In All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy begins his Border Trilogy with a coming of age tale that is a departure from the bizarre richness and mysterious violence of his early novels, yet in many ways preserves the mystery and the richness in a more understated form. Like Blood Meridian, this novel follows a young man's journey to the regions of the unknown. John Grady Cole, more heroic than the protagonists of McCarthy's earlier novels, confronts the evil that is an inescapable part of the universe as well as the evil that grows out of his own ignorance and pride. His story is told in a style often restrained and simple, embedded with lyrical passages that echo his dreams and memory.
In the spring of 1948 on a small Texas ranch, sixteen year old John Grady Cole attends the funeral of his grandfather, with whom he has lived since his parents' separation. The grandfather's ranch has been left to John Grady's mother, a small-time actress who has no interest in it and will sell it. John Grady's father, psychologically damaged by World War II and now physically ill as well, tells his son goodbye. With no apparent future in Texas, and sensing the threat of the new era to the traditional life he values, John Grady urges his old friend Rawlins to accompany him to Mexico. There, John Grady will find that his innocence, or ignorance, will ultimately lead him close to destruction.
Before reaching the border they meet Jimmy Blevins, a dangerous young boy on a magnificent horse. Even though Cole and Rawlins do not trust Blevins and are sure his horse is stolen, they allow him to join them despite their doubts. As they ride into Mexico, they realize that they are no longer in a world that they can understand. When Blevins' clothes and horse disappear during a thunderstorm, they search a nearby Mexican town, where they find the clothes and finally the horse. In spite of Rawlins' voiced forebodings, Blevins steals the horse back, and as John Grady and Rawlins flee the town Blevins gallops past them, pursued by armed men.
John Grady and Rawlins ride south, coming at last to a ranch, the Hacienda de Nuestra Senora de la Purisima Conception. As they talk with the vaqueros about the possibility of employment, John Grady sees a beautiful girl on a black horse, Alejandra, the daughter of hacendado Don Hector Rocha y Villareal. The heir of an aristocratic family, Don Hector is avidly interested in breeding wild mountain horses with his own stock, so John Grady and Rawlins join the vaqueros; John Grady amazes everyone with his ability to break the wild horses quickly and gently.
When Don Hector questions Cole about his past, he omits the episode with Blevins and the fact that he and Rawlins may now be wanted as accomplices in Blevins's horse theft. Concerned about his blossoming relationship with Alejandra, Duena Alfonsa, Don Hector's aunt and Alejandra's godmother, warns John Grady away from the rebellious girl, and informs him that Don Hector will never allow her to marry an American, especially a poor one. But Alejandra comes to him one night and they become lovers.
A few days later John Grady and Rawlins are arrested and taken to a jail in Encantada, where Blevins is already imprisoned for the murder of three men. While the three Americans are transported to the state prison at Saltillo, Blevins is taken from the group and shot. At the prison, they are questioned and beaten, and Rawlins is injured seriously. John Grady, attacked by another prisoner, whom he must kill, learns that evil exists not only in the world but in himself. When he and Rawlins are suddenly released as mysteriously as they were arrested, Rawlins returns to Texas.
But John Grady goes back to La Purisima to search for Alejandra, who is not there. Once again Duena Alfonsa makes clear to him the impossibility of the match. She tells her own story of the power of ignorance and evil (her love for a man who was killed by a mob after helping depose the dictator Diaz) and of her determination to protect Alejandra. Although John Grady does meet Alejandra one last time at a hotel in Zacatecas, it is only as a farewell: she chooses her family's approval (and perhaps their money). In pain, Cole returns to Encantada where he finds Blevins's horse, innocent like all animals and yet the cause of much death and loss. John Grady captures both the horse and the brutal police captain who shot Blevins, and heads homeward. En route, the captain is seized by brigands with a score to settle with him, and John Grady finally returns to Texas.
