Set in 1949-1950, this work opens with the death of 16-year-old John Grady Cole’s grandfather and the news that the family ranch will be sold. John Grady Cole was raised on the ranch and has virtually no relationship with either his mother or his father. When he learns he cannot save the family ranch he and his friend Lacey Rawlins head out to Mexico to find work as cowboys.
I found McCarthy’s sparse style of writing a bit off-putting at the outset, but I soon learned to love the language and syntax and found it very fitting for this coming of age tale. Additionally, the use of the Spanish language throughout lent an air of authenticity and greatly enhanced my appreciation. However, I imagine those without a rudimentary understanding of the language may find it frustrating and a barrier to their enjoyment.
This was much darker and more violent than I thought it would be, but necessary to the story. There is such a cinematic quality to McCarthy’s writing style and his beautiful descriptions that I’m not surprised this was made into a film, however I can’t imagine the film could do justice to the written word. This is the first book I’ve read by the author—but certainly won’t be my last.