The Crossing (Border Trilogy)

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9780330341219: The Crossing (Border Trilogy)
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VOLUME TWO OF THE BORDER TRILOGY Set on the southwestern ranches in the years before the Second World War, The Crossing follows the fortunes of sixteen-year-old Billy and his younger brother Boyd. Fascinated by an elusive wolf that has been marauding his family's property, Billy captures the animal - but rather than kill it, sets out impulsively for the mountains of Mexico to return it to where it came from. When Billy comes back to his own home he finds himself and his world irrevocably changed. His loss of innocence has come at a price, and once again the border beckons with its desolate beauty and cruel promise. 'Admirers of All the Pretty Horses will need little encouragement . . . McCarthy speaks to us in the thrilling, apocalyptic tones of an Old Testament prophet. We must treasure him' Sunday Telegraph 'The Crossing is like a river in full spate: beautiful and dangerous' The Times `An American epic infused with a grand solemnity' Sunday Times

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Review:

The opening section of The Crossing, book two of the Border Trilogy, features perhaps the most perfectly realized storytelling of Cormac McCarthy's celebrated career. Like All the Pretty Horses, this volume opens with a teenager's decision to slip away from his family's ranch into Mexico. In this case, the boy is Billy Parham, and the catalyst for his trip is a wolf he and his father have trapped, but that Billy finds himself unwilling to shoot. His plan is to set the animal loose down south instead.

This is a McCarthy novel, not Old Yeller, and so Billy's trek inevitably becomes more ominous than sweet. It boasts some chilling meditations on the simple ferocity McCarthy sees as necessary for all creatures who aim to continue living. But Billy is McCarthy's most loving--and therefore damageable--character, and his story has its own haunted melancholy.

Billy eventually returns to his ranch. Then, finding himself and his world changed, he returns to Mexico with his younger brother, and the book begins meandering. Though full of hypnotically barren landscapes and McCarthy's trademark western-gothic imagery (like the soldier who sucks eyes from sockets), these latter stages become tedious at times, thanks partly to the female characters, who exist solely as ghosts to haunt the men.

But that opening is glorious, and the whole book finally transcends its shortcomings to achieve a grim and poignant grandeur. --Glen Hirshberg

From the Publisher:

When I first joined the Audio division two years ago, the first two AudioBooks I listed to were All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing. There were two reasons behind this selection - 1) Cormac McCarthy's prose 2) Brad Pitt's voice.

Brad Pitt has a voice that melts ice. Smooth and with a tinge of Texas makes Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy come alive. Bitter, sad, angry, hopeful - these are truly stories well told, and well told out loud.
-Carrie, Random House AudioBooks Publicity

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McCarthy, Cormac
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McCarthy, Cormac
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