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Old 31st Oct 2006, 17:33   #11
John Self
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Default Re: Cormac McCarthy: No Country for Old Men

Crikey! Critical consensus... And so fast on the heels of No Country For Old Men. Perhaps McCarthy should do the old quick one-two more often.
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Old 31st Oct 2006, 17:39   #12
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Default Re: Cormac McCarthy: No Country for Old Men

Or is it the old one-two-three? He seems to be very prolific all of a sudden.
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Old 31st Oct 2006, 17:53   #13
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Default Re: Cormac McCarthy: No Country for Old Men

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Crikey! Critical consensus...
Yes, well, we had critical consensus for Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath until a certain somebody decided it wasn't he (him?), but the whole army who was out of step ...
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Old 15th Nov 2006, 2:23   #14
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Default Re: Cormac McCarthy: No Country for Old Men

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Originally Posted by HP View Post
when dipping into All The Pretty Horses, I was confronted with page after page where every other word seemed to be 'and'.
That was exactly the thought I had this evening when I opened it up on the train. And and and and! I'll try again in the morning, although the conversation, albeit small, in Spanish left me saying que too. Although the dialogue without quotes doesn't bother me. I've played about with that trick recently in my own writing. I guess it's just one of those novels where I have to take each page slowly in order to get anything out of it. Or at least until I warm to his style. If, in fact, I do.

EDIT: It would seem the and syndrome is actually called Polysyndeton. Get that noted for casually dropping into a conversation.
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 8:28   #15
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Default Re: Cormac McCarthy: No Country for Old Men

I'm not going to read the comments on The Road yet because I don't want to run into any spoilers, but I've just started really reading this book now and I have to say -- wow.
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 11:23   #16
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Default Re: Cormac McCarthy: No Country for Old Men

I finished The Road last week and it was definitely a +. I see that anybody on this forum who has read the book has also given it .

The book terrified me while I was reading it - I didn't want 'the good guys' to come into contact with any of 'the bad guys'. That feeling of dread stayed with me all the time I was reading it, and I've thought about it many times since finishing the book. This may be one that I have to re-read straight away.
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Looking at user reviews today I see that McCarthy has littered the text with allusions to Shakespeare, the Bible and Homer that I didn't pick up on the first time. There is richness and beauty in this book that bears rereading.
Hopefully I'll pick up on some of the Biblical and Shakespearian stuff on re-reading.
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Old 25th Nov 2006, 18:43   #17
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Default Re: Cormac McCarthy: No Country for Old Men

I've finished reading this. I wanted to go slowly to enjoy the prose-poetry quality of the writing but I couldn't because, as with a thriller, I had to know what happened next. I hardly know what to say. Eventually, I'd like to think more about why it so moved me. In the mean time here are some quotes from reviews I've just been through, and that I found interesting,

Quote:
Shorn of history and context, Cormac McCarthy's other nine novels could be cast as rungs, with The Road as a pinnacle ... We feel and pity their starving dereliction as, despite the profound challenge to the imaginative contemporary novelist, McCarthy completely achieves this physical and metaphysical hell for us... The vulnerable cultural references for this daring scenario obviously come from science fiction. But what propels The Road far beyond its progenitors are the diverted poetic heights of McCarthy's late-English prose; the simple declamation and plainsong of his rendered dialect, as perfect as early Hemingway; and the adamantine surety and utter aptness of every chiselled description. As has been said before, McCarthy is worthy of his biblical themes, and with some deeply nuanced paragraphs retriggering verbs and nouns that are surprising and delightful to the ear, Shakespeare is evoked. The way McCarthy sails close to the prose of late Beckett is also remarkable; the novel proceeds in Beckett-like, varied paragraphs... All the modern novel can do is done here... The Guardian
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for all its allegorical underpinnings and stark grandeur, the tender precariousness of The Road's human relationships is what finally makes it such a beautiful, difficult, near perfect work Village Voice
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Without its rich voice, The Road would read like a remake of "Night of the Living Dead." Without its rich voice, The Road would read like a remake of "Night of the Living Dead." ... Readers who sneer at McCarthy's mythic and biblical grandiosity will cringe at the ambition of The Road . At first I kept trying to scoff at it, too, but I was just whistling past the graveyard. Ultimately, my cynicism was overwhelmed by the visceral power of McCarthy's prose and the simple beauty of this hero's love for his son. Washington Post

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Old 25th Nov 2006, 18:50   #18
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Default Re: Cormac McCarthy: No Country for Old Men

Request to who ever can do it ... is it possible to change the name of this thread to simply Cormac McCarthy, or to divide it in two so that The Road (surely secondary only in publication) doesn't seem so... subsidiary?
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Old 26th Nov 2006, 0:35   #19
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Default Re: Cormac McCarthy: No Country for Old Men

Bit more because wondering is keeping me awake...

(spoiler warning, but I need to discuss the end of this with someone...) (I'm not sure how to hide this but I've changed the font to white, if you want to read it, selecting it turns it grey)

How ambiguous do other readers think the ending is intended to be? I'm open to the possibility of mulitiple interpretations (eg, the man is a cannibal, the boy is already dying etc) But I'm preferring to go with the reading that will let me sleep tonight -- the boy has faith in people and in essential goodness and, freed from his father's well-meaning (and based on experience) cynicism, is able to trust his own instincts and turns out to be right.

Whether there will be future generations is not so clear. That is is a possibility is what that might represent. Hope.
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Old 26th Nov 2006, 3:01   #20
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Default Re: Cormac McCarthy: No Country for Old Men

Kimberley, I'll also attempt to use a white font and a Spoiler caution:
McCarthy definitely keeps the ending in a state that is dependent upon the reader. There are so many possibilities that could await the boy. He becomes a leader and "carries the fire", he is brutalized, he degenerates into a brutalizer,


it just remains for the reader to pull the framework from within. Can you imagine anyone remaining unmoved by this lush story?

Last edited by Beth; 21st Mar 2011 at 0:12. Reason: learned something
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