He finds even less there than before: his father and his childhood nurse are both dead. He rides on with the stolen horse, seeking to restore it to its rightful owner. John Grady has learned, but not yet enough; he has left home and returned a changed man, but there is no home to receive him. All the Pretty Horses is a hero's quest without a neat resolution, a book in which the strange light of mythic struggles shines through the quick-paced adventure.
The Border Trilogy continues with Volume Two, The Crossing, and concludes with the third volume, Cities of the Plain.
A richly imagined novel of the Old West, as spare and vivid as a high plains sunset, from one of the world's most talented performers.
It was a long time ago, now, and there were many gunfights to follow, but I remember as well as I remember anything the first time I saw Virgil Cole shoot. Time slowed down for him. Always steady, and never fast...
When it comes to writing, Robert B. Parker knows no boundaries. From the iconic Spenser detective series and the novels featuring Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone, to the groundbreaking historical novel Double Play, Parker's imagination has taken readers from Boston to Brooklyn and back again. In Appaloosa, fans are taken on another trip, to the untamed territories of the West during the 1800s.
When Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch arrive in Appaloosa, they find a small, dusty town suffering at the hands of renegade rancher Randall Bragg, a man who has so little regard for the law that he has taken supplies, horses, and women for his own and left the city marshal and one of his deputies for dead. Cole and Hitch, itinerant lawmen, are used to cleaning up after opportunistic thieves, but in Bragg they find an unusually wily adversary-one who raises the stakes by playing not with the rules, but with emotions.
This is Robert B. Parker at his storytelling best.
"The fulfilled renown of Moby-Dick and of As I Lay Dying is augmented by Blood Meridian, since Cormac McCarthy is the worthy disciple both of Melville and Faulkner," writes esteemed literary scholar Harold Bloom in his Introduction to the Modern Library edition. "I venture that no other living American novelist, not even Pynchon, has given us a book as strong and memorable."
Cormac McCarthy's masterwork, Blood Meridian, chronicles the brutal world of the Texas-Mexico borderlands in the mid-nineteenth century. Its wounded hero, the teenage Kid, must confront the extraordinary violence of the Glanton gang, a murderous cadre on an official mission to scalp Indians and sell those scalps. Loosely based on fact, the novel represents a genius vision of the historical West, one so fiercely realized that since its initial publication in 1985 the canon of American literature has welcomed Blood Meridian to its shelf.
"A classic American novel of regeneration through violence," declares Michael Herr. "McCarthy can only be compared to our greatest writers."
Territorial Marshals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are back in Appaloosa, where their work enforcing the law has been exceptionally quiet. All that is about to change. An ominous storm rolls in, and along with it a band of night riders with a devious scheme, who show up at the Rio Blanco camp, where a three-hundred-foot bridge is under construction. Appaloosa’s Sheriff Sledge Driskill and his deputies are the first to respond, but as the storm grows more threatening, news of troubles at the bridge escalate and the Sheriff and his deputies go missing. Virgil and Everett saddle up to sort things out but before they do the hard drinking, Beauregard Beauchamp arrives in Appaloosa with his Theatrical Extravaganza troupe and the promise of the best in lively entertainment west of the Mississippi. With the troupe comes a lovely and mysterious fortune-teller who is set on saving Everett from imminent but indefinable danger. The trouble at the bridge, the missing lawmen, the new arrivals, and Everett’s shoot-out in front of Hal’s Cafe aren’t the only things on Cole and Hitch’s plate as a gang of unsavory soldiers ease into town with a shady alibi, shadier intentions, and a soon-to-be-discovered wake of destruction. As clouds over Appaloosa continue to gather, things get much worse for Cole and Hitch...
No one breaks out of the brutal convict labor camp at Five Shadows -- but Corey Bowen is ready to die trying. They framed him to put him in there, and beat him bloody and nearly dead after his last escape attempt. He'll have help this time -- from a lady with murder on her mind and a debt to pay back. Because freedom isn't enough for primed dynamite like Bowen. And he won't leave the corrupt desert hell behind him until a few scores are settled…permanently.
