Friday, October 19, 2007

All the Pretty Horses - post IV

By the end of this book John Grady Cole, the main character, seems to have become a living embodiment of the old West. With his horse and his old fashioned morals he seems to be the last physical representation of an age that has gone completely in Texas.

After a while you give up trying to believe he is merely seventeen and enjoy the story for what it is – a tale of unrequited love. Not just for a woman but also for a country and a time. Left to his own in Mexico John tries to meet up with the ranch owner’s daughter but the price of his release from prison, which surely saved his life, is that the girl never sees him again.

They meet just once more but that is the end and John then decides to head back home but not without getting his horse and that involves taking the captain who had first arrested him and Rawlins hostage and getting him to take him to the horses. When he gets there John is shot and then after escaping with not just his own but also Rawlins and Blevin’s horses he straggles on with the captain who has dislocated his shoulder. They roam around until some men catch them up but it is the captain they want and not John.

He straggles back to Texas and feels that his father has died and sure enough when he finally gets the chance to give back Rawlins his horse it is confirmed for him. Rawlins asks him what he is going to do and John reveals that he feels he has no country and intends riding through the landscape until he finds happiness and after a stop for the funeral of the old maid at the ranch he does just that and disappears into the sunset.

A review will follow soonish…

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