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The Border Trilogy  :  All the Pretty Horses; The Crossing; Cities of the Plain - Cormac McCarthy

The Border Trilogy

All the Pretty Horses; The Crossing; Cities of the Plain

Paperback Published: February 2003
ISBN: 9780330334617
Number Of Pages: 600

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"The Border Trilogy" chronicles the coming-of-age of two young men in the south west of America. John Grady Cole and Billy Parham, two cowboys of the old school, are poised on the edge of a world about to change forever. Their journeys across the border into Mexico, each an adventure fraught with fear and pain, mark a passage into adulthood, and eventual salvation.

McCarthy's clean, hard language evokes the physicality of an unforgiving landscape, the determination of the characters who roam within it, and the vanishing world of the Old West, where blood, violence and dying are conditions of life. Beautiful and brutal, filled with sorrow and humour, "The Border Trilogy" is both an epic love story an exhilarating elegy for the American Frontier.

"In these three fierce, desolate, beautiful novels, McCarthy has created a masterpiece" - "Sunday Times".

All the Pretty Horses

John Grady Cole is the last bewildered survivor of long generations of Texas ranchers. Finding himself cut off from the only life he has ever wanted, he sets out for Mexico with his friend Lacey Rawlins. Befriending a third boy on the way, they find a country beyond their imagining: barren and beautiful, rugged yet cruelly civilized; a place where dreams are paid for in blood.

"All the Pretty Horses" is an acknowledged masterpiece and a grand love story: a novel about childhood passing, along with innocence and a vanished American age. Steeped in the wisdom that comes only from loss, it is a magnificent parable of responsibility, revenge and survival.

The Crossing

Set on the south-western ranches in the years before the Second World War, The Crossing follows the fortunes of sixteen-year-old Billy and his younger brother Boyd. Fascinated by an elusive wolf that has been marauding his family's property, Billy captures the animal but rather than kill it, sets out impulsively for the mountains of Mexico to return it to where it came from.

When Billy comes back to his own home he finds himself and his world irrevocably changed. His loss of innocence has come at a price, and once again the border beckons with its desolate beauty and cruel promise.

In Cities of the Plain

In Cities of the Plain, two men marked by the boyhood adventures of All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing now stand together, between their vivid pasts and uncertain futures, to confront a country changing beyond recognition.

In the fall of 1952, John Grady Cole and Billy Parham are cowboys on a New Mexico ranch encroached upon from the north by the military.

On the southern horizon are the mountains of Mexico, where one of the men is drawn again and again, in this story of friendships and passion, to a love as dangerous as it is inevitable.

'In a lovely and terrible landscape of natural beauty and impending loss we find John Grady; a young cowboy of the old school, trusted by men and horses, and a fragile young woman, whose salvation becomes his obsession . . . McCarthy makes the sweeping plains a miracle' Scotsman

Industry Reviews

McCarthy makes the sweeping plains a miracle. * Scotsman *

I can taste the dirt

5

I love the way this author unravels a story. Its not an uplifting read, but i found it fascinating and vivid.

Coffs Harbour

true

The Border Trilogy

5.0 1

100.0

ISBN: 9780330334617
ISBN-10: 0330334611
Series: Border Trilogy
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 600
Published: February 2003
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0  x 4.6
Weight (kg): 0.98
Edition Number: 1

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Cormac McCarthy

About the Author



Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island on July 20, 1933. He is the third of six children (the eldest son) born to Charles Joseph and Gladys Christina McGrail McCarthy (he has two brothers and three sisters). Originally named Charles (after his father), he renamed himself Cormac after the Irish King (another source says that McCarthy's family was responsible for legally changing his name to the Gaelic equivalent of "son of Charles").


Before his first novel, The Orchard Keeper, was published (1965 — McCarthy's editor at Random House was Faulkner's long-time editor, Albert Erskine), McCarthy had received a traveling fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1965, using this money, he left America on the liner Sylvania, intending to visit the home of his Irish ancestors (a King Cormac McCarthy built Blarney Castle). While on the trip, he met Anne DeLisle, a young English singer/dancer working on the ship; they were married in England in 1966. Another grant was given McCarthy in 1966, a Rockefeller Foundation Grant (1966-68). He and Anne toured southern England, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain. Then they settled on the island of Ibiza, which was a kind of artist's colony at the time. Here, McCarthy completed revisions of Outer Dark.

Child of God was published in 1973. Inspired by actual events in Sevier County, it garnered mixed reviews, some praising it as great, while others found it despicable.

In 1979, McCarthy published his fourth novel, Suttree, a book which had occupied his writing life on and off for twenty or so years. It was said by many to be McCarthy's best work to date, and some critics still maintain that it is his finest novel. However, the book drew some negative reviews, too. At least one reviewer (who wrote for the Memphis Press Scimitar) was roundly rebuked in a letter to the editor written by novelist and historian Shelby Foote.

Blood Meridian was published in 1985, but received little review attention at the time. Now, however, it is considered a turning point in his career. Some critics prefer his recent western writing, of which Blood Meridian was the first example. Others feel that he has strayed too far from his roots, that his westerns lack something. But Blood Meridian, followed closely by Suttree, is now generally regarded as McCarthy's finest work to date. McCarthy did extensive research for the novel, and it is based quite heavily on actual events. The author visited all the locales of the book and even learned Spanish to further his research.

All the Pretty Horses, the first volume of The Border Trilogy, was published by Knopf in 1992. Unlike McCarthy's earlier books, this one became a publishing sensation, garnering many excellent reviews. It became a New York Times bestseller, and sold 190,000 copies in hardcover within the first six months of publication. It finally gave McCarthy the wide readership that had eluded him for many years.

McCarthy edited a play he had written in the mid-1970s, which was published in the summer of 1994 by Ecco Press. Called The Stonemason, the tragedy explores the fortunes of three generations of a black family in Kentucky. Shortly after the publication of The Stonemason, Knopf released the second volume of The Border Trilogy, The Crossing. The book features the tale of Billy Parham's attempt to return a trapped she-wolf to its home in the northern Mexican mountains and the tragic consequences of his adventure.

The third volume of The Border Trilogy was published in 1998; Cities of the Plain, unites John Grady Cole, the main character of All the Pretty Horses, with The Crossing's Billy Parham, and centers on Cole's doomed relationship with a Mexican prostitute. Not as well-received by critics as the first two books in the Border Trilogy, Cities of the Plain is nonetheless notable for its epilogue, which reaches back to Suttree in its imagery and simultaneously casts the entire Border Trilogy in a new and fascinating light, unifying the previous two volumes of the trilogy.

McCarthy continued writing; his next novel, No Country for Old Men, was published in July 2005 from Alfred A. Knopf.

Visit Cormac McCarthy's Booktopia Author Page