Scathing Book Reviews of No Country for Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy

After the 2008 Oscars, No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy will forever be associated with the Coen Brothers, Javier Bardem, and one bad haircut. The books stands on its own, however, and friends of mine tell me its even better than the movie. However, these critical reviews of No Country for Old Men find no good in “No Country”:

OK, who kidnapped Cormac McCarthy and then submitted a manuscript apparently written by George W. Bush in his name? This is the most disappointed I have ever been with a book.


I thought ‘The Road’ was overrated but enjoyable, so I gave this one a try. I am now convinced that Cormac McCarthy is the most overrated writer in the US right now.

McCarthy’s writing style is painful to read. He is too cool for quotation marks–what is the point of that? Is it the IMPACT?


This is the story of Sheriff Bell, an insufferable dullard who won’t shut up about how criminals these days are really evil (as opposed to all the lovely ones he knew of when growing up?). He’s also a world-class boaster, never going more than a few pages without telling us how fantastic is wife Loretta is. The same Loretta who spends most of her time baking for or writing to evil criminals — which tells me all I need to know about that marriage.


The dialogue is horrendous and very confusing. I can’t remember any book with such cheesy and unremarkable characters – I wish that they could have all been killed sooner just to shorten the miserable reading experience. I barely passed English 102 and I think that I could do better than Cormac McCarthy.


McCarthy’s “spare” language is an affectation as tiresome as the voluminous silks of Aubrey Beardsley. “Ahhhh yep” is not my idea of great prose.


Total crap and a waste of money; if the author showed up on my doorstep I would not only my money back, but bill him for my time.

…and this review, which seems to have been written by one of the book’s characters:

I am an old man. Lived in Texas for 24 years. Too bad the lowest rating is one star … this book deserves less.

2 Responses

  1. This list is bizarre; scathing reviews about McCarthy’s novel written by illiterates who couldn’t fight there way out of a wet paper parable.

  2. My scathing review is for “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. It was my misfortune to listen to this book on audiobook. It had its fulll load of apocalyptic nonsense. But worst of all was this annoying, cloying little boy, who called his dad “Papa”. Hard to stomach this novel. Maybe it was just the reader’s voice whenever he said “Papa” that grated on me. After “The Road”, I’ve given up on Cormac McCarthy.

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