Skip to main content
PBS logo

Search - No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men
No Country for Old Men
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, stumbles upon a transaction gone horribly wrong. Finding bullet-ridden bodies, several kilos of heroin, and a caseload of cash, he faces a choice - leave the scene as he found it, or cut the money and run. Choosing the latter, he knows, will change everything. And so begins a terrifying chain ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780330511216
ISBN-10: 0330511211
Publication Date: 1/1/2010
Pages: 340
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.

4.3 stars, based on 6 ratings
Publisher: Picador
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 9
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed No Country for Old Men on
Helpful Score: 14
Excellent story. Has much violence but does not overly dwell on gory details. Well edited, moves along at a brisk pace. Comes close to a classic good verse evil story.

Basic situation. After drug deal gone bad, likable Llewelyn Moss finds load of cash and decides to keep it - poor decision. Hit man, sociopath and aspiring angel of death, Anton Chigurh - pronounced like sugar - pursues money and Moss with real terminator like relentlessness. Old time Sheriff Ed Tom Bell pursues both hoping to rescue Moss from the evil that follows.

McCarthy does not use quotation marks, I did not find that a problem after I read on for awhile. Expect some typical McCarthy philosophizing (via Sheriff's thoughts and reflections) as well. Recently made into an equally good movie by Coen brothers, who also made FARGO. Movie won Academy Award for Best Picture. Coen Brothers won Best Director and Adapted Screenplay.
wordyone avatar reviewed No Country for Old Men on + 112 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
A "good old boy" finds a truck surrounded by dead men and, inside, two million dollars. He takes the money and sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence.
A violent, sometimes disturbing book, but a good one with a story that keeps you turning the pages to the end.
RobInDenver avatar reviewed No Country for Old Men on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7

McCarthy is, hands down, the U.S.'s most important living novelist. Pynchon, Schmynchon. NCFOM is spare and vivid. It's chilling and funny. It's innocent and corrupt.

The story as reviewed by others is just the surface. It's also a story of fathers and sons, regret, futility, and --- in a perverse way --- hopefulness. I loved this book so much, I read it twice back-to-back.
reviewed No Country for Old Men on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I saw the movie first, but even that prior knowledge did not prepare me for the impact of the writing. Spectacular and so totally original. Surprisingly, the movie stays very true to the book (deftly editing for length, of course).

The best part about reading the book, for me, was the narration by the sheriff. It is a person speaking to you, not a character in a book, with all of the 'folksy' turns of phrase and a simple, authentic point of view that makes me want to sit, have a cup of coffee and talk for hours. Thoroughly enjoyable read.
reviewed No Country for Old Men on + 264 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This book has been made into a movie, and while I would not want to see it, the book made excellent reading. It is exceptionally violent, but McCarthy gets the reader to deeply care about the characters and what is happening to them. His style of writing is at first a litle disconcerting, since he leaves out most punctuation marks, i.e. apostrophies, quotation marks, and even some upper case. This is at first difficult to get used to and at times confusing as to who is actually doing the talking. But there are some pages of conversation that consist of all short sentences, and the reader can appreciate the absence of clutter the quotation marks would create.

The story flows quickly and is exciting. It is told from the perspective of a Texas sheriff who must try to pursue the drug dealers that left bodies in the desert outside his small town. One of the locals, Moss, becomes involved when he takes the drug money he finds at the site of the murders. From then on, it is a case of cat and mouse with Moss attempting to escape the drug overlords who are trying to kill him and get their money back, with the sheriff always just a step behind.

This is the second Cormac McCarthy book I have read. I don't normally read this type of book, but definitly liked the excitement and fast pace. Most of his books are centered in the southwest part of the country - New Mexico, Texas, etc. I will read this author again. D.
Read All 32 Book Reviews of "No Country for Old Men"

Please Log in to Rate these Book Reviews

reviewed No Country for Old Men on + 6 more book reviews
This is the first of McCarthy's books I've read. He has a very different writing style from what I am accustomed to. It is rather graphic and violent so be forewarned.
crytal avatar reviewed No Country for Old Men on + 155 more book reviews
This was a good book. It took me a while to get used to his writing style of no/little punctuation (quotation marks, commas, apostraphies etc.) I was less excited about the parts of the book that were being narrated by the Sheriff than the actual story. I was also very unhappy with how the book ended. Still, it was a good book and I'll see the movie which is supposed to be great and dead on with the book.
reviewed No Country for Old Men on + 174 more book reviews
This is the first of McCarthy's books I've read. I started to read it about a year ago, gave up on the beginning of it and then picked it up again yesterday. Despite finding the beginning hard to get into, once I started to get to know Moss and his wife and found out what happened with the deaths in the desert, I was on my way to discovering a new author and a different style of writing. I actually didn't notice the lack of punctuation for a while. It made reading easier.

McCarthy's simple style in this book was easy to read and follow. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell's thoughts were some of the best parts of the book for me. Although he struggled with his guilt over what he had done in the war and felt he didn't deserve a medal, he still remained a good man and really loved his wife and was loved in return. It's hard for older people, even though Bell isn't that old, to accept changes around them. Bell hadn't grown up with the drug problem and all the crime and violence that came with it. Now he was in the middle of several murders that occured over a large amount of drugs that were in one of the vehicles and were taken, and a lot of money that Moss had stolen and was on the run to keep. No matter where he went, a murderous man named Chigurh was after him as well as a hit man named Wells. Between the two of them they left a trail of death behind them a mile long.

Some of the things that Moss did didn't make a lot of sense to me. He was good at hiding the money, but not at thinking things through. Did he really think he would get to the point where the two killers wouldn't be looking for him and wouldn't retaliate on others? It was fairly easy to see what was going to happen, especially when he took the hitchhiking girl with him and put her life at risk.

I'm glad I read this book first. I intend to read more of McCarthy's books now that I've read this one. Usually I read the book before seeing the movie, but I saw the movie and want to see it again now that I've read the book. Four stars for this one.

(My amazon review of this book)
reviewed No Country for Old Men on + 46 more book reviews
While I fully realize that not all stories have a happy ending, I really prefer them. This is a great book otherwise, very well written with the suspense building all the way to the (unsatisfying) ending. McCarthy's style of writing hasn't improved any -- still no quotes or quotation marks or much else in the way of punctuation. It makes reading a little confusing at times because you lose track of who is speaking. But as always, his writing keeps you reading. If I had liked the ending better I'd have given it 5 stars.
runningfromzombies avatar reviewed No Country for Old Men on + 2 more book reviews
No Country for Old Men started out extraordinary and I couldn't put it down. Moss and his wife were two of my favorite characters. I loved Texas even before reading this book, but would love to go back even more now after finishing it. I thought the ending dragged for a bit in the last few chapters. The rest of the book sucked me in.
reviewed No Country for Old Men on
Great book- Cormac McCarthy is a master of writing.
reviewed No Country for Old Men on + 18 more book reviews
Interesting Read