All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy – A Book Review

The first volume of what’s known as The Border Trilogy, All the Pretty Horses encompasses what I love about McCarthy’s writing.


Set in the late Forties, All the Pretty Horses follows teenage Texan John Grady Cole seeking a better life for himself in Mexico.  He travels by horse with his slightly older friend, Rawlins, and on the way down they join up with a very young teenager named Blevins.  They can tell Blevins is trouble, and he causes them more problems than they ever could have imagined.  But John also finds some danger without the help of Blevins, and it involves the daughter of his new ranch boss that he just can’t quit.


McCarthy offers a bit more descriptive narration than I care for in this work, slowing it down at times, but his tight-lipped, capable, honorable, humble, and just plain tough John Grady Cole represents what I enjoy most about McCarthy’s creations.  John Grady Cole is the perfect McCarthy protagonist, and this neo-western perfectly conveys all that it means to be human—love, loss, betrayal, redemption, loyalty, and resolve.


It is with great anticipation I look forward to completing The Border Trilogy.

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