Susan Batori Batori din Ekauni, Bihar 824113, India
It's difficult to imagine The Road, the first McCarthy novel I ever read, as anything other than an indirect sequel to this, his immediate prior novel. As in The Road (and indeed as in all of McCarthy's work that I've read) death hangs over every page of the story, as does the steady spiral downward. No Country For Old Men indulges quite a bit in visions of American society slouching off toward Bethlehem, delivered from the wearied perspective of a man who's spent his entire life trying to patch the leaks in a sinking ship. The Road simply fast-forwards the narrative a couple of decades and finishes the story in the only way No Country's protagonist can imagine it ending. Both are stark meditations on the nature of evil, the question of faith, and the coldness of the external world; both flirt with hope but wallow in despair; both are beautifully written, lean and sharp and cunning. I read this in anticipation of the Coen Bros. adaptation and I honestly don't know if they can realize the full potential of the novel, talented as they are. Here's hoping.