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All the Pretty Horses

The Border Trilogy, Book One
Narrated by: Frank Muller
Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,027 ratings)
Regular price: $27.99
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Publisher's Summary

Cormac McCarthy is a quiet, unassuming presence in American fiction today, but like the slow, measured voices of many of his characters, he speaks with an authority and conviction that demands an audience. All the Pretty Horses, McCarthy's sixth novel, is a cowboy odyssey for modern times. Set in the late 1940s, it features the travels and toils of a 16-year-old East Texan named John Grady Cole, caught in the agonizing purgatory between adolescence and adulthood.

At the start of the novel, Cole's grandfather has just died, his parents have permanently separated, and the family ranch, upon which he had placed so many boyish hopes, has been sold. Rootless and increasingly restive, Cole leaves Texas, accompanied by his friend Lacey Rawlins, and begins a journey across the vaquero frontier into the badlands of northern Mexico. In spite of its hard realities and spare telling, All the Pretty Horses is a lyrical and richly romantic story, chronicling - along with the erosion of the frontier - the loss of an era.

©1992 Cormac McCarthy (P)1992 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

National Book Award, 1992


"This is a novel so exuberant in its prose, so offbeat in its setting and so mordant and profound in its deliberations that one searches in vain for comparisons in American literature." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Story

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Very Slow

Beautifully written but very slow. This story takes a person willing out in the time.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Couldn't Get Into It. Poor Narration Production.

I have a very long commute back and forth to work and today. I use my audiobooks as entertainment and this book was just a struggle for about 25 minutes that I could handle. I could barely hear the narrator over the road noise because his voice is so low and soft. I just could not get into any kind of emotion with the book. It was as if I were reading lines but never having anything sink in. I do not know if the story is good. I could not get past this part. If you are looking for a book to put you to sleep then this is the one. I know now to avoid this narrator for anything other than maybe meditation books. And even at that I would need to listen to full volume to discern his words.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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meh

Neither the plot nor the characters were especially compelling aside from a few brief entertaining moments, and the narrator's mispronunciation of Spanish - and there is a lot of Spanish - made comprehension especially challenging.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not Pretty

There is nothing redeeming about this story, and the reader didn't help. Fortunately, I picked it up on sale, so didn't waste a lot of $$. But in the end (I kept expecting something interesting to happen), I couldn't wait for it to end. Wish I'd stopped sooner. And I've enjoyed other work by this author. Darn!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • GrannyDeb
  • Irvine, CA, United States
  • 07-18-17

I gave up.

This would be a good one to fall asleep to. I quit after half an hour.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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too much Spanish<br />

stuggled to finish
at least 10% was in Spanish and I could not understand it

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • AMSmart
  • Valdosta, GA, United States
  • 07-18-17

Falling to sleep

Narrator put me to sleep. Because of boring naratorbtrying to put me to sleep, hard to listen when driving. Too hard to stay awake at home.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A True Western With An Unsatisfying Ending

Two cowboys, lots of adventure, horses, and a little bit of love. I enjoyed it!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing: lyrical but confusing

The plot relies heavily on dialogue, which is frequently in Spanish with no English translation or context. It also employs frequent use of technical terms related to horses. Thus, the story is difficult to follow without some knowledge of Spanish and horses! The narrative verse is lovely, poetic, and rich with imagery, but it tends to stand still in time. This reader was very confused about what was happening throughout most of the book, including the events and the characters' motivations. This book was a big disappointment!

62 of 71 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Stevo
  • Houston, TX
  • 08-17-17

Based on stereotypes

What would have made All the Pretty Horses better?

I live in Texas. I cross the border to Mexico often. This book simply did not ring true. I understand that Cormac McCarthy moved to El Paso to write it, but did not check his stereotypes and describe what he saw.

Texans are not quiet like Clint Eastwood in For a Fistful of Dollars or The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Mexicans are not like the crows from Speedy Gonzales.

The hero of this story magically becomes good at everything when ever needed. Best horseman ever. Check. Best sharp shooter. Check. Knows horses back to front. Check. Needs to impress a lady by being a chess master. Check. As a 17 year old can walk into a Mexican jail and is suddenly Bruce Lee and a prize fighter. Check. Gets the girl magically despite not being charming. Check.

This book offers little insight into Texas. Absolutely none into Mexico. And I would argue there is nothing important there about human nature.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • MR
  • 04-30-16

Excellent listen

Slow to get going but evolves into a gripping story featuring some fantastic imagery and engaging characters

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JOHN
  • 02-14-17

Mean, Moody, Magnificent

A slightly slow start but well worth persevering. Wonderful descriptive passages. I was slowly drawn in to the storyline. The narrator's delivery perfectly suited the narrative.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Viv
  • 02-05-17

Not a comfortable read

I highly recommend this intensive and absorbing book. It was challenging to read and certainly demanded my attention. I shall certainly listen to it again and then move on to the further books.