I absolutely loved the Coen Brothers film of the same name. The novel is even better, even though the Coens did a fantastic job with it. Pretty damn faithful. But if you haven’t read this novel, do yourself a favor and do so immediately.
Those who saw the film already know the plot of this. For those who didn’t, “No Country For Old Men” is about a welder named Llewellyn Moss who discovers the carnage of a drug deal gone bad out in the desert while hunting. Among the carnage is a satchel full of money. He decides to take it. This decision has lethal consequences not only on himself, but his family and a bevy of other players as well.
To me, this novel is a sort of dark and twisted update of an old Western. It has many of those elements but it is brilliantly disguised by contemporary concerns. There is also a strong “Noir” element to this book as well, which made it a very enjoyable read to me. McCarthy’s prose style in this novel is sparse, stark, and very stripped down. You get one sense reading this novel, right from the very first pages: Bleak.
It is definitely one of the many “Post-9/11” stories to come along. It seems to me the theme of this book is the question of how one battles unrepentant evil when many people simply cannot believe that unrepentant evil even exists. It is also a novel about a changing society and how it continues to sink into darkness. It also seems to question at times the role of God in society, where people who have such strong beliefs in that nature are often met with surprising results. How could God allow such evil to exist?
If you enjoyed the film, you will love the novel. Highly recommended.