The Border Trilogy

As Narrator
Date: 1994

“For instance, Pitt and I were talking about various literary styles when Cormac McCarthy’s name came up. “Whoof, he’s one of the all – stars,” Pitt said admiringly. He went on to discuss McCarthy’s lyricism, referring to passages in the Border trilogy books and the author’s earlier novel Blood Meridian. We must have spent 30 or 40 minutes on the subject. In fact, when Pitt mentioned that he had read the border novels on tape, it didn’t immediately hit me that he meant he had narrated the trilogy for Random House’s audio version. He let this detail slip out unobtrusively, as he does almost every detail.” – Vanity Fair 1998

The first volume of the Border Trilogy–tells of young John Grady Cole, the last of a long line of Texas ranchers. Across the border Mexico beckons–beautiful and desolate, rugged and cruelly civilized. With two companions, he sets off on an idyllic, sometimes comic adventure, to a place where dreams are paid for in blood.

In the late 1930’s, 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 beings an arduous and often dreamlike journey into a country where men meet like ghosts and violence strikes as suddenly as heat-lightening–a world where there is no order “save that which death has put there.”

It is 1952 and John Grady Cole and Billy Parham are working as ranch hands in New Mexico, not far from the proving grounds of Alamogordo and the cities of El Paso and Juarez. Their life is made up of trail drives and horse auctions and stories told by campfire light. They value that life all the more because they know it is about to change forever.