[ Reading ] ➽ The Crossing Author Cormac McCarthy – Thomashillier.co.uk

The Crossing Volume Two Of The Border Trilogy Set On The South Western 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 FromWhen 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


About the Author: Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy is an American novelist and playwright He has written ten novels in the Southern Gothic, western, and post apocalyptic genres and has also written plays and screenplays He received the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for The Road, and his 2005 novel No Country for Old Men was adapted as a 2007 film of the same name, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.His earlier Blood Meridian 1985 was among Time Magazine s poll of 100 best English language books published between 1925 and 2005 and he placed joint runner up for a similar title in a poll taken in 2006 by The New York Times of the best American fiction published in the last 25 years Literary critic Harold Bloom named him as one of the four major American novelists of his time, along with Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, and Philip Roth He is frequently compared by modern reviewers to William Faulkner.In 2009, Cormac McCarthy won the PEN Saul Bellow Award, a lifetime achievement award given by the PEN American Center.



10 thoughts on “The Crossing

  1. says:

    Enormously affecting A boy and his father set out to trap a wolf that is preying on their cattle The man who had trapped them in the past, who opened the plains for countless thousands of cattle to graze is now dead, and the wolves have begun to return to their old hunting grounds from their retreat in Mexico The father and son try to take up the trapping in the manner of the past master The Crossing is about many things the three journeys over four years into Mexico taken by the young Bill Enormously affecting A boy and his father set out to trap a wolf that is preying on their cattle The man who had trapped them in the past, who opened the plains for countless thousands of cattle to graze is now dead, and the wolves have begun to return to their old hunting grounds from their retreat in Mexico The father and son try to take up the trapping in the manner of the past master The Crossing is about many things the three journeys over four years into Mexico taken by the young Billy Parham his own crossing into manhood the crossing of the dead into ever lasting life, etc The series of tests Parham sets himself suggest any number of Old World quest narratives He captures the wolf, a pregnant female, whom he clearly comes to love, and decides to take her back to her native mountains in Mexico It doesn t work out When he returns to Cloverdale NM he learns his mother and father have been slaughtered by Indians He collects his brother, Boyd, from a foster home and they set off for Mexico, ostensibly in search of the seven horses that constitute the family patrimony, though this mission is never so baldly stated Billy and Boyd no longer have a home in the world and it s as if they are simply adrift in the landscape They have entered a wild land still torn by endless revolution, where there is no law save the law that comes self made from the actions of peasants, banditos, philosophizing gypsies, itinerant carneys, mothering women, and children The landscape is beautifully rendered and as active an agent in the narrative as any of the characters Billy and Boyd meet with I m leaving a big chunk of the action undescribed, most of it in fact, not because I believe in spoilers I don t , but because I think that no nimbleness of paraphrase on my part could ever capture the emotional richness, vivid imagery, and sheer narrative power of this fine novel.I like the way emotional tensions are never directly addressed Much is left unsaid It s very stoic, Hemingwayesque Nietzsche said that one repays a mentor badly when one remains a pupil Hemingway and Faulkner, it s no surprise, were two of McCarthy s models There s probably a touch of Louis L Amour in the mix too Yet I believe he has surpassed them in terms of consistency Both WF and EH were innovators whose late work became mannered, so taken were they of their own voices and styles McCarthy may be less of a technical virtuoso, but he is no less the stylist, and he is by far theconsistent writer than either of his models That said, I am almost positive that one of McCarthy s models here was Faulkner s The Unvanquished The running down of thieves by teenage boys in both novels seems too strikingly similar Of the seven or so McCarthy novels I ve read, The Crossing, Blood Meridian, The Road and All The Pretty Horses are my favorites I must readof him


  2. says:

    Beautiful, beautiful book I am such a fan of Cormac McCarthy Poetic realism, I would describe his style.


  3. says:

    Farmelancholic than its predecessor All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing is a beautiful if bleak western full of poetry and philosophical musings The Billy character is wonderfully drawn and in particular the first part of the book with the wolf was outstanding McCarthy s sparse Hemmingway esque style lends an austere and yet often humorous tone to the dialogues particularly those both spoken and unspoken between Billy and Boyd I appreciate the author s reluctance to dummy down the sto Farmelancholic than its predecessor All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing is a beautiful if bleak western full of poetry and philosophical musings The Billy character is wonderfully drawn and in particular the first part of the book with the wolf was outstanding McCarthy s sparse Hemmingway esque style lends an austere and yet often humorous tone to the dialogues particularly those both spoken and unspoken between Billy and Boyd I appreciate the author s reluctance to dummy down the story and challenge the reader constantly throughout Looking forward to completing the trilogy now with Cities of the Plain


  4. says:

