I am on vacation this week. So this is a ‘best of review’
My first introduction to Cormac McCarthy was the movie version of No Country for Old Men. My sister-in-law had read the book before the movie and told me the movie was very faithful to the book. So I did not have a pressing desire to read the book.
I found No Country for Old Men at my library on audiobook so I decided to pick it up anyway.
It is wonderful. Yes, the movie is very close to the story. But I love the language. I am sure I am influenced by the fact that I listened to this as an audiobook. The narrator, Tom Stechschulte, was among the best that I have ever heard. Some narrators just seem to match the book, and Tom Stechschulte was perfect for the voices No Country For Old Men.
Back to the language, McCarthy has a lyricism in his writing that is not about description, if anything I wish there was more description. It almost like movement, the pacing and the style match with the lyrics, almost like a perfect poem, read properly, where you do not notice the meter and the rhyme because it matches so well.
The one thing that I did not like is the jumping in time. I do not remember this from the movie. Quite often a scene goes by with one character, and then the same scene will happen again with another character. Listening to the book, there were not enough clues to know what was going on, and quite often it took me a while to figure out that we jumped forward or back and this is something that I should not know about, or it is something from another perspective and I should know about it. I think it maybe particular to the audiobook. But it was distracting.
You should listen to this. As a warning, there is some language, but the real warning is the violence. Especially at the beginning the violence is pretty descriptive and felt worse than the visual effects of the violence in the movie. I honestly almost turned it off at one point, but I kept going and it was never that descriptive again.