Llewelyn Moss is hunting antelope near the Texas-Mexico border when he stumbles upon several dead men, a big stash of heroin, and more than two million dollars in cash. He takes off with the money, and the hunter becomes the haunted. A drug cartel hires a former Special Forces agent to track down the loot, and a ruthless killer joins the chase as well. Also looking for Moss is the aging Sheriff Bell, a World War II veteran who may be Moss' only hope for survival.
Raw and lean, No Country for Old Men is another masterpiece from one of America's acclaimed novelists.
©2005 Cormac McCarthy; (P)2005 Recorded Books, LCC
"No Country for Old Men gets off to a riveting start as a sort of new wave, hard-boiled Western....Harrowing, propulsive drama." (The New York Times)
"A mesmerizing modern-day western....While the action of the novel thrills, it's the sensitivity and wisdom of Sheriff Bell that makes the book a profound meditation on the battle between good and evil and the roles choice and chance play in the shaping of a life." (Publishers Weekly)
"Shades of Dostoyevsky, Hemingway, and Faulkner resonate in McCarthy's blend of lyrical narrative, staccato dialogue, and action-packed scenes splattered with bullets and blood. McCarthy fans will revel in the author's renderings of the raw landscapes of Mexico and the Southwest and the precarious souls scattered along the border that separates the two." (Booklist)
McCarthy tells the story of several lives that interact because Moss, a Vietnam Vet, while out hunting comes upon a drug deal gone bad and takes a case of money. He ends up pursued by drug dealers, the law and a philosophical killer named Chigurh.
The story moves quickly and the bodies pile up. Woven throughout are the thoughts of Bell, the Sheriff who investigates the whole thing and tries to help Moss. Bell reflects on his life and how the world has changed as he finds himself always two steps behind and unable to do what he sees as his job.
The prose is tight, moves quickly, and the dialog helps build the characters. (I listened to the audio version and the narration was well done, just adjusting enough for each character to be distinct.) Chigurh is creepy and yet intense in his own philosophical outlook on life and death. Moss is sympathetic and Bell holds it all together. McCarthy doesn't write happy endings, but it is a good story that questions the ideas of honor, and luck, and how personal codes can drive individuals to extremes that end up lead to a sense of inevitability .
McCarthy intersperses Bell's first person thoughts with the third person narration of the remainder of the book. Even the narrative distance moves in and out depending on who the focus is - Chigurh most distant, while Moss and Bell are in tight, giving a sense of connection that adds to the strange, frightening sense of doom that Chigurh brings.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and having seen the movie years ago, will say that the film managed to bring a difficult story to the screen.
The first description of Chigurh's decision to leave a man's fate to a coin toss - frightening but a glimpse into a dark philosophy that drives the killer.
The movie was excellent, and followed the book closely. Enjoyed all the additional details, and the occasional differences, as contained in the novel. Good work by the narrator, too!
I'm pretty sure I'm addicted to audio books! It's a good thing they don't weigh much and don't take up much shelf space.
I hadn't seen the movie - thank heaven. The book was about the every day human existence and how ordinary people deal with extraordinary situations.
Yes, I would recommend this book because it is both filled with action and good regional descriptions.
My favorite character was the villain because of the way he believed his bizarre actions acceptable if observed from the proper perspective.
When the villain's car was hit by another car after he murdered the wife of Llewellyn.
South Texas drug crime with massacre.
I liked the way the book expanded on the movie but glad some of the final tales of sheriff left out of movie.
The narrative skills of the author are excellent. I had seen the movie a few years ago, and I thought perhaps the book wouldn't be as exciting as the movie, but I was mistaken, the book is another experience altogether.
I knew the plot from the movie, but more than the plot what kept me hooked was the ability of the narrator to tell the story, to create characters, dialogue that are interesting to imagine and experience.
Chigurh no doubt is a very strong character. He comes across as a real being, a very strange fellow, but very credible. Ed Tom, the Sheriff, who is the narrator of the book is also very interesting since it is through his point of view that we experience the action.
I don't think it is the kind of books which makes one cry or laugh. Yes, at the end there is some reflexion on evil and wars and the difficulties of life; all these things can sort of get you into a melancholic mood, but all of it very much part of the deal; one knows these sort of things are on the writers mind, specially if one has read other of his books, or seen the films.
I was hooked from the first paragraph to the last. I don't recall ever being bored throughout the narration. If anything, I had wished the book to be longer.
It's a short listen. It is a fantastic story. The narrator is fantastic.
I really enjoy McCarthy's dialogue style.
It had every marking of a good story- believable characters, details, scenery, plot...BUT it NEVER came together.
I was hanging on every scene, waiting to see how it fell together.... then NOTHING. I even made sure I had downloaded the complete book.
The actor did a great job.
There doesn't need to be a follow-up book. There needs to be the completion of the first book!
Although the Coen brothers did an outstanding job of making this book into a movie, you just have to read the book to get a sense of the depth of the characters...even Anton Chigurh.
The movie just cannot capture the essence of Sheriff Ed Tom Bell who comes from a long line of lawmen. As the main protagonist the story really centers around how the sheriff relates the loss of innocence in his small Texas town. He relates how crime has become much more violent with the passage of time and the introduction of the drug trade.
Tom Stechschulte does one of the best jobs of narration that I have heard in an audio book. Perhaps even better than George Guidall and Frank Muller. His voice captures exactly what I imagined the characters would sound like from a South Texas town.
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