All The Pretty Horses and The Crossing, were the individual stories of John Grady Cole and Billy Parham two young men thrust into adulthood in the dying days of the wild west. Cities of the Plain catches up with them several years later as ranch hands in New Mexico where they form a friendship as close as brothers, both each other's only real family. On a trip across the border into Mexico, John Grady meets, falls in love with and tries to liberate a young Mexican prostitute. Every bit a Cormac McCarthy book, this is a love story of tragic proportions and not for the faint of heart. As much as I love his signature sparse writing, beautiful scenery, likable characters, and Brad Pitt's narration, by this third book I was exhausted. All three books would actually work very well as stand-alone stories and might even be better enjoyed with some time in between.
In this magnificent novel, the National Book Award-winning author of All The Pretty Horses fashions a darkly beautiful elegy for the American frontier. The setting is New Mexico in 1952, where ranch hands John Grady Cole and Billy Parham become ensnared in events resonation with the violence and inevitability of classic tragedy. (shelfari)