Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2011 (cbriii) #3 "Cities of the Plain" by Cormac McCarthy

Once I stumbled upon Cormac McCarthy's novels, I have always tried to read at least one book by him a year. I don't think I could handle reading two of his books back to back. They tend to be on the intense and heartbreaking side. But his writing is amazing. I don't know how he does it, but at the end of his books I'm left with a heavy, hollow feeling of loss and sadness.

Just to make it clear, I cannot do justice to Cities of the Plain (1998). I do not even feel qualified to critique or review it. And this one I read almost a full year ago, so I do not remember it very well. If you really enjoy words and literature then you should read Cormac McCarthy.

Cities of the Plain is the third book in a western trilogy that starts with All the Pretty Horses (I have not seen the movie) and The Crossing. John Grady Cole, the protagonist of the first book, and Billy Parham, the main character in the second novel are both older and working together at a ranch just south of Alamogordo, New Mexico. John Grady falls in love with a prostitute in Mexico and goes after her with hopeful optimism and honor. And if you have read any McCarthy novels, you probably already know that they may not live happily ever after. Yet the writing is still superb and the story is haunting and disturbing--everything you would expect from McCarthy.

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