputation that doesn't match the reality: it's an interesting book and I enjoyed reading it, but the writer has no terrific command of language, character, or plot. The best parts are those that take us into the unfamiliar world of Aghanistan over the last 30 years. I was not particular taken with the protagonist and often felt that the author was throwing in elements (like a homosexual rape and a redeeming later romance) that he felt could make his book sell.
I could not finish this book. After beautiful and haunting descriptions of the desert, it became one long and unnecessarily violent chase scene. Ugh. No thanks. And there were no suitable parts for women.
This is number four in a series of unreadable tomes I have downloaded from audible.com. Audible, take heed, please. The advance advertising on many of these works is inaccurate and oversells them to desperate readers like me. If this alarming trend continues, I will have to go back to analog reading - either tapes or the printed page.
This author likes his killer and evil itself too much, and his decent characters too little.
For the first half of the book, things are ok. The bad guys chase the good guy who is chasing the main chance, and taking a huge chance. You care about the good guy and you suspend disbelief about his predicament.
Then every good person and value in the book is betrayed along with those people who have been foolish enough to buy it and listen to it.
I would give it no stars if that were possible, I think readers are held hostage to the author's pretentions.
Without a doubt, he thinks that one must always paint life as completely sucky in any perpetration of "great literature".
My first Cormac McCarthy audiobook was THE ROAD -- although beautifully written, it really had no plot and was somewhat repetitive. So then I picked up this story, which at least had a plot the first 2/3 of the story. I literally had to re-listen to see if part of my audiobook had been cut out, becuase (and you'll see this in other reviews) after Moss has a tender scene with the teen runaway, the next scene is the police investigation and clean-up of their murder, just like that. Whatthehell? So maybe Cormac McCarthy is just a difficult author to get around. Perhaps I'm conditioned to more conventional stories, and this will grow on me later, but for now I find it terribly annoying.
There were moments of the Faulkner like writing that set All the Pretty Horses out as among the best books I have ever read. For the most part this book pandered to extreme psychotic violence. The ending was absent and wholly unsatisfying. For a book and author that I looked forward to reading with great anticipation it pains me to give this book a huge thumbs down - it was nearly a complete waste of time.
The key points were covered as afterthoughts. The end got lost in the meandering around something that happened 40 years previously. Not sure if this was a psychological commentary or an action/mystery. Don't think it succeeded at either. Save your money if you're looking for something with a coherent story line.
Maybe if I hadn't already seen the movie right around the time I got the audio version, I might have enjoyed it more, but I don't know. Both kind of dragged for me.
This is my second Cormac McCarthy novel and I was disappointed. The writing itself was incredible. McCarthy has a knack for character description, dialog and dialect. Each character was well thought out and genuine. I felt the ending was inconclusive, however. I wont say anything else to avoid spoiling, just take my advice and read "The Road" instead.
-April (Wife of Alberto)