Monday, May 24, 2010

The Road

"A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food - and each other."

I really need to read happier books! "The Road," written by Cormac McCarthy is my twentieth completed book of the year. The 2006 Pulitzer Prize winner for Literature is an incredibly simple story. As the description above suggests, a father and son set out on a journey to reach the coast in a post-apocalyptic world. The novel chronicles the day to day survival of the duo on their journey; finding shelter from the cold, finding enough food and water before they starve, and avoiding those who would do them harm for their possessions. Always the road is there or near, their only companion besides each other.

It was interesting to read what mankind would be reduced to in light of some cataclysmic event, in this case I took it to be some sort of nuclear war, though the book never says explicitly. Moreover, the event was some years in the past so the narrative details how life would be when so few resources and people remain. The novel is bleak and at times disturbing but what really shines through is the simple story of a father and a son and their interactions with each other in the harshest of environments. Recommended.

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