Quotes from No Country for Old Men

Cormac McCarthy ·  309 pages

Rating: (116.6K votes)


“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“You think when you wake up in the mornin yesterday don't count. But yesterday is all that does count. What else is there? Your life is made out of the days it’s made out of. Nothin else.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“The point is there ain't no point.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“You keep runnin that mouth and I'm goin to take you back there and screw you.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“How does a man decide in what order to abandon his life?”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men



“People complain about the bad things that happen to em that they don't deserve but they seldom mention the good. About what they done to deserve them things”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“Ever step you take is forever. You cant make it go away. None of it. You understand what I'm sayin?”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“I think by the time you're grown you're as happy as you're goin to be. You'll have good times and bad times, but in the end you'll be about as happy as you was before. Or as unhappy. I've knowed people that just never did get the hang of it.

― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“It takes very little to govern good people. Very little. And bad people cant be governed at all. Or if they could I never heard of it.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“you fix what you can fix and you let the rest go. If there ain't nothin to be done about it it aint even a problem. It's just a aggravation.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men



“I think if you were Satan and you were settin around tryin to think up somethin that would just bring the human race to its knees what you would probably come up with is narcotics.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“I always thought when I got older that God would sort of come into my life in some way. He didn't. I don't blame him. If I was him I'd have the same opinion about me that he does.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“I had two dreams about him after he died. I dont remember the first one all that well but it was about meetin him in town somewheres and he give me some money and I think I lost it. But the second one it was like we was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin through the mountains of a night. Goin through this pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept on goin. Never said nothin. He just rode on past and he had this blanket wrapped around him and he had his head down and when he rode past I seen he was carryin fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it. About the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was goin on ahead and that he was fixin to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there. And then I woke up.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men



“Best way to live in California is to be from somewheres else.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“You think when you wake up in the mornin yesterday dont count. But yesterday is all that does count. What else is there? Your life is made out of the days it's made out of. Nothin else. You might think you could run away and change your name and I dont know what all. Start over. And then one mornin you wake up and look at the ceilin and guess who's layin there?”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“If there's one thing on this planet you don't look like it's a bunch of good luck walkin around.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“All the time you spend tryin to get back what's been took from you there's more goin out the door. After a while you just try and get a tourniquet on it.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“My daddy always told me to just do the best you knew how and tell the truth. He said there was nothin to set a man’s mind at ease like wakin up in the morning and not havin to decide who you were. And if you done somethin wrong just stand up and say you done it and say you’re sorry and get on with it. Don’t haul stuff around with you.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men



“I tried to put things in perspective but sometimes you're just too close to it.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“I have no enemies. I dont permit such a thing. ”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“He shook his head. You're asking that I make myself vulnerable and that I can never do. I have only one way to live. It doesn't allow for special cases. A coin toss perhaps. In this case to small purpose. Most people don't believe that there can be such a person. You see what a problem that must be for them. How to prevail over that which you refuse to acknowledge the existence of. Do you understand? When I came into your life your life was over. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is the end. You can say that things could have turned out differently. That there could have been some other way. But what does that mean? They are not some other way. They are this way. You're asking that I second say the world. Do you see?

Yes, she said sobbing. I do. I truly do.

Good, he said. That's good. Then he shot her.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“Things happen to you they happen. They dont ask first. They dont require your permission.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“Dope.
They sell that shit to schoolkids.
It's worse than that.
How's that?
Schoolkids buy it.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men



“This country will kill you in a heartbeat and still people love it.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“You can tell it any way you want but that's the way it is. I should of done it and I didn’t. And some part of me has never quit wishin I could go back. And I cant. I didn’t know you could steal your own life. And I didn’t know that it would bring you no more benefit than about anything else you might steal. I think I done the best with it I knew how but it still wasn’t mine. It never has been. ”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“What business is it of yours where I'm from, friendo?”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“Somewhere out there is a true and living prophet of destruction and I dont want to confront him. I know he's real. I have seen his work. I walked in front of those eyes once. I wont do it again. I wont push my chips forward and stand up and go out to meet him. It aint just bein older. I wish that it was. I cant say that it's even what you are willin to do. Because I always knew that you had to be willin to die to even do this job. That was always true. Not to sound glorious about it or nothin but you do. If you aint they'll know it. They'll see it in a heartbeat. I think it is more like what you are willin to become. And I think a man would have to put his soul at hazard. And I wont do that.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men


“I read in the papers here a while back some teachers came across a survey that was sent out back in the thirties to a number of schools around the country. Had this questionnaire about what was the problems with teachin in the schools. And they come across these forms, they'd been filled out and sent in from around the country answerin these questions. And the biggest problems they could name was things like talkin in class and runnin in the hallways. Chewin gum. Copyin homework. Things of that nature. So they got one of them forms that was blank and printed up a bunch of em and sent em back out to the same schools. Forty years later. Well, here come the answers back. Rape, arson, murder. Drugs. Suicide. So think about that. Because a lot of the time when I say anything about how the world is goin to hell in a handbasket people will just sort of smile and tell me I'm gettin old. That it's one of the symptoms. But my feelin about that is that anybody that cant tell the difference between rapin and murderin people and chewin gum has got a whole lot bigger of a problem than what I've got. Forty years is not a long time neither. Maybe the next forty of it will bring some of em out from under the ether. If it aint too late.”
― Cormac McCarthy, quote from No Country for Old Men



About the author

Cormac McCarthy
Born place: in Providence, Rhode Island, The United States
Born date July 20, 1933
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