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review 2017-05-15 15:01
Just Needed Edited a Bit
No Country for Old Men - Cormac McCarthy

This book takes place in Texas in the 1980s. I don't know how many people saw the movie, but the book adds a lot more depth to the characters that I really enjoyed. That said, I thought that it got a bit too long though. Once we get past a certain point in the book it just felt like things were being too dragged out. The book is divided between following Llewellyn Moss (Moss) who comes across a dying man and some dead men. When he inspects the truck he finds heroin and two million dollars in cash. This leads to many different players trying to track Moss down. Some are good (Sheriff Bell) and some are bad (Anton Chigurh and Carson Wells). 

 

Even though I already knew how the book was going to end, I kept hoping for a different ending. Moss came to life for me, but I really wanted to tell him that he was being an idiot throughout the book. The entire book really is a case study in McCarthy showing how Texas in the 1980s had changed so drastically from what it used to be before. 

 

The character of Sheriff Bell was the one I had the most pity for though while reading. He really is trying to stop what is coming for Moss and his wife. At one point in the book, we had I think 12 people dead and even more bodies coming. 

 

The main reason why I didn't give it five stars though was that it just felt overly long. After a certain point the book started to drag and I honestly didn't think there was much more story to tell. The book also jumped back and forth a few times with Bell narrating something that had happened, but we as readers then had to go and read about it after he had already foreshadowed or just flat out told us. So that to me left things a bit off. 

 

The writing also at times just got a bit confusing. McCarthy seems to loathe writing who was saying what. So a few times I had to go back from the beginning of paragraph to even figure out who was speaking at certain times. Also, and this once again was just a few times, the dialogue just didn't feel realistic. At other times it did, you can feel people's terror talking to Anton, but sometimes I thought that McCarthy was just trying too hard. 

 

The ending leaves us with Bell contemplating another future for himself once he starts to realize that things have changed so much that he may not have the stomach to be a lawman anymore. 

 

 

Bank:
April 15: $20
April 17: $23. I read "The Wangs Vs the World", electronic pages 368.
April 24: $28. I read "Dream Wedding", electronic pages 512.
April 25: $28. Landed on BL and had to post a vacation photo or tell a story about a vacation.
April 29: $31. Read "Whitethorn Woods", 354 pages Kindle edition, $3.00
April 29: $34. Read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", 256 pages;$3.00.
May 4:   $37. Read "The Ghost Brigades" Paperback, 346 pages; $3.00
May 8:   $42. Read "American Gods" Hardcover, 465 pages; $5.00.
May 8:   $45. Read "Moon Called" 298 pages Kindle edition; $3.00.

May 13: $50. Read "Solitude Creek" 434 pages electronic; $5.00. 

May 14: $53. Read "No Country for Old Men" 320 pages Kindle edition; $3.00

 

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text 2015-07-06 19:56
Best of the year so far 2015
Deliverance (Modern Library 100 Best Novels) - James Dickey
It - Stephen King
The Devil's Detective: A Novel - Simon Kurt Unsworth
No Country for Old Men - Cormac McCarthy
Light in August (The Corrected Text) - William Faulkner
Needful Things - Stephen King

Everyone else seems to be doing this so here's my top 6, 5 of them oldies and damn good ones. So in no particular order.

 

Deliverance by James Dickey

IT by Stephen King

The Devils Detective by Simon Kurt Unsworth

Cormac McCarthy – No Country for Old Men

William Faulkner - Light in August

And Needful Things by the King or maybe To kill a Mockingbird

 

Hell they were all good but I think I enjoyed doing the review for Harper Lee's classic the most.

 

Or was I supposed to do best of this years releases, ah! who cares.

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review 2015-06-02 12:44
Strong characters and great plot.
Life or Death - Michael Robotham

Thanks to the publishers for providing me a free copy through Net Galley.

This novel’s tagline is The Shawshank Redemption meets No Country for Old Men and it is fairly accurate.

Audey Palmer escapes prison the day before he was due to be released, and everybody, including the inmates of the prison, wonder, why? This question propels the novel where Robottam makes a skilful use of third person point of view that alternates between a large cast of characters, but they are all so distinct that the reader never loses track.

