D.A. Ball
June 17, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

By page 10 of The Crossing you suspect you’re reading what will become a classic; by page 100 there’s no doubt. Every reader deserves a book like this second novel of Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy (volume one was All the Pretty Horses). The Crossing, McCarthy’s coming-of-age tale of young Billy Parham in the pre-World War II Southwest, is a cowboy story that rises to mythic and epic proportions. It is full of word-pictures you see as if you’re there or dreaming — ”The last thing he saw on that windblown waste was the white bandaged leg of the wolf moving random and staccato like some pale djinn out there antic in the growling cold and dark.” McCarthy’s brilliant dialogue and mesmerizing storytelling carry you back and forth across the Mexican border and make you laugh, wonder, and flinch — all at once. Sit down with someone and read this amazing book aloud. A+

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