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The Crossing (Border Trilogy)
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Volume Two of the Border Trilogy

About the Author

Cormac McCarthy is the author of ten acclaimed novels, most recently The Road. Among his honours are the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Reviews

Young Billy Parham, in a horse stall, dreams of his father's eyes, ``those eyes that seemed to contemplate with a terrible equanimity the cold and the dark and the silence that moved upon him.'' Billy could as well be dreaming of McCarthy's prose and the unsparing tone of this, the second volume in the Border Trilogy. The Crossing , following the award-winning and bestselling All the Pretty Horses , is set in the American Southwest and in Mexico, and features, like its predecessor, teenage boys, their horses, a girl and the recurring spectacles of desert days and nights, awful wonders and appalling deprivations, and no small amount of roadside philosophizing. The story of Billy, his younger brother Boyd, the fates of their horses, a wolf, their parents and their dog, set against a vague and distant backdrop of the coming Second World War, throws little light upon a universe without much meaning, though it is in the nature of McCarthy characters to try to anyway. In the end, when the last dog is hanged, so to speak, what survives is the rhythm of McCarthy's open, ropey sentences circling a logic as inscrutable as an animal's or a god's. Although no mysteries are solved, and no comfort gained for these lonely characters, there is that language wrestling to earth all that it cannot know and all that it can. Readers again will be in awe of McCarthy's extraordinary prose attentions--the biblical cadences, the freshened vocabulary, the taut, vivid renderings of the struggle to live. 200,000 first printing; BOMC main selection. (June)

Sixteen-year-old Billy Parham is obsessed with trapping a renegade wolf that has crossed the border from Mexico to raid his father's cattle ranch. By the time he finally succeeds, Billy has formed such a close bond with his prey that he decides to return the wolf to its home, and the two head off into the mountains. Billy returns months later to find that his parents have been murdered by horse thieves. He abducts his kid brother from a foster home, and they ride into Mexico to retrieve their property, encountering gypsies, desperadoes, and itinerant philosophers along the way. Essentially a boy's adventure story written for adults, The Crossing is thematically related to the award-winning bestseller All The Pretty Horses (LJ 5/15/92; ``Best Books of 1992,'' LJ 1/93, p. 54-58.), but it is not a sequel. McCarthy's luminous prose style, spare as the desert landscapes it describes, is almost Beckett-like in its blend of deadpan humor and existential despair. An exceptionally vivid and rewarding novel.[Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/93.]-Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles

The Crossing, together with its predecessor All the Pretty Horses, towers over most contemporary fiction. An American epic infused with a grand solemnity. * Sunday Times *
McCarthy writes prose as clean as a bullet cutting through the air and constructs tales as compelling as any you will read . . . They are stories about people as real as the land they ride and as disturbing as the rituals they enact. * Daily Telegraph *
Admirers of All the Pretty Horses will need little encouragement . . . McCarthy speaks to us in the thrilling, apocalyptic tones of an Old Testament prophet We must treasure him. * Sunday Telegraph *

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