Cities of the Plain

Front Cover
Knopf, 1998 - Fiction - 291 pages
7 Reviews
In this final volume of The Border Trilogy, two men marked by the boyhood adventures of All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing now stand together, in the still point between their vivid pasts and uncertain futures, to confront a country changing or already changed beyond recognition.

In the fall of 1952, John Grady Cole and Billy Parham--nine years apart in age, yet with a kinship greater than perhaps they know--are cowboys on a New Mexico ranch encroached upon from the north, at Alamogordo, by the military. To the south, always on the horizon are the mountains of Mexico, looming over El Paso, Ciudad Juárez and all the cities of the plain.
Bound by nature to horses and cattle and range, these two discover that ranchlife domesticity is compromised, for them and the men they work with, by a geometry of loss afflicting old and young alike, those who have survived it and anyone about to try. And what draws one of them across the border again and again, what would bind "those disparate but fragile worlds," is a girl seized by ill fortune, and a love as dangerous as it is inevitable.

This story of friendship and passion is enfolded in a narrative replete with character and place and event--a blind musician, a marauding pack of dogs, curio shops and ancient petroglyphs, a precocious shoe-shine boy, trail drives from the century before, midnight on the highway--and with landforms and wildlife and horses and men, most of all men and the women they love and mourn, men and their persistence and memories and dreams.

With the terrible beauty of Cities of the Plain--with its magisterial prose, humor both wry and out-right, fierce conviction and unwavering humanity--Cormac McCarthy has completed a landmark of our literature and times, an epic that reaches from tales of the old west, the world past, into the new millennium, the world to come.

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Review: Cities of the Plain (The Border Trilogy #3)

User Review  - Adrian - Goodreads

Whew. Read the trilogy over a span of three or four days. What a ride. Beautiful writing as always. This one has more philosophical discourse on life and death, much more so than the other two. A tragic story, but one which is cathartic and oddly dignifying. Read full review

Review: Cities of the Plain (The Border Trilogy #3)

User Review  - Kyle Wright - Goodreads

A western version of Romeio and Julite. Good, but a tad bit lolng. The insightful descriptions were very good. Read full review

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About the author (1998)

Cormac McCarthy received the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for All the Pretty Horses.

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