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The Crossing

The Border Trilogy, Book Two
Written by: Cormac McCarthy
Narrated by: Richard Poe
Series: Border Trilogy, Book 2
Length: 14 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In The Crossing, Cormac McCarthy fulfills the promise of All the Pretty Horses and at the same time gives us a work that is darker and more visionary, a novel with the unstoppable momentum of a classic Western and the elegaic power of a lost American myth.

In the late 1930s, 16-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 lightning - a world where there is no order "save that 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.

©1994 Cormac McCarthy (P)2016 Recorded Books

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • shane
  • 2016-06-16

Not my favorite , But still wonderfull

He's the greatest writer I've ever read
And that's an end on it .
Grim , gritty , real and funny .

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Timbolicus Prime
  • 2016-10-18

A tale of a Cowboy on a quest to set things right

Where does The Crossing rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In my top 10. The detail that is given is vivid, clear, and engaging, as Cormac McCarthy is well-known for. I think that this book is a close #2 to my favorite, Blood Meridian.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Crossing?

I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but I must mention that the first part of the book is my favorite and one that made me feel sad, sickened, and full of despair. I was engaged with every word and found it hard to stop listening and wanted to stop at the same time. Heartbreaking is the one word I would use to describe it.

Which scene was your favorite?

My other favorite thing about this book is the geography where the book takes place is where I spent time as a boy in the 1970s, exploring the wilderness of SE Arizona and Mexico. My wish and goal, as a boy then, was to be a cowboy, like Billy. Had I only been born 30 years earlier, perhaps, I would have had an experience remotely like his.

If you could rename The Crossing, what would you call it?

A gripping and powerful story of a young man whose decisions have strong and devastating consequences to him and all around him.

Any additional comments?

Finally, I loved how English and Spanish are intermingled with the dialog. Fortunately, I speak both, so it was a treat. If you don’t speak Spanish, you may find yourself looking up translations often.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-09-20

Challenging at times

Cormac is a master writer, but this one was a bit of a struggle to get through. I had a hard time staying interested due to many long winded ideological forays from the core plot. There is also a great deal of Spanish conversation and while I understand it on a rudimentary level I don't know enough to understand much of what is said. There is some great writing here but I suppose it is probably more effective to read than listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2016-05-15

NOW WE MAY SPEAK OF MADNESS

WHO CAN DREAM OF GOD?
When I bought this book, there was only one review by Charlie Brown. It had me confused, but after listening to the book, I understand. McCarthy is one of by favorite writers and just a couple of days ago a I gave a five star review of The Road. His use of language is astounding and his descriptions, put you right in the story. This story takes many paths and never really sticks with one. The main character does a lot of meandering and stopping and eating with Mexicans. There is a lot of philosophy about God and Religion. In one part their is actually about an hour long sermon. In parts some characters speak Spanish, a lot of Spanish and sometimes it is explained, but lots of times not. McCarthy seems to expect us to have a English to Spanish Dictionary with us. The main character seems likable, but by the time I gave up, I hated him. He seems to have good parents who treat him well and love him, but one day at the age of sixteen, he takes off on a trip to Mexico, for months, without telling his parents. They have no Idea what has happened to him. When I quit it seems he was turning himself and his brother into outlaws. I quit around seven hours in.
ALL TALES ARE ONE
If you had the choice of reading a book in your own voice in your head or given the opportunity of listening to Richard Poe read it, why would you not choose Poe? This guy was born to narrate books.

15 people found this helpful

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  • W Perry Hall
  • 2016-04-03

Chupacabras, Duendes y Putas, Oh Mi


This novel starts out well enough, with teenage brothers setting out into the mountains of Mexico to retrieve the horses stolen from their dad's small ranch (after both he and the boys' mom were murdered). Pretty much everything thereafter I detested almost as thoroughly as I enjoyed ALL THE PRETTY HORSES.

The boys' purpose for the journey deep into the Mexican mountains quickly devolves into a succession of hazy, haphazard jaunts here and there, with various pits stops at which some local ancient hombre would share stew with them so he could stretch out some soporific soliloquy to stymie all senses. After resuming the trip to nowhere in particular, the boys would encounter savagery enough to salt the hide, men who lived like animals and monsters, and women no more than toothless, grotesque objects.

Toward the end I felt like my reading had been hijacked por una Hacienda de Horrores. It's been a couple of weeks since I shelved this book, and I'm still having nightmares.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Krautmann
  • 2020-04-28

An underrated modern classic

This novel has everything great about a McCarthy writing, well portioned, never over bearing and continually intriguing. To me, this is among his best work. Richard Poe's narration leaves nothing to be desired. He's the best.

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  • hrslvngl
  • 2020-04-06

Heart wrenching story line …

Billy Parham's journey is like nothing I can imagine. The depth of this character is phenomenal. Most of the time I wanted to cry but was able to laugh sometimes at the conversations with his brother. Wish I knew more Spanish.

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  • Jeff Waytashek
  • 2020-04-01

Bizarro

I would dub this one as Cormac does Kubrick. Way too much weirdness to make a good story. I would skip this one.

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  • Mary Buckner
  • 2020-03-04

My only negative review of a book

This book was full of endless ramblings of a meaningless philosophy. Luckily I speak Spanish; since there was a lot of Spanish dialogue. Maybe it is full of Mexican cultural fatalism that I don’t appreciate. There was many places where it had promise but never delivered. The first book was okay but after this book I will never read another book form this author. Not even worth $5.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amy L. Mahoney
  • 2020-02-28

Another great book by McCarthy

The story was so great about the wolf, and a suprising outcome, but it was only the beginning