From Audey, whose memories are slowly uncovered, to a diminutive but feisty FBI female agent, Moss, the prisoner of the next cell and a deeper character than at first appears, a sheriff hell bent on revenge, we get to see things from their perspective, whilst at the same time we’re not shown the whole story until the very end. The pieces fall into place eventually, and although we might have our suspicions, it fits in beautifully. Considering the times and the stories in the news, unfortunately the truth behind the case does not feel like a huge stretch of the imagination.

Audey is a survivor against all odds but at the same time has an uncanny talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When asked about it, he comments that he must have broken a mirror and found a horseshoe in the same day. There are many coincidences throughout the plot, but then life is full of them and there is an internal logic to the characters and the story that pulls it all together. Audey has something of the tragic hero as fate seems heavily stacked against him but he never gives up. And those on his side seem to grow in stature by coming in contact with him.

The style of the novel is easy to read, well-paced and at the same time beautifully written, with some gems of insight and style. I also loved the dry sense of humour and the pathos. The plot and the story keeps us engaged, but the level of writing and the skill lift it above the humdrum standard thriller. This novel will work equally for people who enjoy complex characters and those who prefer an action filled adventure. A great book.

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text 2015-04-02 19:10
March Reads
Disintegration: A Windy City Dark Mystery - Richard Thomas
Broken Dolls - James Carol
Harrison Squared - Daryl Gregory
The Dark Half - Stephen King
With Fury In Hand - Lee Thompson
Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel
No Country for Old Men - Cormac McCarthy
The Midnight Order - Christopher Fulbright
Within - Keith Deininger
Condemned: A Thriller - Michael McBride

A pretty good month, three 5* reads and one of those was a reread in No Country for Old Men. About 5 reviews behind at the moment but they're coming.

 

 

  1. Disintegration - Richard Thomas (4*)
  2. James Carol – Broken Dolls (3*)
  3. Daryl Gregory - Harrison Squared (3.5*)
  4. Stephen King – The Dark Half (4*)
  5. Lee Thompson – With Fury in Hand (5*)
  6. Emily St. John Mandel – Station 11 (3.5*)
  7. Cormac McCarthy – No Country for Old Men (5*)
  8. Christopher Fulbright – Midnight Order (2.5*)
  9. Kealan Patrick Burke - Saturday Night at Eddie's (4*)
  10. Allan Leverone - After Midnight (3*)
  11. James M. Cain - The Cocktail Waitress (4*)
  12. Keith Deininger – Within (4*)
  13. Matt Shaw – Some Kind of Cu*t (2.5*)
  14. Michael McBride – Condemned (5*)
  15. Matt Shaw - sickER B*stards (4*)
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review 2015-03-25 19:22
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
No Country for Old Men - Cormac McCarthy

‘What’s the most you ever saw lost on a coin toss?’

 

No Country for Old Men joins the illustrious company of books that I've reread and more than deserves its place there, this is simply one of the most intense pieces of fiction I’ve read and narrated by Tom Stechschulte who I now rate as highly as the fantastic Will Patton.

 

There is just so much that makes this story, the dialogue centred around the hitman Chigurh is the highlight for me. Sheer menace and danger epitomizes this man, if ever the dialogue contained in a book could put you walking on the precipice of a perilous encounter, this is it. The only character that comes close to this is Preacher Jack Collins from James Lee Burke's Rain Gods and is narrated by the same man.

 

The audio highlights the threat this character portrays, the conversation between Chigurh and the store owner at the beginning of the story, over the toss of a coin is just disturbing, incredibly tense and your attention is riveted, as is the scene with Wells the second hitman, taut with not a waver in sight.

 

Finally his conversation with the young woman and wife of Llewelyn Moss, something he doesn't have to do but something his own morally disquieting fucking code won't allow him not to do. And once more, all on the toss of a coin, life or death.

 

'Every moment in your life is a turning and every one a choosing. Somewhere you made a choice. All followed to this. The accounting is scrupulous. The shape is drawn. No line can be erased. I had no belief in your ability to move a coin to your bidding. How could you? A person’s path through the world seldom changes and even more seldom will it change abruptly. And the shape of your path was visible from the beginning.'

 

No Country for Old Men is one of the most gripping stories I think I've ever read, my review again just highlights the parts that grabbed me and slapped me round the face, there's of course a few more things going on but most of you know that already. The film dialogue is copied almost word for word in many of the scenes involving the hitman and that in itself shows just how potent the story is.

Intense and yeah, fucking powerful stuff.

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