John Russell has been raised as an Apache. Now he's on his way to live as a white man. But when the stagecoach passengers learn who he is, they want nothing to do with him -- until outlaws ride down on them and they must rely on Russell's guns and his ability to lead them out of the desert. He can't ride with them, but they must walk with him or die.
The first in a series of collections of the author's westerns, written early in his spectacularly successful career, contains "Bounty Hunters," "Forty Lashes Less One," and "Gunsights," featuring a Bonny-and-Clyde pair of gunslingers. Original.
Brendan Early and Dana Moon have tracked renegade Apaches together and gunned down scalp hunters to become Arizona legends. But now they face each other from opposite sides of what newspapers are calling The Rincon Mountain War. Brendan and a gang of mining company gun thugs are dead set on running Dana and "the People of the Mountain" from their land. The characters are unforgettable, the plot packed with action and gunfights from beginning to end.
The time is 1902, the setting eastern Oregon. Magic Child, a fifteen-year-old Indian girl, wanders into the wrong whorehouse looking for the right men to kill the monster that lives in the ice caves under the basement of Miss Hawkline's yellow house. What follows is a series of wild, witty, and bizarre encounters.
WANTED - DEAD OR ALIVE!
John Cardinal - gray eyes, red hair, six foot tall, 175 pounds.... and "vicious with a fast gun!"
One Thousand Dollars Reward! For the cold-blooded murder of a U.S. Marshal! For bank-robbery! Cattle-rustling! Stagecoach holdup! Horse-thieving! And for every other kind of skulduggery known!
But for John Cardinal himself, there was one terrible irony - he was innocent of all of those things, but determined to follow a fugitive's trail to a showdown with the false law of a passel of pistol-toting pursuers.
In Louis L’Amour takes Nolan Sackett on a dangerous journey into family betrayal, greed, and murder.
When Nolan Sackett met Penelope Hume in a cantina at Borregos Plaza, the girl immediately captured his attention. That she was heir to a lost cache of gold didn’t make her any less desirable. But Penelope isn’t the only one after her grandfather’s treasure; Sylvie, Ralph, and Andrew Karnes, distant relatives with no legal claim to the gold, are obsessed with claiming the Hume fortune for themselves. Their all-consuming sense of entitlement recklessly drives them to ambush and murder. Even if Sackett and Penelope are fortunate enough to escape this deadly trio and find the canyon where the gold is hidden, Indian legend has it that nothing will live there—no birds or insects. They say it is filled with the bones of men.
From the Publisher
He could outride and outshoot five men, but he was a fool for a lady in distress. The posse was hot on his trail for murder when he took time out to rescue Sylvie from a gang of desperadoes. It wasn't till she'd bushwhacked him with a shotgun and tried to poison him that he realized she was up to no good. And no sooner he had he shot his way out of her clutches than he met Penelope. After he'd heard her sad story, he should have cut and run, but somehow a Sackett never seem s to learn the easy way.
From the Inside Flap
Filled with action, adventure, mystery, and historical detail, the Sackett saga is an unforgettable achievement by one of America's greatest storytellers. In , Louis L'Amour tells the tale of a man who lived by his own law-even if it meant being branded an outlaw.
Lost gold on the Santa Fe trail.
Nolan Sackett was running ahead of a posse when he stopped to help a wagon stuck on the plains.But why was it stranded in the middle of nowhere with a beautiful-and murderous-young woman? Nolan was trying to find out when he ran into Penelope Hume, another attractive lady. She was the key to a cache of gold hidden in the mountains. But to get the rightful heiress there first, Nolan would have to help her beat out jealous relations, paid assassins, and a killer without a conscience...all maddened by gold fever.
In , Louis L’Amour delivers a robust story of two brothers searching to learn the fate of their missing father—and finding themselves in a struggle just to stay alive.
