No Country for Old Men - Cormac McCarthy

If I had to sum up NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN in one word that word would be: Luck. Hell, why not two words: Shitty Luck. From coin tosses to car wrecks, Murphy's Law is in full effect in this literary novel. I had big fun reading about Anton Chigurh, the same kind of enjoyment one gets while watching Anthony Hopkins portray Hannibal Lecter. Chigurh's so bad he's good. Entertaining, in the most disturbing sense. 


Now, a word on the book itself. I listened to the audio book, which is perfectly narrated by Tom Stechschulte. Yeah, don't try to pronounce that, you'll give yourself a stroke. Anywho, if it wasn't for Tom's amazing performance I'd probably have given this book fewer stars. Maybe as few as two, because of the way it is written. Not the style or voice. Not even the story. But the structure of the writing. First, as many of you already know, Cormac McCarthy doesn't use quotation marks. They must've killed his favorite puppy or some such, because the author simply refuses to make his dialogue clear and concise by adding them. He's not the first douchepickle to omit them, but McCarthy writes in such a way that they are wholly needed, yet disregarded like so much trash. Lemme tell you why. Everyone in this book speaks the same way, which is to say they speak with a southern accent. That is, if you read the book. However, if you listen to the audiobook, you can tell everyone apart, Then you have the annoyance of starting chapters without knowing whose head you're in. Many chapters start with "He did this," and it's not until the second or third page (not parapgrah, but PAGE) that you realize you're not in the same person's skull anymore. The narrator helps with this too, as usually there's dialogue to clue you into the who of the situation, but if it wasn't for Mister Tom Unpronounceable-Last-Name, I'd have been fucking lost. No map. No compass. A volleyball named Wilson as my only friend. 


Now, I gave NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN four stars but it's actually more of a two and a half or three-star read for me. Once again, I'll explain. When the book was over, I asked myself a series of questions. Was I entertained? Yes. Was I bored? Once or twice, but those times were short lived. Would you read this again? No. Would you recommend this book to others? Only in audio format. Do you see my dilemma yet? I know most of you (at least most of my followers on Booklikes and Goodreads) either don't listen to audio books or only listen to them on occasion, so if you're one of those people, don't bother with this book. The way it is written is quite annoying, unless you like constantly guessing who's talking and whose head you're in. But the Audible edition is amazeballs, and definitely worth four balls of gas.


I have few comments on the story itself. I was engaged, and the characters were fan-fucking-tastic... but, once again, only in the audio book. Tom Jibber-Jabber-Gibberish uses a full range of voices while narrating, whereas McCarthy treats most of them as toss-offs, only describing the way they dress and then moving on. In the audio book, every character has their own personality, and I have to wonder where they came from, because they were lifeless in the text. 


In summation: Tom Fickle-Flack-Gobbildy-Gook makes this a terrific read. The villain is an unsettling mess of a psychopath, and many times I wanted to pause the book simply to get the fuck away from him. Sheriff Bell's first-person introspection was my favorite part. Carly Jean's fate sucked, and damn-near made me cry. Grab the audio book and pass on the text version. Tom Shizzle-fo-rizzle is where it's at.