Reading the book after the film tends to highlight the problems of the film, while at the same time killing your imagination on what things look like. You have an image you want to picture, but only the actors roll around in that head of yours. No Country For Old Men had a cast so perfect in appearance though that I didn’t mind this at all, for this case. While I was seeking out changes, the story of a man on the run with a lot of money gripped me like no other.
The story remains the same and the film tends to stay word for word for the most part. We get the Sheriff’s mumblings of the way things used to be, and a story which switches between his grasp of the situation, Moss on the run and Chigurh hunting him down. It is surprisingly how faithful an adaptation the film is and the book almost reads like a script at time. The pace is quick and the dialogue really brings it all alive. It isn’t till near the end that the book and film show their differences and that is mainly due to cutting down to keep a respectable film length. I think it may have annoyed me if I read the book first, but the cut material isn’t all that important, just a lot of Sheriff talk and Moss going on a trip with a young girl. To say which is better is hard to say too, the Coen brothers did an incredible job and making an intense film full of downtrodden and scary characters. Chigurh is still a psycho, but my mind replicates his film face and voice, because they are the perfect fit.
No Country For Old Men was a thrilling read. Seeing the Sheriff try to get a grasp of how people have changed over the years and how he stands is a core which leaves the book in the mind long after it’s over. In fact because the book follows him closer, the shock twist isn’t quite so shocking, because the protagonist is still going here. A brilliant book with an equally brilliant film. Rare.