Tuesday, December 23, 2008

No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

Like Where Eagles Dare, I ended up reading No Country for Old Men after watching the movie. I enjoy the Coen brothers' movies and as such decided to watch the movie. After watching and enjoying (if that is the right word) the movie, I found the Cormac McCarthy section at the local library and checked out the book.

The Summary

A hunter named Moss finds a stash of cash from a drug sale out in the middle of nowhere Texas. The drug sale apparently went bad as there are dead bodies all around. Moss finds one survivor who begs for agua. Moss goes home, hides the money and as unbelievable as it sounds, decides to go back to the place to give the dying Mexican his last wish. Moss becomes the hunted when a bounty hitman named Chigurh spots him. The rest of the book is how the Chigurh hunts down Moss.

The local sheriff Ed Tom Bell investigates the failed drug sale and subsequently the stolen cash. He tries to hunt down Chigurh and to help Moss, but as the title of the book suggests, this line of work is not suitable for old men. The old sheriff decides to call it quits before he too becomes a casuality.


The movie remains pretty faithful to the book. The plot and the storytelling in the book and movie are deep. Ed Tom Bell's monologues really make you think about good and evil in the world. I couldn't help but put myself in the sheriff's shoes and ask myself what I would do.

Moss is an interesting character. I was really pulling for him in both the book and the movie. But the reality of evil has a firm grip in the story.

Chigurh is pure evil. I've never seen a more villinous character in all my readings of books and watchings of movies. He is cold, calculating and wholly evil.

McCarthy's writing is very different. He doesn't use quotations or punctuation. I liked his style. That is why I can't wait to read The Road.

This is one of those books that I may go back and read again at some point.

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