©1992 Cormac McCarthy; (P)1992 Recorded Books, Inc., ©2000 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
"This unabridged version is one of the best recorded books to date, for Frank Muller's narration is such a perfect model of balance and control that it deserves an award in itself." (Library Journal)
"McCarthy puts most other American writers to shame. [His] work itself repays the tight focus of his attention with its finely wrought craftsmanship and its ferocious energy." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Muller's straightforward, unembellished reading suits the spare drama of McCarthy's acclaimed novel....Muller's accent in conveying Mexican voices is as convincing and unforced as his others, and he evokes equally well a distinctive personality for each character." (Publishers Weekly)
This book glows with the power that any real work of art possesses; it is not so easy to explain where it comes from, but you can feel the heat. Three teenaged riders flee the US for Mexico, each with his own reasons, and encounter a radically different culture. They discover alien savagery and beauty and risk their own destruction.
The narration is from super-reader Frank Muller, and it surpasses even his superb reading of Moby Dick. The book bears relistening very well, as I discovered as I rewound to nail down details that I missed on my first time through. I found the beginning difficult to follow at first, but it soon became crystal clear. The novel is a dark and grey and magnificent classic; I'm glad that this spoken-word edition helped me find my way into this essential work, which is part of a trilogy. I hope that the other two works become available on Audible soon.
This book is fantastic, and is read to wonderful effect. It's one of my favorite books, and audiobooks, so far. However, to achieve the effect, the narrator reads in a somewhat silent, breathy voice. I found I couldn't listen to this on my commute (all interstate at highway speed) because of road noise--I had to turn it up so loud it was painful. I'd advise not planning to listen to this in a car unless you're not on the highway or you've got a pretty silent car.
Before you listen to this book, you should understand what it is-- and more importantly what it is not. This book is not a western in the traditional sense, although it takes place in the American West as well as in Mexico. And this book is certainly not a bestseller in the popular, mass-produced, summer-blockbuster, movie-novelization sense, although it was a commercial success (Cormac McCathy's first commercial success, though his sixth novel).
Instead, this is a remarkable work of literature (it won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award) written by a brilliant author.
This is a book for people who love language and for people who like to think. This is not a book for children or for childish adults. It is a book that is both horrifyingly beautiful and seductively horrible. It is not a book for either the fainthearted or faintminded.
This is a book that rewards the reader. I have read it four times and listened to it twice. And each time, I come away from the experience with something new, something meaningful, and something to enrich the soul.
And THAT, after all, is what literature is all about.
After reading all of McCarthy's novels and viewing the film, I must say this audible book is the rendition I enjoyed the most. Lets have more of McCarthy narrated by Frank Muller. The Crossing would be an excellent listen.
This story is captivating and believeable. It is a tall tale about three Texan teens on a rideabout in Northern Mexico. Two of the three, Cole and Blevins, have unique, almost superhuman capabilities. Cole, who is the principled, taciturn protagonist, is extremely gifted with horses. Blevins is a gifted marksman. The third musketeer is Rollins, who is decidedly more normal. Blevins' actions regarding a horse are the fulcrum for the story which drive the characters to flee deeper into Mexico as fugitives. It is great tale of comradeship, horsemanship, revenge, justice and learning to love. The prose is brilliant at times. The narrator is pitch perfect. At the conclusion of the story we realize that our protagonist has grown through the adventures to become a scarred man of some spiritual substance. The spiritual substance is not intellectual, but has been distilled from the big Western horizons, the intrinsic goodness of horses and the complexity and creulty of men and women. It is my first Cormac McCarthy book and definitely not my last.
This is a great story, I loved every minute of it and was always kept on my toes, not knowing where the next chapter would lead to or how this book would end. Cormac McCarthy is a very talented writer and I will be looking for more stories from him. Frank Muller is very easy to listen to and was a perfect choice for this book.
There are very few books that are of this caliber. I Love this author and the narrator. It is a perfect combination of style and form. I can't recommend it enough.
WOW! This book is absolutely deserving of the National Book Award. It is not a "western" but a passage. These characters' journeys are physical and spiritual and lead the reader through a space which surpasses time and borders. John Grady Cole is a monumental character. If you love great prose and purposeful storytelling, you will adore this book. It ranks in my top five. Cormac McCarthy may be the greatest of our modern authors.
I don't know if it's just me, but when listening to audio books I often have a hard time getting the gist of the story as presented in the first 5 minutes. I often listen for a few minutes, then rewind to the beginning and start again. "All the Pretty Horses" is worse than most in this respect. The book starts very slowly. On the other hand, the story picks up very nicely as it goes along, and the longer you listen to this book, the more you'll like it..
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This is neither a western nor a horse book. This was a very pleasant listen. McCarthy is not quite Steinbeck, but is closer than most. The story is about life (and a little about horses). Some of the gritty and graphic imagery may make some listeners uncomfortable. Although I enjoyed this book, it did not move me quite like “Being Dead” or “To a God Unknown”, but then again few books are even worth comparing to “To a God Unknown”. The narration is perfect.
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