Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:37 am

<< Week of December 03, 2016 >>
Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
3 Day Month

4 Day Month

5 Day Month

6 Day Month

7 Day Month

8 Day Month

9 Day Month





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
No Country- VIII- Themes. 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Oddly Attracted to Books

Gold Contributor

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 1543
Location: France
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 34 times in 34 posts
Gender: Female
Country: France (fr)

Post No Country- VIII- Themes.
VIII- Themes.

One reviewer wrote that No Country for Old Men is a reverie for the loss of the dream of security, for the death of a benevolent, active Christian God.

1- Good versus evil.





2- Fate: Do things simply happen to Llewellyn (fate), or does he play a part in what happens to him?


Does McCarthy have a message or a view of life which concerns fate?


3- Is there a moral message in the novel?

If so, what is it and how is it conveyed?


4- Is this a nihilistic novel?

Quote:
Nihilism (from the Latin nihil, nothing) is a philosophical position which argues that Being, especially past and current human existence, is without objective meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value. Nihilists generally assert some or all of the following:

* there is no reasonable proof of the existence of a higher ruler or creator,
* a "true morality" does not exist, and
* objective secular ethics are impossible; therefore, life has, in a sense, no truth, and no action is objectively preferable to any other.

The term nihilism is sometimes used synonymously with anomie to denote a general mood of despair at the pointlessness of existence.


Wikipedia.



5- Chapter V, p 134, in Eagle Pass:

" There's days I'm in favour of givin the whole damn place back to em, the sheriff said.
I hear you, said Bell.
Dead bodies in the street. Citizens' business all shot up. People's cars."

Any comments?


_________________
Ophelia.


Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:50 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Oddly Attracted to Books

Gold Contributor

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 1543
Location: France
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 34 times in 34 posts
Gender: Female
Country: France (fr)

Post 
John wrote:

Quote:
Agree 100% with your assessment of Bell's "philosophy." However, don't we all look for answers to explain away evil and casual violence? Bell's front-porch philosophy is less convincing than, say, a professional research report on "the effects of violence in the media," but aren't most (all?) of the theories finally unsatisfactory? This book frightened me in many ways, and this might be the core reason: there's not much that can fully account for the moral erosion in this country.


(emphasis mine).

So yes, we have a moral message.

And what you write brings me back to something I've been musing about: whether the book works depends on whether you feel frightened by the situation it presents. Perhaps it depends on whether you feel afraid of the unstoppable MrChigurh.

So, did you feel frightened?
Are you afraid of Chigurh?


This didn't really work for me, and I wondered why.
I think I don't really believe in Chigurh, in a man who could be the ultimate evil working on his own.

I'm afraid of more "ordinary" things. My idea of something terrifying is those branches of organized crime that deal in human trafficking, for example taking immigrants from China to the UK, or selling Eastern European women into prostitution. That means a whole chain of criminals, many of them just doing the basic dirty jobs, as minders, truck drivers, etc...
It's not new business, but after slavery it had mostly stopped for a while.


Perhaps I can't get worried about Chigurh because he is so single-minded or one-sided. There must be people like him but for some reason they're not what I would worry most about.

I agree with you about what I think MCCarthy wanted to convey, but the problem is whether this message does come accross.


_________________
Ophelia.


Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:21 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Eligible to vote in book polls!


Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 29
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
"I think I don't really believe in Chigurh, in a man who could be the ultimate evil working on his own".

Ophelia, I think McCarthy wants to create a situation where Chigurh may and may not be a man. We may be up against something supernatural. Sheriff Bell heads for the hills rather than deal with him (rather than have his soul stolen!). The novel doesn't work if Chigurh is just a criminal who doesn't get captured.

The morality war is heavy-handed. The evil guys are smart, the nice guys are stupid. The chief moral agent (Bell) is deliberately relegated to the very outskirts of the plot.

However, please believe in a man who could be the ultimate evil working on his own-- in the USA we've had too many (when Bundy fried I did not cry and I dislike the death penalty).............. Ken




[/quote]



Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:23 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Oddly Attracted to Books

Gold Contributor

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 1543
Location: France
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 34 times in 34 posts
Gender: Female
Country: France (fr)

Post 
Quote:
However, please believe in a man who could be the ultimate evil working on his own-- in the USA we've had too many (when Bundy fried I did not cry and I dislike the death penalty)..


