Skip to main content

Cities of the Plain

About the Book

Cities of the Plain

The time is the early 1950s, the place the Border country of New Mexico. Nearby, in Alamogordo, the nuclear tests that resulted in the first hydrogen bomb have recently been conducted. The cowboy and his horse are a thing of the past, a glorious and tragic anachronism. Here we meet John Grady Cole of All the Pretty Horses and Billy Parham of The Crossing, both now working as cowboys on a ranch that will very soon be taken over by the U.S. Army and tamed forever. One night the young men and their fellow workers cross the border to spend a fateful evening at a Juarez whorehouse. There John Grady meets a beautiful, vulnerable sixteen-year-old Mexican girl, Magdalena, held in virtual slavery by her sinister pimp and lover, Eduardo. John Grady determines to spirit her away from Eduardo and back to the United States with him, and enlists the help of the sympathetic but doubtful Billy. The story of their quest and its bloody outcome, brilliantly depicted by a writer who has proved himself one of the great prose stylists of our time, makes for a resonant fable of past and present, of wilderness and civilization, of cruelty and honor.

Cities of the Plain
by Cormac McCarthy

  • Publication Date: May 25, 1999
  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage International
  • ISBN-10: 0679747192
  • ISBN-13: 9780679747192