No Country for Old Men Audiobook
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No Country for Old Men audiobook free
I read the book once-not carefully – and knew I didn’t get it. Then I read it again with some care; and when I put it down that second time it bothered me that I still didn’t know what the book was really about. Then I saw the movie and it cleared up a lot of it; but there were still things I didn’t understand – locations, time lines, identities., who if anyone has the money at the end of the book Above all you need a map of West Texas to follow the story; and you need to consult it often. And now I have gone back once again to clear some things up and think about what McCarthy was really trying to say, if anything. And I’m still not sure. But I need to get this review off my mind. So to the extent that McCarthy was writing for a knowing audience the book is a flop. To the extent that once again McCarthy was showing off his superb writing skills – particularly his ability to give us a dystopian story, to write doom drenched fiction it was a success. Would I read it again? Probably. Would I recommend it to you? Depends.
About McCarthy as a writer: No one writing today can say so much or describe so much on one page as McCarthy – and in words of few syllables. Nor can anyone writing today bring the reader into the picture as well as McCarthy nor sketch a character as well nor write conversation so well that you can almost hear the Texas twang, the rural patois of a good old boy Texas lawman. Read a page of McCarthy describing Llewellyn Moss’s first view of the scene of four burned shot-up trucks surrounded by three dead bodies and one wounded man in the Texas desert and you are right there. Listen to Sheriff Ed Tom Bell talk to his uncle Ellis and you are in the room with them. I just wish he would be clearer. Was this a requiem for the good old days in West Texas? Was it a tribute to the men of that time? Was it a study of evil? (Frankly I have the same questions in respect to his fascination with evil in the only other McCarthy books I have read – The Road and Blood Horizon ) Was sit a Jeremiad against the hippie generation? The narcotics trade? Or was it just a good story interspersed with a lot of philosophy, giving Melville a run for his money? I guess it was all of these things. But I wish now that, having put the book down, I really knew what he was trying to tell me.
The obvious story is fairly clear; Moss finds the trucks and the men in the Texas desert just this side of the border. Everyone is dead except the wounded man asking for water. (Moss has none.) One of the trucks is loaded with bricks of cocaine. There is a man lying dead by a briefcase under a tree. The briefcase holds 2.3 million in hundred dollar bills. Moss takes it. He returns that night with water, but the man has been shot and the cocaine is gone. He realizes too late that he may not be alone, all terrain four wheelers with lights are in the vicinity and he is spotted. He runs. And a lot of the rest of the narrative is the chase. Obviously two sides have been cheated – one of the drugs, one of the money – and both are out to find Moss and the money. The principle agent of the chase is a psychopathic killer with almost supernatural powers – Anton Chigurth who, armed with a compressed air bottle connected to a cattle stun gun and a sawed off shotgun, manages in two hundred blood stained pages to kill Moss, his wife, his mother in law, a deputy, an innocent citizen, two or three hotel clerks, the business man behind the drug dealing – all in separate killings – and then three Mexicans in a gun fight all together; and if you can tell me after reading this book how Chigurth managed to find all these people (even though a transponder was hidden in the cash and accounts for his presence in at lest one of he killings) I’ll buy you a good dinner at a place of your choice. McCarthy, being the man he thinks he is, doesn’t have to explain. Chigurth just appears And there is no denouement, no satisfaction, no justice, no catharsis Though injured Chigurth just walks away out of the pages. Evil, points out McCarthy, is still out there – and always will be.
That’s the narrative; but it’s not the story. The story is that West Texas has changed so much since the end of World War II to 1980 (the period in which the narrative is set) that it is no longer a country for old men; and that is lamentable. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, a man who is sure to steal your heart, tells the story in his own words, about how things are now, how things were then, what men should be like, about his opinions on life in first person italicized ruminations which begin and end the book and which are often interspersed into the narrative. They are the guts of what McCarthy has to say about life; and they are worth reading. The rest of the stuff is just well written bloody crime stuff. You’ll love Ed Tom and adore his wife Lorraine who, though unready, cheerfully goes into retirement with Ed Tom who, after thirty-five years of being a sheriff. finds it is no country for old men.