Orrin and Tell Sackett had come to exotic New Orleans looking for answers to their father’s disappearance twenty years before. To uncover the truth, the brothers enlisted the aid of a trailwise Gypsy and a mysterious voodoo priest as they sought to re-create their father’s last trek. But Louisiana is a dangerous land, and with one misstep the brothers could disappear in the bayous before they even set foot on the trail—a trail that led to whatever legacy their father had left behind . . . and a secret worth killing for.
In , Louis L’Amour’s solitary wandering Sackett brothers make a stand together—to save one of their own.
The rare letters Tell Sackett received always had trouble inside. And the terse note from his cousin Logan is no exception. Logan faces starvation or a hanging if Tell can’t drive a herd of cattle from Kansas to British Columbia before winter. To get to Logan, he must brave prairie fires, buffalo stampedes, and Sioux war parties. But worse trouble waits, for a mysterious enemy shadows Sackett’s every move across the Dakotas and the Canadian Rockies. Tell Sackett has never abandoned another Sackett in need. He will bring aid to Logan—or die trying.
From the Publisher
The Sackett Brothers didn't know what kind of trouble had Cousin Logan treed up yonder but he needed beef cattle badly. So with Tell Sackett ramrodding, Tyrel, Orrin, and Cap Rountree ride north to the wild country--pushing 1100 head of fat steers across the wide Dakota plains toward the mountains of far western Canada. Past Sioux, past Logan's treacherous enemies, through trails no cattle had ever crossed, the Sacketts drive on. Because when you step on the toes of one Sackett they all come running.
From the Inside Flap
The Sackett Brothers didn't know what brand of trouble had Cousin Logan stirred up, but he needed beef cattle badly. So with Tell Sackett ramrodding, Tyrel, Orrin, and Cap Rountree ride north to the wild country--pushing 1100 head of fat steers across the wide Dakota plains toward the mountains of far western Canada. Past Sioux, past Logan's treacherous enemies, through trails no cattle had ever crossed, the Sacketts drive on. Because when you step on the toes of one Sackett they all come running.
One of the outstanding narratives of our time, the chronicle of the Sackett family is one of the great achievements of one of our finest storytellers. In Lonely on the Mountain, the solitary, wandering Sackett brothers make a stand together...to save one of their own.
A Sackett's Word.
The rare letters Tell Sackett received always had trouble inside. And the terse note from his cousin Logan was no exception. Logan faced starvation or a hanging if Tell couldn't drive a herd of cattle from Kansas to British Columbia before winter. To get to Logan, he must brave prairie fires, buffalo stampedes, and Sioux war parties.But worse trouble waits, for a mysterious enemy shadows Sackett's every move across the Dakotas and the Canadian Rockies. Tell Sackett has never abandoned another Sackett in need. He will bring aid to Logan--or die trying.
The Greatest Western Writer Of The 21st Century
With his monumental and series, William W. Johnstone has become America's most popular Western writer. Now, with J.A. Johnstone, he unleashes the Sidewinders, two honest Texas cowboys with an uncanny knack for lighting wildfires everywhere they go...
Home Sweet Deadly Home
If there's anything better than coming home to Texas, it's getting paid to do it. For Scratch Morton and Bo Creel, always on the hunt for funds, the job is taking three vicious criminals from Arkansas to Tyler, Texas for trial. Little do they know that one of the criminals, the one that's a beautiful woman, is the most dangerous of all. Soon the journey home turns into a race for buried treasure, a shoot-out, and another double cross—until Scratch and Bo are making one last mad, bullet-sprayed dash through the land of their birth... or the land of their death...
Until he hung up his gunbelts to raise a family, Smoke Jensen was the last mountain man...and a force of nature. But Lee Slater and his gang of lowlife desperadoes didn't know that. Stirring up a motherlode of trouble for the retired gunslinger was Slater's first mistake. Shooting Smoke Jensen's wife Sally was his second. He wasn't going to live to make a third.
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