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No Country for Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy

February 9, 2012

In a small town on the Texas-Mexico border, a regular, law-abiding citizen named Llewellyn Moss is out hunting and stumbles upon a pickup truck that’s surrounded by dead bodies. Looking closer, he finds a load of heroin and a briefcase filled with two million dollars. He takes the money, then finds himself fleeing from a violent killer just escaped from jail, Anton Chigurh, who will stop at nothing to get the money for himself.

I rated this book a perfect 10. From the very beginning, the action never lets up. In every chapter something surprising, interesting, or exciting happens. After the lead drew me, I couldn’t put it down. I read No Country for Old Men in one school week, which is fast for me, and I loved every second of it.

The style of No Country for Old Men is at first confusing, but after a while I got used to it. McCarthy uses no quotation marks around dialogue and virtually no tag lines. There is little punctuation in long sentences, and he writes and spells some words phonetically. The result is strange at first, but eventually I came to love it, because it makes the book feel raw, like a memoir instead of a fictional story—almost too real.

The theme that emerged for me from the novel is how violent and imperfect this world—this country—is. America is by no means a perfect nation, and not even the law can contain all the bad things that happen here, especially at our border with Mexico. I think McCarthy conveys this perfectly in this fast-paced read.

Extremely violent and shockingly real, No Country for Old Men is a novel not to be missed.

Publisher: Vintage Books, 309 pages


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