The Electric Commentary

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

No Country For Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy

I've not seen the movie. This is just the book.

This is a hard book to talk about without giving away important details. I'll do my best. But you might want to skip it.

Let's talk about Chigurh. He's the fella in the movie with the funny hair. For just over half of the book, Chigurh is merely an assassin. He is a particularly invincible, psychopathic assassin, but that's basically it. At one point, however, Chigurh is shown to be more. He's not just a killer, he's a force of nature. He's inevitable.

Ed Tom Bell is the sheriff, charged more with cleaning up this mess than solving it. He's the opposite of Captain Ahab. He knows the white whale is out there, but that it's best to stay away. Bell is truly the main character. He watches, he tries to help, but there's really not much he can do.

Moss is the one he's watching. He's over his head, he just doesn't know how much. He's found some ill-gotten money, and he's on the run.

But let's get back to Chigurh. Chigurh is the law. What he says he does, no matter what. Several times he has no reason to kill, other than a prior commitment. It would be easier for him to walk away. Chigurh never goes back on a commitment. Not ever, not for any reason.

It's super violent and totally unpredictable, but I'm guessing it sheds some light on what I hear is a strange ending in the movie. So far, it's the second best book I've read this year.

3 Comments:

  • what's your best book of the year?

    By Anonymous jbon, at 10:44 AM  

  • See the post above this one.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 11:19 AM  

  • I hear that McCarthy's The Road is an all time classic.

    I felt the same way about No Country for Old Men the movie as I felt about the other critic's darling There Will be Blood. Both are amazing technical feats but neither plot did much for me.

    With that said, I've only seen each once and I'm a firm believer that one needs to see a film twice to properly evaluate it. Hopefully I'll pick up on what I missed the second time around.

    By Anonymous Rashid Muhammad, at 8:11 AM  

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