20 September, 2012

book report: THE ROAD

Cormac McCarthy, author of No Country for Old Men and a few other books-turned-movie, has an impressively simple style that conveys so much more emotion than I could have imagined possible. His writing is intensely beautiful and impacting. I have only read one of his novels, The Road. I became so engrossed in it that I won't let myself read another until I have more time to spare. It's funny how I can fall asleep on the second sentence of a textbook, yet an hour can pass of reading a novel like this in which the existence of time seems irrelevant. Actually, I haven't been consumed by a book like that for years; I had forgotten what a delicious experience it can be.

The Road is about a young boy and his father attempting to survive in some sort of post-apocalyptic world. We hardly get any background or explanation for the way things are, but it's clear that that doesn't really matter. What matters is the present state of the world, the relationship between these two people, and each of their relationships with the desolate earth. McCarthy has said that he was inspired by his own son. Here is an excerpt:
He was a long time going to sleep. After a while he turned and looked at the man. His face in the small light streaked with black from the rain like some old world thespian. Can I ask you something? he said.
Yes. Of course.
Are we going to die?
Sometime. Not now...
What would you do if I died?
If you died I would want to die too.
So you could be with me?
Yes. So I could be with you.

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