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No Country For Old Men - Preview

No Country For Old Men

Preview by Jack Foley

NO Country For Old Men is a 2005 novel by American author Cormac McCarthy. Its title comes from the poem Sailing to Byzantium by William Butler Yeats.

The book begins as Llewlyn 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 of events, in which each participant seems determined to answer the question that one asks another: how does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?

McCarthy is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist who has written 10 novels in the Southern Gothic, western, and post-apocalyptic genres. He has also written plays and screenplays.

Literary critic Harold Bloom has named him as one of the four major American novelists of his time, along with Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, and Philip Roth.

No Country For Old Men is widely considered to be his best work and has recently been turned into a movie by the Coen brothers, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem.

In book form, it was described by the Independent on Sunday as “a severed head and shoulders over anything else written in America this year”.

While The Times declared it to be “a Western thriller with a racy plot and punchy dialogue, perfect for a lazy Sunday”.

The Herald, meanwhile, wrote: “An utterly absorbing, chilling tale… One of the most sinister characters in modern American fiction.”

Read an extract from the novel