Friday, June 18, 2010

The Road

"The Road is the most depressing book you'll ever read."
"There were parts that made me want to gouge my eyes out."
"You'll never get through it."
"Best book I've read in a while, but Shelli, YOU'LL NEVER, get through it/like it/be able to read it."

The great reviews listed above are the reasons I secretly committed to reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy. The cute guy down the street was the reason I actually borrowed it from someone and started to read it. The unadulterated shock that came from some, Joe telling me to, "stop now before you commit a blasphemy against McCarthy" kept me going.

In the end, I just really liked the book.

It doesn't seem like a book that I would like. I guess I can see why people were shocked. The fact that it didn't have chapters and quotation marks really bothered me at first. But when I looked past that, and saw the brilliance in McCarthy's writing, I began to really enjoy the rhythm of the conversations between father and son.

The HEA isn't as obvious to some as it is for an idealist, romantic like me. But it's there. And I think that is the best thing about the way McCarthy wrote the book. Because under all the depressing, post apocalyptic wasteland that really is savage and heartbreaking, there is this hope and push to survival and in the end, a perfect ending.


"But the dad dies!" Meghan said as she shook her head. She still can't understand how or why I like this book when I can't get through Henry James (I still haven't completely... OK, I've sort of given up on him, but I have a book that maybe when I'm desperate enough....not the point). And yes, the dad dies. But, that's foreshadowed throughout the whole book. I mean, for heaven's sakes! he's coughing up bloody phlegm the whole time - of course he dies! But he doesn't die in a really tragic way. He's shot by an arrow, which no doubt aided to his death, but he was sick anyway and starving and exhausting himself by never really sleeping and then pushing himself too hard and trying to sacrifice everything for his son.

I really loved the son, because even when his dad tried to give him more food, he always insisted that his dad partake too. He wouldn't let his dad kill himself for him.

In the end, it was inevitable. And in the end, he left his son in the perfect position to be discovered by the good guys who happened to have two children around his age. And considering that throughout the whole book, the boy is worried about other children being around, I think it shows that there is promise for a new generation. Not everyone was eating their babies in order to survive. The boy instantly has a new best friend and further down the road, a potential love interest. And, the last paragraph is talking about trout. If that isn't promise for the future, then I don't know what is. Or at least, that's how I interpreted it.

Really, after the "most depressing book you've ever read" it's great to read a paragraph of complete optimism and hope. But I don't think it was the most depressing book I've ever read.

I would and do recommend this to anyone to read. (Maybe not children, it might give them nightmares.)

1 comment:

  1. I still maintain the only reason you like it is because 1) you're a contrarian and 2) because you made up some crappy fairytale/rainbows&ponies romantic ending for it in that sick, twisted brain of yours.


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