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Book Review of “All the Pretty Horses”

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All the Pretty Horses27 March 2014

review by Anne van Oorschot

On Tuesday, February  25th, 4 of the faithful book club members gathered to discuss All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy.  Sondra – who had selected the book – was unable to attend due to an unexpected stay in the hospital. Fortunately, she was back home & on the mend by the 25th, and even send some discussion questions! McCarthy’s award winning book tells the story of 16 year old Texan, John Grady, who leaves for Mexico in search of the ranch work with horses that he loves when his family’s ranch is sold. All would have been well had he & his best friend not been joined by a dubious young companion with a superb horse and an all-encompassing fear of lightening?! Of course, it was the affair John began with the Mexican rancher’s daughter that really sealed his fate!

While we liked the book overall, there were a number of critical notes. The book was rather slow moving with quite some description regarding riding on the desert plains – kind of hard to make the endless plains, rises and scrub brush sound varied. The author’s decision to do away with punctuation, (“Who needs commas and quotation marks?”) was also found to be a bit annoying.

A movie was made of the book, starring Matt Damen and Penelope Cruz, which we thought would be fun to see and compare to the book. Always interesting to see what the movie  adds or leaves out of the book. So we gathered on April 1 to do that – no joke intended J! We met at Anne’s house and the evening was a combined effort: Anne made Mexican sombrero pasta, oddly filled with Greek feta and ricotta (talk about an international meal!) Anita brought Mexican munchies and a delicious salad and Sondra provided all the fixin’s for  Margaritas. It was a fun and delicious evening…and the movie was good as well. The slow moving nature of the book disappeared in the movie while the key elements of the book were still in place, making for a good transition. Two fun and successful evenings with TIC readers!

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