Orion Reads
a diary of books etc.

Monday, August 06, 2007

All The Pretty Horses

I picked up All The Pretty Horses at a bookstore one day when i had nothing better to read for the sole reason that the title reminded me of one of my favorite Current 93 songs, "All The Pretty Little Horses". I've no doubt that Cormac McCarthy's title is a reference to the same traditional song/lullabye, which everyone should check out at their earliest etc.

ATPHs put me pretty far off at first.
I didn't even know that McCarthy is one of our american literary giants,
but i sensed the onanistic flexing of great literary testicles of steel and came pretty close to just putting the book down. But i read on. And thank god, by the second or third chapter the narrative voice stopped competing with Hemingway and just started telling a story, and the story was really good.

It's a coming-of-age story of a young man who's sixteen years old and frankly already light-years more mature than i'll ever be, but it's still sweet. He and a friend journey south on horseback in the 1950s from Texas into Mexico and along the way pick up an even younger kid of about thirteen, also on horseback. Along the way they have some fun and love but mostly misadventure, and more than one person end up dead and our hero manages to impart the sense that all this vast emptiness is ripe for meaning nonetheless.

It's beautifully written.


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