Cities of the Plain (The Border Trilogy #3) by Cormac McCarthy

Published: 1998 1. First lines. 2. Cover: Penguin Random House 3. Cowboy hat and boots [Public Domain] via Pxhere 4. Horses [Public Domain] via Pxhere

In the third book in the Border Trilogy, Cormac McCarthy finishes the story of Billy and John, two ranch-hands in 1952 New Mexico. When John falls in love with a young Mexican prostitute and tries to smuggle her across the border, tragedy ensues.

The wry humour in the everyday exchanges amongst the characters brings relief to the somber and dark themes and events in this story. Kirkus comments: “McCarthy’s magnificent descriptions of landscape, weather, and animals in their relationship to men, and the stripped-down dialogue that perfectly captures his characters’ laconic fatalism are as impressive—and unusual—as ever.”

“There’s hard lessons in this world.”


“He sat a long time and he thought about his life and how little of it he could ever have foreseen and he wondered for all his will and all his intent how much of it was his doing.” 

”My daddy once told me that some of the most miserable people he ever knew were the ones that finally got what they’d always wanted.”

Author: Cormac McCarthy

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