Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Road by Carmac McCarthy

Our furnace went out last week and we spent several evenings huddled around the fireplace, drinking hot tea and griping about the cold. Reading The Road, however, made those cold evenings seem like the greatest of luxuries.
As usual with McCarthy's books, reviewers have mixed opinions about The Road. Most either love or hate McCarthy's writing leaving little space for balance. While I certainly agree with those who love McCarthy's work, I realize it takes a fair amount of work on the readers' part to get the most from it.
There isn't much story here. A man and his son are traveling through a post-apocalyptic America. Bad things happen, bad people appear and everything is shrouded in a cold grey ash. The plot isn't the point. The profound relationship between the man and the boy is presented in as few words as possible. The burned out world is presented in broken phrases and language to match the landscape. The symbolism almost overpowers the characters.
I won't see the movie at the theater--especially not during the holidays! And I don't recommend the book to everyone. But if you are interested in some of the best writing being done today, don't miss this book.

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