All The Pretty Horses, it's still a really good story. The characters aren't the same, but the setting of Southwestern United States and Mexico in the 1930s and 40s is. Book one is all about John Grady Cole; and book two is all about brothers Billy and Boyd Parham. The two stories and characters only come together in Cities of the Plain, which is book three.
Cormac McCarthy is an astounding writer. His dialogue and description are as sparse and dry as the desert these stories are set in. The journeys are arduous and the characters fascinating, brooding, mysterious. There's a strong theme of brotherhood and loyalty in both books, along with youth and the desire to do right. There are a few passages in Spanish that are sometimes hard to follow but not impossible. Some readers dislike them but I think they add to the authenticity and, really, are not that hard to interpret from the context.
In The Crossing, Cormac McCarthy fulfills the promise of All the Pretty Horses and at the same time give us a work that is darker and more visionary. a novel with the unstoppable momentum of a classic western and the elegiac power of a lost American myth. In the late 1930s, sixteen-year-old Billy Parham captures a she-wolf that has been marauding his family's ranch. But instead of killing it, he decides to take it back to the mountains of Mexico. With that crossing, he begins an arduous and often dreamlike journey into a country where men meet ghosts and violence strikes as suddenly as heat-lightening - - a world where there is no order 'save which death has put there.' An essential novel by any measure, The Crossing is luminous and appalling, a book that touches, stops, and starts the heart and mind at once. (shelfari)