Book: All the Pretty Horses: Volume 1 of The Border Trilogy

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All the Pretty Horses: Volume 1 of The Border Trilogy

Author: Cormac McCarthy
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

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. With two companions, he sets off for Mexico on a sometimes idyllic, sometimes comic journey to a place where dreams are paid for in blood.


Part bildungsroman, part horse opera, part meditation on courage and loyalty, this beautifully crafted novel won the National Book Award in 1992. The plot is simple enough. John Grady Cole, a 16-year-old dispossessed Texan, crosses the Rio Grande into Mexico in 1949, accompanied by his pal Lacey Rawlins. The two precocious horsemen pick up a sidekick—a laughable but deadly marksman named Jimmy Blevins—encounter various adventures on their way south and finally arrive at a paradisiacal hacienda where Cole falls into an ill-fated romance. Readers familiar with McCarthy’s Faulknerian prose will find the writing more restrained than in Suttree and Blood Meridian. Newcomers will be mesmerized by the tragic tale of John Grady Cole’s coming of age.

Related Works

Album:All the Pretty Horses: Music from the Motion Picture

All the Pretty Horses: Music from the Motion Picture

Marty Stuart, Kristin Wilkinson, Larry Paxton

Novelist Cormac McCarthy’s literary vision of the wild west is given wide-screen treatment by maverick director Billy Bob Thornton and a cast that includes Matt Damon, Penelope Cruz, and Bruce Dern. Professional country music journeyman Marty Stuart has performed with father-in-law Johnny Cash, Earl Scruggs, and Doc Watson, in addition to a successful solo career. In his soundtrack scoring debut, he provides short, meditative instrumental pieces that are subtly explosive—rife as they are with strains of old-school country and bluegrass. Cinematic strings and…

Film:All the Pretty Horses

All the Pretty Horses

Billy Bob Thornton

Adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s award-winning novel, All the Pretty Horses cries for epic length but runs only 112 minutes for theatrical release. Drastically shortened during a lengthy stretch between production and release, this operatic drama feels as if huge chunks are missing, and what remains are fragments of a masterpiece that might have been. Unless a more definitive version is revealed, we must settle for this faint echo of McCarthy’s ambitious narrative, in which dispossessed Texas rancher John Grady Cole (Matt Damon) ventures to Mexico in 1949 to…

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