Book Reviews

Book Review: No Country for Old Men

I have a confession to make: I didn’t read the whole book.

And there are three reasons for that: One, it reads almost exactly like the movie plays out and I’ve seen the movie about five times… in the last month (okay, so it may be one of my favorite movies). Two, it’s written in such a way that if I don’t finish it in the first sitting, I’ll never finish it. It’s only interesting if you start from the beginning and read all the way through. And Three, I’m an impatient and slightly (okay, very) distractable reader.

The book begins with the narration of Sheriff Bell, and is written as though it were spoken. And while the author uses very few commas- instead using and after and after and, and inserting kind of fragmented sentences- and doesn’t use apostrophes in words such as “doesn’t, ain’t, can’t, haven’t” and etc, I really like the way it’s written. There are so many things that should bother me about the style of the writing…yet since I know it was done on purpose, and it fits the style of the narration, I actually love the way Cormac McCarthy chose to write it.

The story itself- what I read of it, anyway- is very rich, slow, and almost begs to be read aloud due to the style in which it’s written. It’s set in Texas “in our own time.” Lewellyn Moss, while hunting for antelope, finds the scene of a heroine exchange and a case full of two million dollars. As all the witnesses but one are dead, he decides to make off with the money while not quite sure what he’s going to do with it.

However, in the middle of the night he is plagued by the memory of the one survivor- a Mexican shot through the gut and panting for agua- and he returns to the scene of the crime with a jug full of water and good intentions. While he’s there- and finds that the Mexican is now dead- he’s suddenly discovered by two others who are somehow connected to the dead men and the heroin. He’s forced to take off through the night, leaving his truck behind him.

From there, he goes back to his home, sends his wife away, and takes the case full of money on a merry ride as he’s pursued by the cold-blooded killer Anton Chigur, who I think was basically sent to clean up the mess that went down at the crime scene. Following the bloody trail that Chigur leaves in his wake is Sheriff Bell, an old-timer who doesn’t know how to deal with the crimes of today and reminisces about the clean yesteryears of his youth.

Since I didn’t read the entire book, I can’t actually tell you if it ends like I think it does based on the movie. Not that I would give away the ending anyway.

But I can say that what I read was fascinating. It’s very authentic, and the paths that the characters take are realistic and interesting. I most liked Sheriff Bell’s interjections, his musing of the old country where some Sheriff’s didn’t even wear guns and his remembering the crimes he’s dealt with in the nearer past and how different they are.

Content-wise, the book is quite clean. I can vouch for the relatively curse-free-ness of the book up to page 200. Beyond that, I don’t know.

It’s a book I’d recommend if you want something that is definitely western, something that has a very distinct style and a very quiet but intense tone. Maybe one day I’ll read the whole thing.

Or maybe I’ll just keep watching the movie like the lame person that I am.


Outfit, Cat purring, and… oh. I can’t remember what else:

I didn’t really make much of an effort to put together an outfit today. I went out to coffee with my sister-in-law, and it was cold. So… I wore comfortable.

Also, my cat was being cuddly today. (She starts purring at around 0:32. I think she’s adorable. Then again, she’s kind of like my kid. So I could just be that annoying “mom” who brags that her kid is so cute when in reality her kid is just like any other kid. Cat. Whatever.

I think she’s cute.

And look, she stayed for at least five minutes!

Long enough for me to take a picture, anyway…