What I’m reading

I’ve read two Cormac McCarthy books (All the Pretty Horses and Cities of the Plain) and liked neither one . I found them painfully dull, anticlimactic and sometimes hard to follow. He likes not saying whose point-of-view he’s writing from, but making the reader do the work to figure it out. Annoying.

But I keep trying because good friends keep saying good things about him, and he gets the best blurbs of just about anybody writing in English these days.

So now I’m on No Country for Old Men, and I’m glad I’m reading it because it’s more compelling right off the bat than the other two, and because it’s the basis for the Coen brothers’ next movie.

I like most of the Coen brothers movies quite a bit. I watched Fargo and Raising Arizona again during the past few months and loved them. I’d like to revisit some of the others — Miller’s Crossing, The Big Lebowski, Blood Simple. For a couple of Jewish guys from St. Louis Park, they do that desert Southwest thing pretty well, and that’s Cormac McCarthy’s backyard, so it seems like a good fit.

The book starts out with a guy antelope hunting who comes across a bunch of dead guys and one wounded guy in a few cars and trucks. He finds a couple million bucks in a case and walks off with it, but then he has qualms about leaving a dying man who was begging for “agua,” so he returns to the scene of the crime. There’s a truck full of bad guys there, of course, who spot him, and he runs, and they get his truck, so they can find out who he is, and the chase is on.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the book, and the movie version.

Update: It turned out to be disappointing. Some interesting philosophical ramblings by a salt-of-the-earth sheriff, but other than that, no resolution, more of the usual unanswered questions.

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