No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

No Country for Old MenNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Everyone loves this, so what is wrong with me? This is my first Cormac McCarthy book, and I’m completely underwhelmed.

At first, I thought this was interesting and maybe even strangely charming. I liked the simple/sparse style. Then it shifted to boring and confusing with a lot of description. I never could get a handle on any of the characters. They are introduced rapidly and make no real impression before disappearing again. Everyone and everything just blended together.

There is literally no character growth or development. Also, 75% of the time, I couldn’t even figure out who was speaking, and there is a lot of telling through the dialog. The story jumps around constantly, so good luck trying to follow along and make sense of it. You are just along for a weird, confusing, less than satisfying ride.

There’s blood and violence, which should have caught my attention, but somehow even that manages to be boring or feel unnecessary.

A lot of reviewers who liked this book seem to have watched the movie first. Maybe you have to do that to be able to understand the book? If that’s the case, then Cormac McCarthy is a hard pass for me.

2nd star for interesting stylistic choices, even though they aren’t that effective. Let’s consider it a “good effort” star, rather than a good end result star.

Pages: 309

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