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What role, generally, do horses play in this book? On page 89 Rawlins says: "A goodlookin horse is like a goodlookin woman They're always more trouble than what they're worth. Where else in the novel do casual statements serve as portents? How does the author establish the differences between the United States and Mexico? How do their respective inhabitants seem to view each other? Alejandra's aunt offers two alternative metaphors for the workings of destiny, comparing it both to a coiner in the moment he places a slug in the die and to a puppet show in which the strings are always held by other puppets pages Which of these metaphors seems more apt to the narrative as a whole?

Is what happens to the boys in the course of the novel the result of character or fate? Do the boys' journey and subsequent ordeals ever seem foolish, futile, or anachronistic?

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If so, how does McCarthy suggest this? All the Pretty Horses is spare in exposition note the economy with which McCarthy establishes John Grady's situation at the book's beginning yet lavish in the attention it devotes to scenes and details whose significance is not immediately clear note the description of the cantina on page 49 and the scene in which John Grady and Rawlins buy new clothes on pages Why do you think the author has chosen to weight his narrative in this way?

Although John Grady and Rawlins are innocent of stealing horses, McCarthy suggests that they are culpable of other crimes. At different points in the book he compares them to "young thieves in a glowing orchard" p. When John Grady makes love to Alejandra, we are told that it is "sweeter for the larceny of time and flesh" p. What kinds of theft might McCarthy be writing about? Might the boys' suffering be seen as warranted by earlier transgressions?

What sort of moral system applies within the universe of this book? Is All the Pretty Horses a violent book? How do the novel's characters feel about the deaths they cause? At a time when graphic and gratuitous descriptions of mayhem are standard in much popular fiction for purposes of mere shock and titillation, does McCarthy succeed in restoring to violence its ancient qualities of pity and terror? How does he accomplish this?

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What role does history play in McCarthy's narrative? To what extent are his characters products of a particular era? Although the occurrences in All the Pretty Horses are, strictly speaking, plausible and its human voices, in particular, are nothing if not realistic, the book also contains a strong mythic component. How, and where, does McCarthy introduce this? What specific myths and fairy tales does the book suggest? See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Buy Online, Pick up in Store is currently unavailable, but this item may be available for in-store purchase.

Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview The national bestseller and the first volume in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy , All the Pretty Horses is the tale of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen finds himself at the end of a long line of Texas ranchers, cut off from the only life he has ever imagined for himself. About the Author. Show More.


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Reading Group Guide The questions, author biography, and reading list that follow are intended to enhance your group's reading and discussion of Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses. Average Review. Write a Review.

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All the Pretty Horses 3. Guest More than 1 year ago This book will reshape your soul. I don't think it's posssible to find another author who can capture the most isolated moment a human soul can bear and give it beauty in a way that releases you. This passage alone is worth the price of the book - 'He slept that night in a field far from any town. He built no fire. He lay listening to the horse crop the grass at his stakerope and he listened to the wind in the emptiness and watched stars trace the arc of the hemisphere and die in the darkness at the edge of the world and as he lay there the agony in his heart was like a stake.

He imagined the pain of the world to be like some formless parasitic being seeking out the warmth of human souls wherein to incubate and he thought he knew what made one liable to its visitations.

What he had not known was that it was mindless and so had no way to know the limits of those souls and what he feared was that there might be no limits. Anonymous More than 1 year ago This novel is a pretty good plot, but the lack of punctuation and slowly progressing story make it difficult to get through at times. The themes and charactization of the book rely on the main charater, John Grady Cole, adventuring into the dying wild west to live out his dream of living off the land in a life full of horses after growing up in the modernizing of Texas. Throughout the novel the image Cole once had of being a cowboy is wreaked when he faces the reality of social constraits and difficulties presented in the time.

Additionally, the book as some comic relief, but at times can be rather violent and saddening. Reading this novel was like being under a hypnotic trance, where the characters inhabit a world that is real and merciless but also surreal and haunting. The dialogue blends seamlessly with the thoughts of the characters and with the painting of the landscape, so that they all portray a living, breathing entity.

Some readers might be put off by the slow burning, almost cold approach to the writing; but the end result is an achievement, stunning in its poetic imagery. TheAnonymousDude More than 1 year ago A tough ranch kid in some vague time period finds everything he desires in his little Texas hometown just beyond his grasp. Devoid of prospects, his buddy and him take off in search of adventure and fortune. Lucky for them, a wild, uncharted, mythic land is within an easy horseback ride.

