No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men

Book - 2005
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Set in our own time along the bloody frontier between Texas and Mexico, this is Cormac McCarthy's first novel since Cities of the Plain completed his acclaimed, best-selling Border Trilogy .

Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, instead finds men shot dead, a load of heroin, and more than $2 million in cash. Packing the money out, he knows, will change everything. But only after two more men are murdered does a victim's burning car lead Sheriff Bell to the carnage out in the desert, and he soon realizes how desperately Moss and his young wife need protection. One party in the failed transaction hires an ex--Special Forces officer to defend his interests against a mesmerizing freelancer, while on either side are men accustomed to spectacular violence and mayhem. The pursuit stretches up and down and across the border, each participant seemingly determined to answer what one asks another: how does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?

A harrowing story of a war that society is waging on itself, and an enduring meditation on the ties of love and blood and duty that inform lives and shape destinies, No Country for Old Men is a novel of extraordinary resonance and power.
Publisher: New York : Knopf, c2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780375406775
Characteristics: 309 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Virginia quarterly review


From Library Staff

"Incredibly dark and violent so I'm surprised I liked it so much but the storytelling was so good I gave it 5 of 5 stars." - Beth at Minneapolis Central

Beth B. at Minneapolis Central Library recommends this.

From the critics

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Sep 30, 2020

No Country for Old Men is a fiction novel by Cormac McCarthy. Cormac McCarthy uses an unorthodox writing style, one which does not use quotations or dialogue tags. This novel incorporates many different genres such as mystery, western or crime. The novel jumps around following the main characters as their narratives intertwine. No Country for Old Men is fairly short and not necessarily a difficult read. I would recommend this book to people who like crime and mystery. This novel deals with money, drugs and violence so I would not recommend it if any of these make you uncomfortable. I give No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy four out of five stars.
@Nessie of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Jul 20, 2020

Good story and some great passages. The author's continued use of 'and' 3 or 4 times in one sentence seemed out of place with some of the other brilliant paragraphs. It's as if he got lazy for a spell and then found his flow again. Odd. Maybe it's just his style.

Jun 07, 2019

McCarthy's No Country For Old Men is in essence a western, but McCarthy adds many more layers than some of the typical shoot-em-ups that come to mind when you hear "westerns". Chigurh has me horrified as I read, and the sheriff's juxtaposition with such a villain magnifies his kindness and innocence, despite his experience in war. I look forward to delving in many more times to find the smaller details McCarthy may have dropped.

Nov 28, 2018

I listened to the audio book. There were 7 discs. At disc 6, it was over. There was an entire 1/7 of the book that had nothing to do with the rest and was really unnecessary. The story idea was interesting, but how it played out and the excessive wordiness of especially the villain was a huge drawback. I can't imagine how the movie got an Oscar, it must have been on acting alone.

RogerDeBlanck Jan 31, 2018

No writer has captured the contemporary Southwest with more thunder and aplomb than Cormac McCarthy. His novels depict a vision of an often rugged and violent way of life along the border region of Texas and Mexico, but never has one of his novels taken on a more sinister quality than in No Country For Old Men. The drug war is the center of focus in this suspenseful drama. When Llewelyn Moss finds a briefcase of $2 million at the site of a heroine exchange gone disastrously wrong, he knows that taking the cash will endanger his life. In pursuit to reclaim the money is Anton Chigurh, a psychopath who uses his own maniacal form of justice to deal with those he encounters. With the body count mounting, Sheriff Bell hopes to help Moss while tracking the whereabouts of the ghost-like Chigurh. McCarthy presents a host of characters spanning both sides of the divide between the deranged criminals of the cartels who work like machines in the trafficking of narcotics and the conscientious men of law enforcement who attempt to put a boot in their path. In the end, the drug world’s malignant nature claims the lives of men both good and evil.

Nicr Jun 30, 2017

Masterful neo-western noir. A breakneck plot that defies conventions. And evil that goes on and on.

Aug 07, 2016

The movie complements the novel and vice versa. The book brings better character development; the movie adds intensity to the story.

Jan 21, 2016

There is something wonderfully American about No Country for Old Men. Obviously, the book is set mostly in Texas- but that's not what I mean. What I mean is that the entire time I was reading the book I felt like I could draw a direct line from McCarthy to Palahniuk to Tarantino, etc. Both thematically and artistically, this novel belongs in the cannon of American literature.

I enjoyed the way, in a sense, the reader could see the struggle the author had with certain themes and philosophy. Most notably the conversation between Chigurh and Carla Jean where one could see the antimony of choice versus fate. Of morality versus amorality. Value versus invalue. Old versus new.

I personally found McCarthy's writing style, at times, brutal and difficult to follow. While I enjoyed his minimilistic style, sometimes I wish he would of used charters' names instead of pronouns. Also, I missed quotation marks. Overall, however, I thought this was a great book.

Dec 26, 2015

I wish I hadn't seen the movie first: I could not get Javier Bardem out of my head. Other than that, the book is riveting and sorrowful.

thebigp2012 Jun 14, 2015

If ever there was book that illustrates how a series of an events can turn on a dime and be completely unpredictable it would be the novel "No Country for Old Men." I found this book riveting and the story moved at an impressive clip. Great book and I have a new appreciation for the work of Cormac McCarthy.

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Jun 09, 2014

... some teachers come across a survey that was sent out back in the thirties to a number of schools around the country. Had this questionnaire about what was the problems with teachin in the schools. And they come across these forms, they'd been filled out and sent in from around the country answer in these questions. And the biggest problems they could name was things like talkin in class and runnin in the hallways. Chewin gum. Copyin homework. Things of that nature. So they got one of them forms that was blank and printed up a bunch of em and sent em back out to the same schools. Forty years later. Well, here come the answers back. Rape, arson, murder. Drugs. Suicide. So I think about that. Because a lot of the time ever when I say anything about how the world is goin to hell in a handbasket people will just sort of smile and tell me I'm gettin old.

Jun 09, 2014

These old people I talk to, if you could of told em that there would be people on the streets of our Texas towns with green hair and bones in their noses speakin a language they couldnt even understand, well, they just flat out wouldnt of believed you. But what if you'd of told em it was their own grandchildren?

Dec 21, 2008

I had two dreams about him after he died. I dont remember the first one all that well but it was about meetin him in town somewheres and he give me some money and I think I lost it. But the second one it was like we was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin through the mountains of a night. Goin through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept on goin. Never said nothin. He just rode on past and he had this blanket wrapped around him and he had his head down and when he rode past I seen he was carryin fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it. About the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was goin on ahead and that he was fixin to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there. And then I woke up.


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Jun 07, 2019

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Mar 29, 2013

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