Of course I do believe in them.
In Belgium we had the Dutrou tria a few years ago, and now in France the trial. Those men were monsters who kidnapped, raped, tortured their victims bfore killing them.

But the police are not all at retirement age, with one man and one car for a whole county, and those people do get caught eventually because at some stage they make mistakes. I don't believe in a Chigurh that does not, ever, make mistakes. The fact that he feels all powerful and that Bell is over-matched doesn't mean Chigurh is invincible.

Quote:
I think McCarthy wants to create a situation where Chigurh may and may not be a man. We may be up against something supernatural

(emphasis mine).

Now this is interesting. I hope other readers will want to react to this.
And perhaps you can elaborate Kenneth?


_________________
Ophelia.


Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:37 am
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Eligible to vote in book polls!


Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 29
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
Quote:
I don't believe in a Chigurh that does not, ever, make mistakes


I hope I did the "quote" thing right Ophelia. For the record, and I've mentioned this more than once in other threads, Chigurh makes mistakes all over the place. It's possible that I've read too many crime novels, particularly "police procedurals" in which the cops vs. criminal chess game becomes the very fabric of the book. This book has been called a "crime/thriller" by some critics and I don't agree with that. As a straight-ahead crime-thriller this plot has more holes than the Eagle Hotel.

You made reference to an elderly sheriff in a single patrol car covering a vast Texas county. True. With a dozen homicides, a border violation, illegal weapons, copious heroin and 2 million bucks (in 1980) it is absurd to think Ed Tom Bell would be point man in this investigation. Where are the Feds: FBI, DEA, ATF? Where are the State Police, the Texas Rangers? A legitimate genre novel (procedural) would never get away with this blatant implausibility. Hence it's not a crime-thriller. It's a mainstream good vs. evil novel. Police procedural plausibility must take a back seat (and I along with it) to the author's higher purpose: his battle between God and the Devil.



Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:15 pm
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Eligible to vote in book polls!


Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 29
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
Quote:
I think McCarthy wants to create a situation where Chigurh may and may not be a man. We may be up against something supernatural

Now this is interesting. I hope other readers will want to react to this.
And perhaps you can elaborate Kenneth?
_________________


I no longer have a copy of the book at my disposal, only a few scribbled notes. But from the opening chapter the spectre of an other-worldy being is ever-present. Sheriff Bell's opening monologue makes reference to a killer who was so strange and new to him that "maybe he was some new kind" [of person]. A few lines later: "But he wasn't nothin compared to what was comin down the pike."

You've got a 36 year veteran Texas sheriff, a WW2 vet (the Greatest Generation) who flat-out quits in the middle of the biggest crime investigation of his life. His exit lines include "prophet of destruction." Immediately, with the use of the word "prophet" the reader is put on notice that a higher, spiritual being (not the good kind) may be at work.

Near the end of the book Bell says "he's a ghost and he's out there." Another quote: "...if he is a man."

This is a pretty tough guy, has seen a lot, is dug in with his home, his wife, an anchor in the community. Yet suddenly he can't get out of town fast enough. It's fear of the Devil. A man like this doesn't cut and run from another human-- he's convinced that his very soul is about to be snatched and devoured.

But this is from the Ed Tom Bell Monologue/Diary. The actual third-person narration of the book portrays Chigurh, I think, as an obsessed mass-murderer who is very human.

I need some help here because I am always guilty of ignoring the importance of style and how it becomes part of the fabric of the story. And since I don't have a copy of the book at hand maybe someone could find examples where the physical atmosphere around Chigurh would suggest a supernatural presence.



Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:29 pm
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Genius


Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 759
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 13 times in 12 posts
Gender: None specified

Post 
ELDERLY??!!

Bell was only about 60 or so, wasn't he? I didn't think of him as being elderly.

To my way of thinking, elderly is like over 90!



Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:11 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:

BookTalk.org Newsletter 



Site Links 
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Info for Authors & Publishers
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!
IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

Featured Books

Books by New Authors


*

FACTS is a select group of active BookTalk.org members passionate about promoting Freethought, Atheism, Critical Thinking and Science.

Apply to join FACTS
See who else is in FACTS







BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.



Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2016. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank