Cormac McCarthy is well-known for his writing style. He does not use quotation marks or commas very often, and most of his sentences are short and to the point. However, the writing is brilliant, especially description. The very first sentence of this novel — "The candleflame and the image of the candleflame caught in the pierglass twisted and righted when he entered the hall and again when he shut the door." — draws a specific picture that creates a distinct atmosphere. The next few sentences of the first paragraph describe the main character's attire and stance in a way that is appealing, not just listing his clothing or what he looks like. McCarthy has a unique way of setting the scene, and he continues this crafty language all throughout the novel.
When it comes to the characters in this novel, John Grady Cole, Rawlins, and Blevins are all teenagers, yet they travel alone in Mexico with weapons and such. The setting, time and place, allow for this without confusion or surprise, and McCarthy really pulls it off. I think, though, that this story is more about the situation than the characters. John Grady, the main character, is the best wrought, but the novel to me did not seem to be very character driven.
I have to be honest and say I couldn't really get into this book. Westerns really aren't my thing, so don't blame me if I'm not so keen on the plot of this novel. It is the first in a trilogy, and I will definitely be reading the other two books, but they aren't really at the top of my list.
Theme-wise, I didn't get much from this book, but I think I was focused on other things. If I re-read this book, I might like it a bit more and might be more interested in the characters and such, so I may have to do that eventually.
I wish my first Book Club blog post were better and more thorough, but I sort of wrote this a bit last minute. I hope you who have read this book enjoyed it, and I hope my blog readers participate in the next Blog Book Club here, which will take place in September. Stay tuned!
For those of you who have read All the Pretty Horses, what did you think of it? I would love to hear your opinions!