Cormac McCarthy "No Country for Old Men"

User avatar
arashi
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 9:33 pm
Location: los angeles, ca

Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:40 am Post

I’m recommending Cormac McCarthy’s “No Country for Old Menâ€
Everybody is in his own dream. The discrepancies that exist between the dreams are the problem. — Kodo Sawaki

Hu
Hugh
Posts: 2444
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:05 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: UK

Wed Jan 02, 2008 9:37 am Post

Have just completed NCFOM, just after finishing "The Road". Appreciated - "enjoyed" is probably not the word - both. What NCFOM lacks in clarity and climax, it gains, I agree, in reader-devastation and depiction of evil.

But for even greater devastation and horror and long-term marks upon the reader's psyche, I doubt if "The Road" can be beaten. Do not read if you do not want a book to gnaw at your consciousness.

I'm now motivated to read his others.

TC
TCole
Posts: 111
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 4:59 am
Location: Ontario, Canada
Contact:

Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:18 pm Post

I was devastated by The Road and have just begun NCFOM. So far I find it less compelling and somewhat disjointed, but I'll stick with it because if it's good enough for the Coen brothers it's probably worth my time.

Also, McCarthy earned a lot of trust credits with The Road. It's impossible to imagine a more haunting book.
Hear the voices of Canadian literature at http://www.authorsaloud.com

User avatar
arashi
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 9:33 pm
Location: los angeles, ca

Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:20 pm Post

Friends who saw the movie (No County…) were surprised when I described how the book affected me. Perhaps translating the story to film softens the impact some. I have no intention of seeing the movie.

I haven't read The Road yet but will.

I really liked Blood Meridian, also quite violent. The Border Trilogy was different. I read the trilogy some time ago. What lingers in my mind was how McCarthy added mystical elements in one of the volumes, though I can’t recall if it was the first or second volume.

arashi
Everybody is in his own dream. The discrepancies that exist between the dreams are the problem. — Kodo Sawaki

User avatar
AmberV
Posts: 24632
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 4:30 am
Platform: Mac + Linux
Location: Ourense, Galiza
Contact:

Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:43 pm Post

I have yet to read the book, but given the descriptions here, I would agree that the movie is probably a "softer" experience. That isn't to say the movie lacked bite! In particular, I felt the crisp dialogue and editing served the darker material surrounding the character, Chigurh, while creating an interesting counterpoint to the sheriff's "one-foot-in-pension-land" narration. The disjointed editing did not bother me, but I see a lot of film, and the device of using un-explained narrative cuts to accent character disillusion is familiar to me. Interesting that the book follows a similar pattern, perhaps? I liked the movie a great deal, and was touched by the final scene. Half of the theatre applauded when the screen went abruptly black, and the other half sat stunned. I think I was doing a bit of both. :)
.:.
Ioa Petra'ka
“Whole sight, or all the rest is desolation.” —John Fowles

Hu
Hugh
Posts: 2444
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:05 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: UK

Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:42 pm Post

I've read that a "Road" movie is rumoured. For me, art house, maybe - Hollywood, no.

But if it's got to be done then I suppose Viggo Mortensen as the father, also rumoured, is probably the best choice: http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/film/2007/12/about_to_hit_the_road.html

Hu
Hugh
Posts: 2444
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:05 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: UK

Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:47 pm Post

I've just re-read parts of NCFOM, and I've revised my opinion of it.

It's as good as "The Road", and in some parts cleverer. It's devastating, though not as devastating as TR. But it's more modulated - for example, contrary to some reviews I've read, there is a climactic confrontation between the chief protagonist and the chief antagonist, but it manages to be one of the most subtle and indirect I've read, whilst full of meaning.

This writer is good! :)

So
Sousy
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:02 pm

Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:08 pm Post

arashi wrote:Friends who saw the movie (No County…) were surprised when I described how the book affected me. Perhaps translating the story to film softens the impact some. I have no intention of seeing the movie.


Wow - I've never read the book, but went to see the film. That film left me absolutely devastated - the final monologue before the credits roll left me sitting in my seat feeling like someone put a concrete block on my chest.

The book is likely more nuanced, but the film was one of the "best" (if I can use that term) in a long, long time. The only thing that ruined the film somewhat was the guy in the row ahead of me inappropriately chuckling at the violent scenes.

