There's a regular love affair at the offices of the Factual for genre pieces by great artists. When a filmmaker like Kubrick does horror or science fiction, we like it. When David Fincher makes a serial killer movie, we buy it. When Grant Morrison writes super-heroes, we buy you copies. And when Cormac McCarthy writes a 80's drug-war thriller, we buy it, we read it and we love it.
Make no mistake: McCarthy hasn't left any of the artistry that made his earlier works so important to American literature. Still, Old Men is a far different book than Blood Meridian or the Border Trilogy--it's a speedy read, and it eschews the larger moral goals of those works. With a small rudimentary nod to the "how things have changed for the worse" attitude so rampant among red states, Old Men is a book firmly in the grips of characters who solve problems with instincts and bloodshed. As violent as anything set around 2 million in drug money cash can be, the book follows a loose collection of men on their trek after a massacre: Llewyln Moss, the 36 year old Vietnam veteran in possession of money that he found, the sheriff that hopes to find him and save his life, and Anton Chigurh, a nearly indestructible force of death cut from the cloths of McCarthy's Blood Meridian. By the books closure, the body count is high and the money is soaked in blood--and it's a tremendously exciting ride to get there. Due to the shooting in one's own foot that has so entertained Roth, Pynchon and Delillo in the recent 24 months, Mr. McCarthy is the single greatest American writer of fiction working today--but he's clearly got the potential for a successful second career if it interests him.
-Tucker Stone, 2007