Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Book Review - No Country for Old Men

Finished No Country for Old Men a day or two ago.


It's a strange book of what is essentially Biblical parable, but told in the most simple of ways.

It was strange, on at least a couple of different levels. For instance, there's almost no punctuation in the whole book. Simple sentences, ended in periods only, often with third person dialogue that is never put into quotations. Yet, following the narrative never seems to be much of an issue. This may have been an almost repetitive literary device too, considering the sentence structure and verbiage are absolutely elementary, yet again, this doesn't disappoint the reader, as the settings of the book come through in stark and powerful imagery, stronger than most anything I've read since Moby Dick or Farewell to Arms. It's that good.

The Characters are convincing too, with a rather soft spoken and worldly protagonist dealing himself into a situation with drug runners, despite knowing the consequences of doing so, against the determined psychopath (there's some serious stuff pillaged from Ezekiel, I think), bent on retrieving the drug money that our "hero" steals. The Sheriff (probably the character with the most space dedicated to him, yet instilling less presence) plays into this same book of scripture with his self-revelation on his position in all of the mayhem that ensues, casting himself as the weak, as I see it anyway.

I was surprised at some of the diversionary tactics used as well, an improvised Molotov cocktail with a car, a gas-soaked rag in the filler neck, in front of a drug store, for getting to the good stuff in the back while others put their attention on the fire and explosion out front. Making notes, here.

Good stuff. I very much recommend.

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