User avatar
Gareth
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 1:31 am
Platform: Mac
Location: NZ
Contact:

Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:37 pm Post

AmberV wrote:Half of the theatre applauded when the screen went abruptly black, and the other half sat stunned. I think I was doing a bit of both. :)


That would be the sound of one hand clapping...

Pip pip!

(Just started The Road)
Now available: The Aviator - a speculative fiction involving airships, AIs, and the elixir of life (which is cheese), set in a world being hammered by climate change - The Burning World. "Brilliant and wickedly satirical" - Sonny Whitelaw.

ma
matt
Posts: 1180
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:35 am

Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:42 pm Post

This is one I am thinking about seeing this weekend.

One question though: is it graphically violent, or just emotionally?

I really can't watch films with lots of blood and gore and severed heads and torture actually shown (but I don't mind if it is just implied).

Matt

User avatar
Sean Coffee
Posts: 509
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:10 pm

Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:43 am Post

Matt:

You might want to choose another movie. It's a Coen brothers movie about a deranged killer; you have been warned. While the violence is not "torture porn" (i.e. the "Saw" movies), the violence in No Country is shot in meticulous and loving detail.

Sousy:

I obviously wasn't there to hear the guy chuckle, but you have to admit, the Coens have -- in almost 30 (!) years of making movies -- certainly played their share of violence for laughs. While I understand that NCFOM is a much more "serious" work than, say, Miller's Crossing or even Fargo, there is an air of show-offy cleverness to the movie's violence that those familiar with their work may find legitimately funny.

Sorry that it bothered you -- but hey, you can chalk it up to the great social experience of seeing a movie with a large audience. And at least the guy didn't take a call.

So
Sousy
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:02 pm

Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:01 am Post

Sean Coffee wrote:I obviously wasn't there to hear the guy chuckle, but you have to admit, the Coens have -- in almost 30 (!) years of making movies -- certainly played their share of violence for laughs. While I understand that NCFOM is a much more "serious" work than, say, Miller's Crossing or even Fargo, there is an air of show-offy cleverness to the movie's violence that those familiar with their work may find legitimately funny.


Oh, I know some of the Coen brothers work that is violence meant to be funny in one way or another (nearly every violent scene in Fargo, for example). NCFOM uses violence in a much different fashion, which made the guy laughing somewhat disturbing.

Sorry that it bothered you -- but hey, you can chalk it up to the great social experience of seeing a movie with a large audience. And at least the guy didn't take a call.


I'm just thankful I wasn't in a theater with people yelling at the movie screen. "OH, NO MAN - DON'T GO IN THAT HOTEL ROOM! DAAAAAMN!!!"

So
Sousy
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:02 pm

Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:07 am Post

matt wrote:This is one I am thinking about seeing this weekend.

One question though: is it graphically violent, or just emotionally?

I really can't watch films with lots of blood and gore and severed heads and torture actually shown (but I don't mind if it is just implied).

Matt


It's a Coen brothers movie, so you do see some pretty violent scenes. If it helps, it's violence "with a purpose", not just violence for the sake of being violent. (To me, it seemed that the violence was used to remind you of the type of character that Chigurh really is.)

ma
matt
Posts: 1180
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 9:35 am

Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:21 am Post

You know, I had never heard of the Coen brothers until just now.

But I have seen and own Fargo, having been given it for a birthday or Christmas by a relative. I could put up with that, although I didn't exactly like it.

I think I will delay seeing NCFOM until it is out on DVD, when I can watch it at home and switch it off/leave the room if I need to.

Maybe I will read the book first instead.

Matt

Hu
Hugh
Posts: 2444
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:05 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: UK

Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:05 am Post

Having read the book (see above), I've now seen the movie.

I recommend it not just as an entertaining 100 minutes or so, but, for those like me who are familiar with the book, as an interesting study on the differences between novel and screenplay.

As adaptations go, the film is one of the most faithful I can remember - even, arguably, to the possible detriment of what the "Hollywood" idea of the movie might have been. Where amendments have been made to the plot and narrative they are entirely logical. Some subtleties of characterisation have inevitably been lost; the only character I think is damaged by this is the sheriff's. The dialogue remains remarkable; sometimes macabre, witty and laden with sub-text all at the same time.

It deserves its Oscar nominations.