Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cities of the Plain

Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy

This was the last book in the Border Trilogy and I must concur with a friend who was wondering why on earth he didn't win the Pulitzer Prize for these books.

This book combines the main characters of the first two books - John Grady Cole and Billy Parham. I think it might be the most tragic of the books although each book is heart wrenching in its own right.

I love McCarthy's language in these books. He paints such a grim and bleak picture of the life of a cowboy yet it felt like a romantic, poetic perspective. Once again he vividly paints the landscape and the beauty of the vast open lands along the border - this time around Alamogordo, NM. With few words his characters convey much. They are men of brevity but there is a feeling of depth to the characters.

This is the kind of book that one must read in large time blocks as opposed to picking it up 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there. I also needed a couple of days to decompress afterwards because it left me feeling both empty and full at the same time. I was sad to finish the book and wished there were more to come. In each book, each tragedy struck me in a sad and horrific manner but the foreboding of what was to come in this final book was the hardest to bear.

I loved these books and highly recommend them.

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