It seems to me that's what's happening in this second volume of the Border Trilogy. The joinery. The main characters of this westerns, literature story are Billy Parham, . Home » USA » Cormac McCarthy » The Crossing. They are stand alone novels, but I would tend to recommend reading them in order if you plan to read all three for overarching structural/tonal/thematic reasons. He keeps meeting these extremely odd people out in the wilderness who feel the need to explain to him, in deliriously long, wide-ranging monologues, their gnostically inclined ideas of God, History, Man, Fate, what have you. McCarthy explores themes throughout the action such as the mystical passage on page 22, describing his father setting a trap: Crouched in the broken shadow with the sun at his back and holding the trap at eyelevel against the morning sky he looked to be truing some older, some subtler instrument. The story is the second installment of McCarthy's "Border Trilogy". It is the story of Billy and Boyd Parham, aged sixteen and fourteen respectively at the beginning of the novel, who live on a ranch in New Mexico. Every least thing. This novel is set in the late 1930s. The Crossing is an astonishing book, more 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. At this point, Billy, seemingly on impulse, decides to leave home without any farewell or explanation in order to return the wolf to Mexico. But Billy Parham's journey has a a peculiarly mystical quality all its own. His life-altering trek eventually leads him back home, where he realizes that his journey has just begun. After drifting through various ranch jobs for about three years, Billy undertakes a third journey into Mexico, this time seeking his brother. Looking forward to completing the trilogy now with Cities of the Plain. To see what your friends thought of this book, They are stand alone novels, but I would tend to recommend reading them in order if you plan to read all three for overarching structural/tonal/themat. 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. Wandering through desert landscape, and experiencing sudden senseless violence. After “stealing” back their horse Keno, the Parham brothers encounter a young Mexican girl who is crying. A world where hospitality and danger intermingle continuously. It's utterly brutal, but it's got this really rich, contemplative spiritual dimension which is so often chocked out by the human cruelty in Mccarthy's work. I'm not sure what I expected going into this read, but I certainly didn't expect such a radiant, brutal, multi-faceted experience. Far more melancholic than its predecessor All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing is a beautiful if bleak western full of poetry and philosophical musings. After Boyd regains his health, he and his sweetheart leave together without telling Billy, which echoes Billy’s earlier desertion of the family. It told a story of a young man's searing introduction to the adult world. We’d love your help. Is it important to read the Border Trilogy in order? Location, Location, Location, something about Mexico compulsively attractive. Poetic realism, I would describe his style. In The Crossing, Cormac McCarthy fulfills the promise of All the Pretty Horses and at the same time give us a work that is darker and more visionary, a novel with the unstoppable momentum of a classic western and the elegaic power of a lost American myth. Sure, I've heard all the reviews: that he's bleak, despairing, has a dark and twisted worldview, offers little hope for the future, et cetera ad nauseum. Or are the novels stand-alone? Take, for example, a Mormon who converts to Catholicism and describes his vision of reality in this way: Things separate from their stories have no meaning. A game of wits between boy and beast ensues, as the wolf repeatedly digs up the traps that have been set for her. Although the novel is not overtly satirical or humorous, it has many of the qualities of a picaresque: a realistic portrayal of a destitute hero embarking on a series of loosely connected, arguably doomed quests. This book is a journey from youth to adulthood, from hope to despair, along a hard path populated with kind hearts and desperate men. Struggled through the book. Cormac McCarthy: The Crossing. I did love this but found it slightly less successful than the first book in this trilogy. This book has even more of a philosophical bent than some of McCarthy’s other novels, as many of the people the protagonist meets on his travels (priests, ex-soldiers, gypsies, etc.) Too dark. Critics disagree about the greater significance of Billy's encounters with the wolf. He repeatedly refuses to sell the wolf to men who see it only in monetary terms as a commodity, while for Billy the wolf is a mysterious symbol, djinn-like. The opening when a young boy watches wolves at play in the snow at night is magical. Of a certain size and color. The Crossing, publicized as the second installment of McCarthy’s Border Trilogy, is the initiation story of Billy Parham and his younger brother Boyd (who are 16 and 14 respectively when the novel opens). Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published When Billy is released, he searches until he finds the wolf ignominiously caged in a sideshow and then follows it when it is moved to a circus to be sacrificed in a lengthy bout of wolf-baiting. The novel opens with a haunting scene when an Indian meets up with Billy and his younger brother Boyd and asks them to retrieve food for him from their family’s house. Most of the protagonists are people of few words; thus the dialogues are few and concise. Like Ike McCaslin in William Faulkner’s “The Bear,” Billy becomes increasingly expert about the wild so that eventually he is able to corner the beast that is the object of his obsessive search. Some deliver advice. It seems to me that's what's happening in this second volume of the Border Trilogy. Blood Meridian or the Evening Redness in the West, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Crossing_(McCarthy_novel)&oldid=985699276, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 October 2020, at 12:46. It is devoid of feeling until the final page--practically an autistic novel--and ultimately offers nothing. Boyd escapes death only through the generous help of some workers on a flatbed truck, who begin to create and spread a heroic legend about him. It's got a powerfully redemptive quality which I've never come across in his writing before, almost in spite of itself. . Nothing despised. After a relatively focused (and actually quite wonderful) first 125 pages, the novel circles and digresses for another 300. The corrido. He breaks down in tears. Along the way, Billy encounters many other travelers and inhabitants of the land who relate in a sophisticated dialogue their deepest philosophies. This book has even more of a philosophical bent than some of McCarthy’s other novels, as many of the people the protagonist meets on his travels (priests, ex-soldiers, gypsies, etc.) 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. Part II of the novel ends with Boyd’s and Billy’s daring rescue of this girl from two men who apparently intended to rape her. The preceding précis is Copyright © 1996 by Bill Spencer. 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. Comparisons between this and All the Pretty Horses seem inevitable. A tense intervention attempt fails, so Billy decides to finish off the battle-battered wolf with a shot from his rifle, and then he trades his rifle for the rights to the wolf’s carcass. [it is] nothing more than a man violently controlling a wild animal through the guise of pseudo-nobility” (143). Every stranger he encounters is like an oracle in disguise. Comparisons between this and All the Pretty Horses seem inevitable. Cormac McCarthy is an American novelist and playwright. I gazed into the eyes of a starving, pregnant wolf. I'll admit it freely- I was unprepared for Cormac McCarthy. Start by marking “The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2)” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Instead, he sets out to cross the border into Mexico, returning the wolf to the country whence she came. As the novel’s second section begins, we learn that Billy has buried the wolf in the mountains and has grown leaner and more ragged. In the bootheel of New Mexico hard on the frontier, Billy and Boyd Parham are just boys in the years before the Second World War, but on the cusp of unimaginable events. After many failed attempts, Billy finally traps the pregnant she-wolf, elaborately strings it out, and eventually succeeds in tying its muzzle closed, no easy task. Nevertheless, he completes his gesture of faithfulness to his brother when he gathers up the bones, crosses into New Mexico, and re-buries them there, thus paralleling the earlier burial of the wolf. He keeps meeting these extremely odd people out in the wilderness who feel the need to explain to him, in deliriously long, wide-ranging monologues, their gnostically inclined ideas of God, History, Man. A spur-of-the-moment decision sends young Billy into Mexico and creates a kind of Bildungsroman-as-lamentation. 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 story is the second installment of McCarthy's "Border Trilogy". Volume One was pretty straightforward, taut and clear in its construction. Doublin Dublin – Finnegan’s Wake and Athens, GA, Louise Gluck Wins 2020 Nobel for Literature, New Road Casebook at a Discount for Members, Hayao Miyazaki Exhibition Planned for LA in April. I am such a fan of Cormac McCarthy. All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing don't have much narrative relation to each other, but Cities of the Plain should definitely go third as it is informed by and brings together main characters from the first two novels. I did love this but found it slightly less successful than the first book in this trilogy. Like a man bent at fixing himself someway in the world. The second novel in McCarthy’s Border Trilogy is not a sequel to All the Pretty Horses, but rather a parallel coming-of-age story. Reading The Crossing, I lost a little piece of my sanity as I traversed Mexican plains with Billy, the ubiquitous dust drying my mouth. Here we have another buldingsroman: a teenage cowboy who rides south into the Mexican frontier, coming of age through scenes of privation and violence. This section also may put readers in mind of Moby-Dick, for as the white whale surfaces out of the primal depths, McCarthy’s she-wolf comes up into the United States from the primitiveness of the mountains of Mexico. http://www.cormacmccarthy.com/wp-content/uploads/CrossingTrans.pdf, [Poll Ballot] The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy - 4 stars, Staff Pick - The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy, This Just In: ‘SNL’ Star Colin Jost Is Seriously Bookish. 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 for more though is all the more powerful for the fact that it's heard in rumours and secondhand recollections.

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