Thursday, May 8, 2008

No Country for Old Men

No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy.

I didn't really like the book much while I was reading it until near the end. I may have messed it up by seeing the movie first. The movie was outstanding and I highly recommend it. If I hadn't seen the movie, I would never have picked up the book to read. Just not my kind of reading. But I enjoyed the movie so much that I wanted/longed for more information about the characters. I was trying to conceptualize the main 3 characters and the movie left me wanting more. The book didn't really deliver that, although perhaps at the end, it did offer more about the Sheriff. But I was really interested in knowing more about Anton Chirgurh (perfectly portrayed by Javier Bardem), and the book didn't deliver. For the most part, the movie and book were completely interchangeable. I didn't feel like the book gave me any more insight into the movie. I do have to admit, though, I rarely, if ever, have read a book after seeing a movie. It is usually the opposite…I read a book, and then I want to see the movie.

I finished reading the book last night, and as I have mused on it today, I realize that I did get something out of the book. The character of Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (again, perfectly portrayed in the movie by Tommy Lee Jones) was that of a very old, wise soul. He seemed to realize that he didn't have it in him to continue to observe and deal with the evil that seemed to be permeating his world. He was ready to retire. He had seen enough.The book is about a drug deal gone bad in Texas country. Llewelyn Moss innocently comes across a massacre when he is out hunting and as he is looking around, finds a case full of money. Apparently, he thought that he could get away with taking the case and no one would be the wiser. He hadn't dealt with a character like the psychopath, evil Chirgurh. Meanwhile, the sheriff's boys are dealing with some other murders going on, and then come across the massacre and the chase is on.

The book is somewhat difficult to read at first…the author doesn't use punctuation, but I easily adapted to that. By far, I most enjoyed the chapters that the Sheriff was narrating. That is what saved the book for me. The Sheriff is aging and reflecting on all that he has seen and done. I certainly wanted to know more about the Sheriff’s life, but that may just be the therapist in me. The ending definitely left me with many questions, and perhaps a sequel is planned. I probably would read it if that were the case, although maybe the movie would be a better bet!

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