Cities of the Plain, Paperback
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Volume Three of the Border Trilogy In Cities of the Plain, two men marked by the boyhood adventures of All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing now stand together, between their vivid pasts and uncertain futures, to confront a country changing beyond recognition.

In the fall of 1952, John Grady Cole and Billy Parham are cowboys on a New Mexico ranch encroached upon from the north by the military.

On the southern horizon are the mountains of Mexico, where one of the men is drawn again and again, in this story of friendships and passion, to a love as dangerous as it is inevitable. In a lovely and terrible landscape of natural beauty and impending loss we find John Grady; a young cowboy of the old school, trusted by men and horses, and a fragile young woman, whose salvation becomes his obsession ...McCarthy makes the sweeping plains a miracle' Scotsman Like the Western settings he captures to perfection, his work is both heart-wrenchingly beautiful and uncompromisingly brutal' Express




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he concluding part in the Border Trilogy brings together the main character from each of the preceding novels, John Grady Cole from All the Pretty Horses, and Billy Parham from The Crossing. It is set after the war, John Grady is nineteen and Billy some ten years older, they are working together on a ranch at a time when the traditional life of the cowboy is threatened. This book is very much about the friendship between these two young men, a friendship closer perhaps than they realise, with Billy seeing himself very much as looking out for John Grady. The story centres around their life on the ranch and John Grady's ill-advised love for a young prostitute. We get to know also their co-workers on the ranch, and along the way there are little vignettes involving additional characters very much in the vein of the other books in the Trilogy. Cities of the Plain is every bit as good as the preceding books, beautifully written the sparse prose yet evokes the setting and the life of these men in a time of change. It is a most enjoyable read, there is humour, but is also heart-warming and at times heart-rending, deep in meaning; a worthy conclusion to a superb Trilogy.

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