Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

Certainly not for those preferring a lighthearted read. The Road is a commentary on culture and human nature after all that we know and much of what we believe in has been destroyed. In other words- post apocalyptic earth. A bio of McCarthy is is HERE. It is easliy one of the most profound and moving books I have read in several years. Do not let the fact that it was on Oprah's reading list deter you.

A father and his young son are heading south towards what the father hopes is a warmer climate that may possibly enable them to survive. The Road is their story. It doesn't detail what caused the total destruction of the pair's known world, TR merely allows us to watch them love each other in their new, awful, heart rending, mind numbing world.

The father's pain seemed more present to me, more..I was able to relate to him most. Not only because of his age & parental status but because he was forced to cope with so much loss. The loss of everything he knew: nature, culture, the human institutions that make society what it is, his family. The son, OTOH, is so young that the current reality is all he remembers. All he knows. He hasn't lost anything. That is one of the most awful parts of this book. Realizing that the post apocalyptic earth is the only reality this child knows. Will ever know.

Theirs is an eternal relationship, the father and the child. For me the child represented all of the positive traits one hopes that humanity is born with. Love, faith, compassion, curiosity, conscience, resiliency. The father: loss, tenacity, perseverance, caution, mistrust, love. The father was, like all adults, more of a mixture of good and bad. An amalgam of all that he has experienced.

The ending made me cry and gave me hope. Read this book.

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