    The Border Trilogy Part 2 of 3It is in the early 1940 s when Billy Pelham sets out on his first of three trips from his home to Mexico He is sixteen and his first trip is to reunite a female wolf about to pup with others of her kind in the mountains where she came from.When he returns home to New Mexico from his journey, his life as he knew it has changed The family s horses have been stolen and he and his 14 year old brother Boyd set out to retrieve them During this longer journey, Billy t The Border Trilogy Part 2 of 3It is in the early 1940 s when Billy Pelham sets out on his first of three trips from his home to Mexico He is sixteen and his first trip is to reunite a female wolf about to pup with others of her kind in the mountains where she came from.When he returns home to New Mexico from his journey, his life as he knew it has changed The family s horses have been stolen and he and his 14 year old brother Boyd set out to retrieve them During this longer journey, Billy turns 17 and his brother turns 15 and he falls in love and disappears with his young love Billy makes his way back home again and spends time working on various ranches and other jobs to save up enough to bring his brother home, along with his girl if need be.Billy also tries several times to join the army once war is declared WWII but he can t pass the medical examination because of a heart murmur Eventually he accumulates an extra horse to use as a pack animal and has outfitted himself with everything he needs to find his brother By this time, Billy is 20 years old and haslife experience than he had on his first two journeys south.Along the way of his third journey, he meets with several other travelers as well as people who give him food and shelter when needed The people he meets all have stories to tell and their own versions of life they want to shareHe said that most men were in their lives like the carpenter whose work went so slowly for the dullness of his tools that he had not time to sharpen them There are some rough scenes in this book man s cruelty to man, man s cruelty to animals, and man s cruelty to himself Those are themes that run through this novel, but in the people s stories and in their actions there are also many acts of kindness, of compassion, and of caring.Once again, Cormac McCarthy has written a novel that feels real and gritty and harsh His ability to relate the trials and difficulties of the journeys Billy makes while also holding and lightly weaving in a thread of hope and optimism is nothing short of magical.Initially I did not intend to read this Border Trilogy back to back, yet long before I had finished the first book I knew that I had to continue through all three The writing is exceptional, the characters authentic and sympathetic, while the adventures are compulsively readable I am very much looking forward to the concluding chapter of this amazing Trilogy


  5. says:

    One decision, as innocent as it may be, can fuck up your life forever Now, you can live in fear and hide yourself away, or you can keep making those decisions and hope for the best, and if and when the shit hits the fan, you can stand strong and push on.That s life That s The Crossing.Cormac McCarthy s The Border trilogy is where you ll find dusty plains, hard living, and a recent past populated by a people still living in an evendistant past His characters are full of character, thei One decision, as innocent as it may be, can fuck up your life forever Now, you can live in fear and hide yourself away, or you can keep making those decisions and hope for the best, and if and when the shit hits the fan, you can stand strong and push on.That s life That s The Crossing.Cormac McCarthy s The Border trilogy is where you ll find dusty plains, hard living, and a recent past populated by a people still living in an evendistant past His characters are full of character, their own code and a new version of an old set of morals The Crossing is Homeric There is a hero with a quest There is a wise man There are fools And there are monsters The hero s journey plays out upon the border between New Mexico and old Mexico, where the line dividing life and death is measured in handfuls of blood.McCarthy s books are not where you shop for your good times and happy endings His characters will die and you will feel pain.I spent a good amount of time in early 2014 in southern Mexico It was a learning experience and it helped me to appreciate what s in this novel Not only was I able to follow along with much of the Spanish dialogue it s basic stuff, trust me, I m not bragging here , but the portrayal of the life and the people rings true and brings to mind images, scenes and people I saw and met during my time in that parched land.I m giving this five stars, not because I think it s perfect and that everyone will love it In fact, I think many people would not like this McCarthy occasionally veers from the action packed path to discuss life and that irks some readers However, I give it five stars for McCarthy s writing It s superb His language usageah, those glorious descriptions It s all too beautiful


  6. says:

    I did love this but found it slightly less successful than the first book in this trilogy For one thing it follows an almost identical formula innocence going out into the big bad world The opening when a young boy watches wolves at play in the snow at night is magical It continues in this gripping fashion when the boy takes pity on the wolf he and his father have caught in a trap and decides to take the injured animal back to the mountains of Mexico The relationship he creates between the I did love this but found it slightly less successful than the first book in this trilogy For one thing it follows an almost identical formula innocence going out into the big bad world The opening when a young boy watches wolves at play in the snow at night is magical It continues in this gripping fashion when the boy takes pity on the wolf he and his father have caught in a trap and decides to take the injured animal back to the mountains of Mexico The relationship he creates between the boy and the wolf is a marvel in itself In Mexico he sees his father s horse and knows something bad has happened at home People often speak of the violence in his books but what always gets to me is the deep beautiful bonds he establishes between his characters and often between a character and an animal This is very much true here where the relationship Billy shares with his brother, the wolf, his horse and his dog are all deeply moving He gets us to care so much for his characters that the possibility of heartbreak looms forebodingly on every turned page Another thing I love about his books is the philosophy As I said he s so good at engaging you on a feeling level then his characters always meet eccentric individuals on their travels whose philosophising make you think about everything that is happening on a deeperintellectual level He engages the intellect as challengingly as the emotions 4.5 stars And now onto book three


  7. says:

