In this magnificent new novel, the National Book Award-winning author of All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing fashions a darkly beautiful elegy for the American frontier.
The setting is New Mexico in 1952, where John Grady Cole and Billy Parham are working as ranch hands. To the North lie the proving grounds of Alamogordo; to the South, the twin cities of El Paso and Juarez, Mexico. Their life is made up of trail drives and horse auctions and stories told by campfire light. It is a life that is about to change forever, and John Grady and Billy both know it.
The catalyst for that change appears in the form of a beautiful, ill-starred Mexican prostitute. When John Grady falls in love, Billy agrees--against his better judgment--to help him rescue the girl from her suavely brutal pimp. The ensuing events resonate with the violence and inevitability of classic tragedy. Hauntingly beautiful, filled with sorrow, humor and awe, Cities of the Plain is a genuine American epic.
The third and last volume of Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy, CITIES OF THE PLAIN continues the story of Billy Pawson, the cowboy with the heart of an outlaw. Billy becomes involved in the relationship between his friend and fellow ranch-hand John Grady--hero of ALL THE PRETTY HORSES--and a Mexican prostitute under the control of a brutal, violent pimp. Billy's obsession with being a kind of savior who rescues the down-and-out ultimately proves to be a destructive force. At the end of the novel (and the trilogy) Billy is an old man telling his story to a stranger he meets on the road--a story he has come no closer to understanding, and one in which good does not triumph. The title refers to the Biblical stories of Sodom and Gomorrah, places where nothing but evil is to be found. A New York Times Notable Book for 1998.
- Fiction + Literature Genres, Fiction + Literature Themes
- Types of Characters, Human Qualities + Behavior, Love + Relationships + Sex, Society + Social Issues, Settings, Nature + Animals, Family + Friendship, Literary
- July 1, 1999
- July 1, 1999
- Cormac McCarthy