So, here's how the procedure should progress in terms of writing a review of ATPH and updates for The Crossing; they are going to overlap. Here's the official in retrospect review for ATPH:
If William Faulkner and Toni Morrison had a love child, he'd go by the name of Cormac McCarthy. He executes a similar style; writes of harsh truths, a loss of innocence, wry dialogue... yet McCarthy whips in his own input into these qualities. There is something about his writing, that despite however the story may end, one does not aspire only to curl up in a blanket and weep, but more strongly so a push to seize a horse (or wolf) and gallop away to the mountains, to the acacia, the lake, the moon...
That is precisely what ATPH succeeds to do. It tells the story of a boy, John Grady Cole, who runs away from home in hopes of finding himself and the country, and he soon winds up in Mexico. John and his friend Lacey find work as cowboys. They also encounter a curious young man: Blevins, who brings them a fair amount of trouble later, yet later showcases a deeper -- or more necessary -- understanding under his layer of juniority. John meets Alejandra and this is where the fiery romance starts, unlike all his previous works. However, before their match can succeed, John is taken to an entirely new country... only after all his experiences does he eventually comprehend that one does not really know a country until one's down there in it.
It is this revelation that makes it such a beautiful book to me despite the evils in it. Also, it does begin and end in a similar way, wrapping the story up nicely and reminding us of where John began.
Apparently, Marcus Mumford loved it too! He rambled about it on his book blog here.
The title of the book most likely comes from this familiar lullaby (an extract below):
Oddly seems to be referencing death and the heaven that awaits; given the love for horses shown in the book, I see how McCarthy may have transformed this childhood lullaby into a harsher concept: proof that his book is, after all, a bildungsroman.
The quotes I shall later upload will explore the themes he wanted to portray. This is a strongly recommended read.