The Crossing

Cormac McCarthy

04 August 2022
448 pages


Set along the US-Mexcio border of the 1940s, Cormac McCarthy's legendary Border Trilogy continues with The Crossing, a coming-of-age western set parallel to the events of All the Pretty Horses.

'McCarthy speaks to us in the thrilling, apocalyptic tones of an Old Testament prophet' – Sunday Telegraph

Sixteen-year-old Billy Parham and his younger brother Boyd are fascinated by an elusive wolf that has been marauding his family's property. Billy captures the animal but, rather than kill it, sets out impulsively for the mountains of Mexico to return it to from where it came.

On his return, he will find himself – and his world – irrevocably changed. His innocence lost at a cruel price, the desolate beauty of the border will beckon once again . . .

'The Crossing is like a river in full spate: beautiful and dangerous' – The Times

‘Nominally Westerns, these books are too entropic and philosophical to fit within the limits of the genre. They summon the ghosts of history, and haunt the gaps between justice and reality' – Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room

The Crossing is the second volume in the Border Trilogy. It is preceded by All the Pretty Horses and followed by Cities of the Plain.

Praise for Cormac McCarthy

‘McCarthy worked close to some religious impulse, his books were terrifying and absolute’ – Anne Enright, author of The Green Road and The Wren, The Wren

'His prose takes on an almost biblical quality, hallucinatory in its effect and evangelical in its power' – Stephen King, author of The Shining and the Dark Tower series

'[I]n presenting the darker human impulses in his rich prose, [McCarthy] showed readers the necessity of facing up to existence' – Annie Proulx, author of Brokeback Mountain

Part of the Picador Collection, a series showcasing the best of modern literature.

The Crossing, together with its predecessor All the Pretty Horses, towers over most contemporary fiction. An American epic infused with a grand solemnity
McCarthy writes prose as clean as a bullet cutting through the air and constructs tales as compelling as any you will read . . . They are stories about people as real as the land they ride and as disturbing as the rituals they enact
Admirers of All the Pretty Horses will need little encouragement . . . McCarthy speaks to us in the thrilling, apocalyptic tones of an Old Testament prophet. We must treasure him