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crowdeeds

SANTA BARBARA, CA, United States

4
HELPFUL VOTES
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  • 6 titles in library
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  • Cormac McCarthy Value Collection: All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, Cities of the Plain

    • ABRIDGED (7 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Brad Pitt
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    All the Pretty Horses:

    The first volume of the Border Trilogy tells of young John Grady Cole, the last of a long line of Texas ranchers. Across the border Mexico beckons - beautiful and desolate, rugged and cruelly civilized. The Crossing: In the late 1930's, 16-year-old Billy Parham captures a she-wolf that has been marauding his family's ranch. But instead of killing it, he decides to take it back to the mountains of Mexico. Cities of the Plain: It is 1952 and John Grady Cole and Billy Parham are working as ranch hands in New Mexico, not far from the proving grounds of Alamogordo and the cities of El Paso and Juarez.

    crowdeeds says: "Speak Spanish? Brad Pitt does not."
    "Speak Spanish? Brad Pitt does not."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Cormac McCarthy Value Collection the most enjoyable?

    McCarthy's ability to give details in describing a character's actions makes the story feel immediate--the inner life of the character is mostly defined by his actions. I enjoy the way he brings the place--especially Mexico in the '40's--vividly to life. I enjoy the prophets Billy encounters on his odyssey, and the way in which McCarthy weaves dreams and prophecies into the story's tapestry.The Crossing is by far my favorite of the three novels. As a modern masterpiece, it holds its own among the best coming-of-age adventures of this or any century. All three books take place in an era when horses were being replaced by cars--the young cowboys in these stories are on the verge of becoming throwbacks, which places them and their experience in a rare, slanted light. Also, WWII is about to change the world forever.My mother was a native New Mexican coming of age in the same time period, in the same part of the world, namely a ranch in Southern New Mexico, not far from the Mexican border. The era, the themes, and the settings for these stories are therefore deeply romantic and poignant for me.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character was Billy in The Crossing, because of his stoicism, his mission to take the wolf home--unabashedly romantic--and his strong connection to the wolf.


    Did Brad Pitt do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Pitt did well with the dialog in English, though his speech is a bit mushy; but his Spanish pronunciation was very poor. McCarthy includes much dialog in Spanish, which the cowboy characters speak, presumably well, and the Mexicans speak. The author does not condescend to translate, so the reader/listener must know Spanish; or stop to look the meanings up; or glean the meaning more or less from context. I speak Spanish, so enjoyed the flow of dialog as written in the book (I had read these books previously.) Pitt read too fast and his Spanish pronunciation so bad that I had to turn the audiotape off.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Abridged versions of the books: I had already read these books by Cormac McCarthy and did not know when I bought the audiotapes that the stories were severely abridged. Some of the more poetic passages were omitted, which was unacceptable to me.

    Also, if a book has passages in Spanish, it is absolutely essential to hire someone who reads well in Spanish to do the audiotape.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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