    The Crossing is an astonishing book,downbeat than All the Pretty Horses, yet not as bleak as the likes of Blood Meridian, it is a sprawling coming of age tale filled with moments of beauty and sorrow The descriptions are as beautiful as anything Cormac McCarthy writes, the action is sparse but nailbiting when it comes and the characters are brilliantly realised There are moments when the book lags but whenever this happens you can be assured that within a couple of pages McCarthy will co The Crossing is an astonishing book,downbeat than All the Pretty Horses, yet not as bleak as the likes of Blood Meridian, it is a sprawling coming of age tale filled with moments of beauty and sorrow The descriptions are as beautiful as anything Cormac McCarthy writes, the action is sparse but nailbiting when it comes and the characters are brilliantly realised There are moments when the book lags but whenever this happens you can be assured that within a couple of pages McCarthy will come out with a line or paragraph that is so amazing you ll have to reread several times, possibly out loud, before you can continue with the story The book never gives you all the information about some aspects of the story which is sometimes frustrating but works within the confines of the world that McCarthy is created, he s never one to end everything neatly and perfectly, the subplot of Billy s brother and the girl leaves you wishing forthough is all thepowerful for the fact that it s heard in rumours and secondhand recollections Throughout the book there are times when Billy will meet characters who will tell them their own story, these digressions act as stories within the main narrative, both separate from it and integral to it The story of the blind revolutionary in particular is fantastic, as McCarthy drops his visual mastery to explain the blind man s travels This book is a journey from youth to adulthood, from hope to despair, along a hard path populated with kind hearts and desperate men This book is a journey that you never want to end


  8. says:

    Alice Munro said in an interview that our lives begin as straightforward stories with the typical arc of fiction, but that as we go on living they become strange, experimental narratives, convoluted and difficult to interpret It seems to me that s what s happening in this second volume of the Border Trilogy Volume One was pretty straightforward, taut and clear in its construction It told a story of a young man s searing introduction to the adult world Volume Two does the same with a differe Alice Munro said in an interview that our lives begin as straightforward stories with the typical arc of fiction, but that as we go on living they become strange, experimental narratives, convoluted and difficult to interpret It seems to me that s what s happening in this second volume of the Border Trilogy Volume One was pretty straightforward, taut and clear in its construction It told a story of a young man s searing introduction to the adult world Volume Two does the same with a different young man yet its structure defies the conventions of fiction After a relatively focused and actually quite wonderful first 125 pages, the novel circles and digresses for another 300 It tried my patience I pressed on, though, in the hopes that Volume Three will make good on the promise of the first book and redeem the disappointment of this one


  9. says:

    This was very depressing, and that s just how life goes which is the point I think McCarthy was trying to make.


  10. says:

    Acts of God Before he reached the door the old man called to him again The boy turned and stood The matrix will not help you, the old man said He said to catch the wolf the boy should find that place where the acts of God and those of man are of one piece Where they cannot be distinguished The old man said that it was not a question of finding such a place but rather of knowing it when it presented itself He said that it was at such places that God sits and conspires in the destruction of Acts of God Before he reached the door the old man called to him again The boy turned and stood The matrix will not help you, the old man said He said to catch the wolf the boy should find that place where the acts of God and those of man are of one piece Where they cannot be distinguished The old man said that it was not a question of finding such a place but rather of knowing it when it presented itself He said that it was at such places that God sits and conspires in the destruction of that which he has been at such pains to create New Mexico Early 1940s A wolf had come up from Mexico, killing cattle on a ranch Billy and his father set out traps to catch it, but the wolf uncovered them all Then Billy set a trap in the ashes of a cold campfire The following day when he went alone to check the trap, he had caught the pregnant wolf, her foot badly injured He took pity on her and tied her up to protect himself from being mauled, even killed Dragging her on three legs, he headed home Thinking it over, he took a detour and ended up at a neighboring ranch, where the woman doctored the wolf s foot, fed the boy, and then the boy went on his way to Mexico, to save the wolf, to release her to others of her kind.I thought a lot about this What will McCarthy do with his story The boy was kind hearted, but was McCarthy Had McCarthy softened in his old age I wanted to believe he had In time the wolf became almost like a companion to Billy, but Billy was na ve He fed and watered the wolf, he protected her from vicious dogs and man alike He even saved her from drowning in a river which they had been crossing And he grew to love her, but maybe he loved her from the moment he saw her in that trap Maybe, I thought, we are all trapped in one way or another But McCarthy, being true to his own nature, couldn t allow it to be Even today, it is hard to imagine a wolf surviving in our world, a world that hates the wolf Then it began happening, and it wouldn t stop In the end, do we praise McCarthy for his prose, or do we curse him for his cruelty I did both Then I put the book down, but only for the night and part of the following day.The boy headed back to New Mexico, to his father s ranch He was growing up fast at the young age of 17 When he arrived at the ranch, things had changed He got his brother Boyd, and together they went to Mexico to find the horses that had been stolen from his father s ranch Some things should be left alone, forgotten Maybe even forgiven It had ceased raining in the night and he walked out on the road and called for the dog He called and called Standing in that inexplicable darkness when there was no sound anywhere save only the wind After a while he sat in the road He took off his hat and placed it on the tarmac before him and he bowed his head and held his face in his hands and wept He sat there for a long time and after a while the east did gray and after a while the right and the godmade sun did rise, once again, for all and without distinction


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