No Country for Old Men audiobook Series
This was almost a great book, so good that the movie was almost a carbon copy with very few changes. I actually like the author’s lack of punctuation, apostrophes, etc – it lent a gritty reality to the story.
The plot had too many twists and unexplained characters for me to follow completely, however. For example, I never figured out who was in the black Barracuda. I also hoped for more details in the book regarding Chigurh’s background, but didn’t get any – he was just a mysterious dude who could kill anybody he wanted and never get caught.
Last but not least, the main character is an obvious old style Texan, with an extreme right wing “moral” philosophy dating back to the 1800’s. It ain’t that simple anymore, like it or not.
Audiobook No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
This modern western, set in 1980 in the Badlands of western Texas, a world made familiar by Cormac McCarthy’s other books, is quite simply a masterpiece of minimalist storytelling, a work of morality conveyed in sparse dialogue that sets a tale of compromised good versus calculating evil against the background of the fading promise of America made plain by the nightmare of Vietnam, its aftermath, and societal descent into drugs. It is a portrait of a world in pain, and a portent of the opioid addicted and crime-ridden small town America of today.
The novel is framed by the thoughts of the aging and upright Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, a man of integrity and simplicity haunted by past errors, faced by an increasingly violent society which he struggles to understand and which is incompatible with the purer, more moral world of his memory and family lore. Bell is a man adrift, but also a man whose self-awareness provides a nuanced perspective upon the brutal and murderous drug trade which has infected his county and brought horrific death to his doorstep. Bell might not know why men do the wrongs they do, but he tries hard to understand what leads them down paths that will lead to their destruction, although recognising that whatever his efforts, he cannot prevent others from that rendezvous with death their choices will bring. But Bell’s empathy and compassion provide no guide when faced with the amoral killing machine, Anton Chigurch, an evil demiurge, part Biblical demon, part classical representation of Nemesis. Chigurch is Fate made human for those who come into his realm of death and retribution, even those innocent of wrongdoing, whose violent end is but collateral damage in a world where violence not only begets violence, but where violence and mortality are mere events in an inevitable process of reckoning.
The tone, as usual with McCarthy, is laconic and elegiac, with beautifully drawn characters, whose moral reality is clear in their words and their actions. It is a novel written with beautiful simplicity about a world made complex by the failures of men to stay true to the simple truths that experience has revealed as the best basis for a better world.
This is a profoundly moral and thoughtful book that is a worthy entry in the canon of great American novels, and Cormac McCarthy is one of the great American novelists.
Audio No Country for Old Men narrated by Tom Stechschulte
I found this a struggle to work through. Things like not having quotation marks around speech, very slight & fleeting references to people & places in a scene, lack of clarity about who was speaking in a dialogue. The story didn’t have much for me either but the effort involved in trying to work out what was meant probably didn’t help.
Free audio No Country for Old Men – in the audio player below
I hadn’t watched the film beforehand. Came into this without context and the author does very little to fill that in. Multiple references to him/he or her/she at the beginning of chapters without explaining who they are. Locations not explained, timeframes often missing especially at the beginning when it’ll just be 2.30 not explaining whether it’s AM or PM (not useful as you don’t know anything about the characters or the story by this point). Still don’t know if all the start of chapter monologues are from the same character or not. They go off into rambles that might have made ore sense if I’d know who was giving them but then again I’m not going to give that much credit.
This book again shows how many brilliant writers there is out there this is dare I say it a classic it has everything suspense drama brilliant dialogue and above all a subtle menace about it that keeps you hooked. The rich Texas accent and phrases shine through a give the book even more character it just works on every level for me. I loved it but it did also make me think that there is a big bad world out there and some very strange people in it, scary man.
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