no reason not to be careful...


A story with its own take on silence, with its own code of faith – and loss. Given the balancing of grand scale and intricate motion, of twisting light and shadow, No Country for Old Men makes me a believer. I know the story, love this story. The closing pages of the novel make me ache ... this is what my life will come to. And it’s all about the path, the road, the smallness of chance that takes us in the end. A cup of coffee. Dust that settles on our clothes. Voices that never quite know when to stop.

The novel (and the film, for that matter, in its own way) focuses on the American archetypal confrontation ... the good, the bad, the ugly. The lost connections – or missed connections – that make the reader/viewer question both purpose and chance. Each version captures the massive expanse of the story’s play – with its many layers of the physical and the spiritual – against a powerful wasteland.

Knowing when to let go, when to change. I’m of this mind: human nature refuses to adapt – instead, we demand change. This is what we want – therefore, the world must change – then I can have what I want. These are my needs. I will live here, I will say this, I will do – no matter what follows – I just will do. McCarthy’s book, with its marvelous lines that almost intersect, and the Coen’s filmic interpretation, its power centered on a restless, disturbed, and absolute real Ed Tom, capture the tone, the textures in character, the landscape of the story that rests in my head. A story that has been waiting in me – all my life.

No Country for Old Men, novel by Carmac McCarthy (Knopf, 2005) & film by Joel and Ethan Coen (Miramax, 2007)


    If I don’t come back tell Mother I love her.

        Your mother’s dead Llewelyn.

    Well I’ll tell her myself then.

Your’e asking that I make myself vulnerable and that I can never do.

    People think they know what they want but they generally dont.


Here’s a soundtrack for the book ...

Texas Flood

Stevie Ray Vaughan

... music to live by ...


Sky said...

wow - what a review! we just picked up the film for a viewing tomorrow night; i have not read the book. now i am wondering if i should read the book first. hmmmmm....

well it is a certainty that this film will be very powerfully felt on many levels. you have heightened my curiosity!

sam of the ten thousand things said...

It is so tempting to see the film - I know. I read the book first, and that, I think, alowed me to appreciate the film even more - the story itself. There's no way, never is really, to get the whole book on film. Thanks for the visit, Sky.

Liz said...

Great review, Sam. I'd like to read the book - may hold off the film for a while.

Oh and loved the Good Girl poem, it inspired me. A few of her books are winging their way to me right now : )


sam of the ten thousand things said...

Liz, you can never go wrong with Duhamel's poetry. And my advice - as to No Country - is book first. Always good to read your comments.

Pris said...

I loved this review, too. It's always so hard in choosing which to do first..read or watch. Most of the time I've read first and it's added nuances that the movie didn't have. Then, there's the occasional movie that can tell the story better in images. They both sound like my kind of reading/watching. Tommy Lee Jones is one of my favorite actors, anyway.

And you're the first person I've run across other than one good friend who used to play in a band who's a Stevie Ray Vaughn fan. Good clip there . Thanks!

LKD said...

Gee, Sam, you make me want to read the book AND see the movie.

I think I'll tackle the book first.

Wonderful review. A review that does what a good review should do--prompt the potential reader or viewer to desire to read the book or see the movie.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Pris, thanks for the read & listen. The language in the book is so right for the story. And, Stevie Ray is on my short list of favorite guitarists.

Laurel, I appreciate the visit and the words. Hope you will read and see. It's a great story.