No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

No Country for Old Men - Cormac McCarthy

‘What’s the most you ever saw lost on a coin toss?’

 

No Country for Old Men joins the illustrious company of books that I've reread and more than deserves its place there, this is simply one of the most intense pieces of fiction I’ve read and narrated by Tom Stechschulte who I now rate as highly as the fantastic Will Patton.

 

There is just so much that makes this story, the dialogue centred around the hitman Chigurh is the highlight for me. Sheer menace and danger epitomizes this man, if ever the dialogue contained in a book could put you walking on the precipice of a perilous encounter, this is it. The only character that comes close to this is Preacher Jack Collins from James Lee Burke's Rain Gods and is narrated by the same man.

 

The audio highlights the threat this character portrays, the conversation between Chigurh and the store owner at the beginning of the story, over the toss of a coin is just disturbing, incredibly tense and your attention is riveted, as is the scene with Wells the second hitman, taut with not a waver in sight.

 

Finally his conversation with the young woman and wife of Llewelyn Moss, something he doesn't have to do but something his own morally disquieting fucking code won't allow him not to do. And once more, all on the toss of a coin, life or death.

 

'Every moment in your life is a turning and every one a choosing. Somewhere you made a choice. All followed to this. The accounting is scrupulous. The shape is drawn. No line can be erased. I had no belief in your ability to move a coin to your bidding. How could you? A person’s path through the world seldom changes and even more seldom will it change abruptly. And the shape of your path was visible from the beginning.'

 

No Country for Old Men is one of the most gripping stories I think I've ever read, my review again just highlights the parts that grabbed me and slapped me round the face, there's of course a few more things going on but most of you know that already. The film dialogue is copied almost word for word in many of the scenes involving the hitman and that in itself shows just how potent the story is.

Intense and yeah, fucking powerful stuff.