Not so lucky, on the way to this strangely archaic old Mexico they befriend a mysterious boy with serious issues. They know this good deed will not go unpunished, but that's the way they roll. This is the set up to explore what happens when people with civilized values cross the border into much darker territory. Tom Sawyer it's not! It gets unblinkingly dark, and resolves to gray. Those unfamiliar with McCarthy's work be aware that he seems overly fond of scenarios involving cowboy boots full of the wearer's blood.

Be aware McCarthy favors of a writing style largely devoid of punctuation. Periods are about it. If you have leave the narrative to re-read a paragraph to get the gist, that's your look out! At the back of the book is a study guide with discussion questions. Sophomores need guidance to really appreciate a book like this.

That would be most readers, I guess.

A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures

It is a great adventure story with thought provoking themes if you can stomach the eccentric writing style and condescending attitude of the presentation. This book is very interesting because you can travel through the time into the beautiful West. The theme of the story is great because the author lets to see the importance to follow a dream and how can be important to a man the love of a girl and the love for his horses. This story begins in a ranch in San Angelo Texas when the main character John Grady Cole, a young man that has grown between horses in a life style in the ranch, decides to start a journey on his adored horse to the South to unknown lands in Mexico for him and his friend Lacey Rawlins, to look for a work in Mexico where they can live between horses.

During the journey they find Jimmy Blevins, a thirteen years old guy. Jimmy is united to the two guys and they live many adventures until John Grady knows Alejandra, the daughter of Don Hector the boss and the owner of the ranch where Grady works. John and Alejandra live a passionate love against all. I realized that I really like this book because I think that the author, Cormac McCarthy, do an excellent job.

First, the place where the story is developed is amazing in a huge state like it is Texas and the beautiful country of Mexico, the soul of the world.

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It is very important because this book transports to the lector to the incredible places and the lector can imagine that he or she is in there. Second, the characters are realistic, funny and adventurous, but at the same time they can be brave, dangerous and very humans specially John Grady Cole. Finally, but not lees important the theme of the story where you can get an important message that when somebody has passion about something, the people have to do whatever they want to fallow their passion. Anonymous More than 1 year ago McCarthy has a way of showing us the beauty of the human soul, even in the darkest of moments.

If you are a fan of stories with happy endings, with all the loose ends wrapped up neatly, then McCarthy is probably not the best choice in reading material for you. Just watch No County for Old Men one of at least three movies based on one of McCarthy's books to see just how dark and disturbing his plots can be. If you can handle the darkness and the lack of a tidy ending so common in most popular fiction, then open the pages of this book and lose yourself in McCarthy's brilliant prose.

After his grandfather passes away, his actress mother sells their west Texas ranch and Cole quickly finds himself as the first line in the family without the comfort of working the family ranch. Fleeing on horseback to Mexico to find work with his close friend Lacey Rawlins, they soon meet up with young Jimmy Blevins as the cross the Rio Grande, who proves to be both a comical and a tragic character throughout the story.

As they journey through the foreign, unforgiving terrain of Northern Mexico, Blevins becomes separated from the trio and the two friends encounter fierce storms, horse chases, and the unfamiliar lifestyle that comes with the territory before they are hired as vaqueros, or cowboys, on a vast ranching estate. Horses, forbidden love, a new culture, and uneasy locals all become part of the norm for Cole, who ultimately realizes that his Mexican expedition was a riveting experience that he could have never imagined.

A tale of a boy and his relationship with man, horse, and mother nature, McCarthy's novel describes the infusion of the untamed Mexican terrain with the antiquated culture of the American cowboy. Marked by McCarthy's reduced amount of punctuation, it is complete with drama, loss, and ultimately redemption in this story about the West and Mexico. His writing style is not the usual, which of itself makes you pay attention, but he makes you want to, until the very end.

McCarthy's use of the language is exquisite and his style makes it even more so. I carried the emotions and revelations of this book around with me for days after I was done, and look forward to the next two volumes of the Trilogy. Recommended to all. Anonymous More than 1 year ago I know comparisons are odious at their worst and flawed at their best, and I hope the comparison I make does not marginalize my respect for this book or put off prospective readers.

All the Pretty Horses is definitely unique, a novel I highly respect for its individuality. At the same time, in both style and content, this book reminds me of Hemingway at his best - except for the adolescent approach to drinking. Mexico represents Hemingway's Spain: pre-modern and guided by principles incomprehensible to outsiders.

John Grady Cole, to me, is reminiscent of competent and stoic characters like Robert Jordan who are in search of ideals in compromised worlds.