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All the Pretty Horses | [Cormac McCarthy]

All the Pretty Horses

All the Pretty Horses, the first volume of the Borders 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. With two companions, he sets off on an idyllic, sometimes comic adventure, to a place where dreams are paid for in blood.
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Publisher's Summary

National Book Critics Circle, Fiction, 1993

All the Pretty Horses, the first volume of the Borders 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. With two companions, he sets off on an idyllic, sometimes comic adventure, to a place where dreams are paid for in blood.

©1992 Cormac McCarthy; (P)1992 Recorded Books, Inc., ©2000 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1147 )
5 star
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4.2 (484 )
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Story
4.3 (477 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    machr 03-12-08
    machr 03-12-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Incredible"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 03-04-07
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 03-04-07 Member Since 2015

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Great but Not what I expected"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JOHN Plantation, FL, United States 02-10-06
    JOHN Plantation, FL, United States 02-10-06 Member Since 2003

    Audible Member Since 2003

    HELPFUL VOTES
    538
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    434
    68
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    Overall
    "Strong"

    This is a great work of art. The prose is rich and colorful, full of detail that paints stark and vivid murals. Frank Muller does an admirable job of reading/acting. It helps to know a little Spanish, but the untranslated snippets of the language add to the reality and flavor of this wonderful story. Sensous and yet brutal, this ranks among my favorites.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Highlands Ranch, CO, USA 10-09-05
    John Highlands Ranch, CO, USA 10-09-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The best book I've listened to"

    Wow. I listen to books on my commute. This book will have you sitting in your driveway or office parking lot long after you've arrived. I ran errands for my wife just to listen to more...

    There are others that have reviewed this book that are far more literary in nature than me. Suffice it to say, I loved the book and wish the other two books in the Border Trilogy were available unabridged.

    Frank Muller is perfect. I now search Audible simply to find what books he has read and purchase those.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Glendale, CA, USA 06-05-05
    Stephen Glendale, CA, USA 06-05-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    1
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    "A1"

    This is a great audiobook, Frank Muller's narration really brings the story to life. Listening to this at night you feel as if your there. I wish I could find more audio books this good...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael East Peoria, IL, United States 10-01-09
    Michael East Peoria, IL, United States 10-01-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is now one of my favorites"

    The writing style is similar and as close I've ever heard to Ernest Hemingway. However, McCarthy sets his books in different locations than Hemingway did. This is a great compliment. I absolutely loved this book. If you don't like books then see the movie staring none other than Matt Damon. It was great also.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily 08-22-11
    Emily 08-22-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Latin/American literature"

    One of the finest audiobooks I've listened to thus far. This book draws you in with the characters, sketched deliberately but not overwrought, and with the descriptions of the landscapes that the young heroes pass through in their journey. This is a beautifully written novel and here the narration was superb; the narrator not only has a command of different American accents, but he also spoke Spanish well enough to keep the flow going. Because much of the dialogue switches between English and Spanish, and because I speak both languages, I especially appreciated the narrator's foreign language skills.

    In terms of the story, WOW -- what a gem. A journey, a love story, a coming-of-age tale, a tale of two cultures, a Western -- this book fits into so many different genres, and succeeds in all of them. There are references to both American (Hemingway) and Mexican (Juan Rulfo) literature; it is rare that I have read a book that draws upon two different cultural traditions. The author is obviously well versed in both. The way that he evokes the stark open land of the Mexican north reminds me of Rulfo's depictions of the town of Comala in "Pedro Paramo" -- in both books, there is the sense of Mexico as being a very, very old land, where time passes more slowly and doubles back on itself in a way that it has long ceased doing in the United States.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 01-03-11
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 01-03-11 Member Since 2014

    Don't miss the Bino Phillips series by AW Gray. They are largely unknown, but as good as any ive read!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story, Terrific Narration"

    Many say McCarthy is the best living novelist in America. I am not sure about that, but this is a sure fire, five star novel. I understand the next two novels of the trilogy are very depressing, but not this one! It is heroic, engrossing, original and romantic. You will not regret purchasing this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louanne Santa Fe, NM, United States 05-19-10
    Louanne Santa Fe, NM, United States 05-19-10 Member Since 2005

    I have purchased over 400 books. I have high standards for writing and content, but indulge in "travel trash" or fairly good entertainment.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Narrator does the job."

    I listened to this book after having read it when it first came out. I liked the book enough for a repeat, and was encouraged to write this because I thought the narration was exceptional. I often get put off by bad narration even for a very good book. So thumbs up for me on a great listen.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl El Cajon, CA, United States 04-30-10
    Cheryl El Cajon, CA, United States 04-30-10 Member Since 2014
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    "The best book I have read so far on audibles"

    This book had a story with twists and turns, it was interesting and I really enjoyed it too,

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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