No Country for Old Men

This book has a lovely rhythm to it; quick action followed by quiet reflection. There are many sections like this one: "He sat with the flashlight and studied the map again. When next he stopped he just shut off the engine and at with the window down. He sat there for a long time." Or this one: "When they found the dead man in the rocks a mile to the northeast Bell just sat his wife's horse. He sat there for a long time." Or this one: "He sat on the bed thinking things over. He got up and looked out the window at the parking lot and he went into the bathroom and got a glass of water and came back and sat on the bed again." Characters are caught in quiet moments, just thinking.

You can see why this book appealed to the Coens so much. It oozes the human condition, the narrative both quietly philosophical and abruptly violent by turn. And not so many words are spoken, like Ed Crane in 'The Man who Wasn't There'. Thinking is what people do.


7th July, 2008