27 November 2007

No Country Musings

I shouldn't be buying or borrowing any more books right now, but my latest sought-after title is Cormac McCarthy's NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. As I'm a bit of a film buff (which you might have guessed from my recent post about book-to-film adaptations) I can't help but notice the rave reviews that the movie "No Country for Old Men," directed by the Coen brothers (of "Fargo" and "Big Lebowski" fame), has been getting. I don't think I've read a single negative review of it yet, and (though I don't usually check these things) it currently has a 95% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That is Very Good. Like Kubrick good.

But I want to read the book before I see it, which will come as no surprise to you, my loyal 2.7 readers, but shocked a friend of mine who said he never reads the book before watching the movie. He says he doesn't want the book to shade his impressions of the film, and I respect that... but mostly I want to read it because I hear the film is extremely violent. If I know what's coming (even if it means I'll be spoiled a little bit) perhaps I can be somewhat prepared. I've never read any Cormac McCarthy either, so this seems to be a good enough opportunity to do so.

For now, a few reference points: You can read all about Cormac McCarthy at RandomHouse.com or watch the trailer for "No Country For Old Men" here, if (like me) you never saw it in theatres. Roger Ebert's review gave the movie four stars. If you want to know more about the making of the movie, I suggest listening to this podcast interview of costar Josh Brolin. When I do finish the book and see the movie, I'll be checking out this comparison of them by Tasha Robinson, my editor at The Onion A.V. Club.


Emily said...

reading it before the movie is a good idea. gives you more thematic understanding. plus, i was so tense the whole time that it helped that i knew what was happening (although, if you wanted to be a purist, you could just experience the plot as it happens in the movie which i feel like would be an incredibly awesome visceral scary experience). the book is a super fast read, so you can easily finish it before the movie is out of theaters.

however! i will say that my sister (who has read more mccarthy than i have) thought this was the least good book of the three or four she has read. i've only read this and "the road," and the road was so, so good, so if you read this and aren't impressed, give that a try.

Sarah said...

yeah, mccarthy's not really my bag due to the violence. the road was gripping - extremely so - but ultimately lacking any, uh, moral resonance. not sure if that's the phrase I want but basically it left me with a ton of graphic images and not much else. i'm intrigued by the fact that no country for old men has gotten such phenomenal reviews.