Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

My brother-in-law gave me a book for my birthday last Monday (thanks, Jason!). A punishing, desolate, soul-crushing novel, The Road helped me further realize the beauty of life and the earth by reading about how it would be if it were all turned to gray.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world of gray skies and gray ash and gray water, this book could be veiwed as a real downer (and that would be correct in many ways). McCarthy shows us a world that has been utterly obliterated at the material level. Wildlife has been erased. Trees are but black, crispy ex-trees. There are no names of people or places anywhere in the entire book. But, the story is really about the love of a father and son, and their will to survive in a world without color, food, trees, skies, or life as we currently know it. What remains are the father, the son, a shopping cart, and an undending search for clean water, food, shelter, and safety. It is a penetrating look into what life might be like if we were reduced to living to fulfill our basic needs (the lowest level of Maslow's hierarchy). And, ultimately, this is a book about faith.

That's all I'm going to say about what happens, as I am not one to give away plot details, but I had to post something about this book and urge you to read it.

McCarthy has written ten books, including All the Pretty Horses and No Country for Old Men, with the latter being put made into a tremendous film that became last year's Oscar darling (Best Picture). And, if the Coen brothers and/or No Country are not your style, even Oprah liked The Road. If Oprah liked it AND I still read it and liked it--well, it must be good.


Travis said...
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Travis said...

The relationship of father/son in that book really hit hard with me. I read it early last year and begged coworkers and relatives to give it a try.

It's hard to read because it is dark and it is extrememly depressing throughout, but it's one of the strongest books I've ever read.

I wholeheartedly agree with your endorsement.

Anonymous said...

Oh my. Oprah liked it, so, it must be good, right? Just like Obama, I'm sure. Are you going to delete this one too?

Jane Knowles

Cort said...


I don't think we know one another (or maybe we do). If we don't, you might be careful when telling people that you don't know what they think. If you do know me, you will have to refresh me on who you are so that I can know how to take your directness. All that said, you jumped to some incorrect conclusions about me and Oprah.

I don't watch Oprah. Never have. But, when discussing this book with others, someone said, "Even though Oprah liked this book, you should still read it." They said this knowing that I DO NOT watch/like Oprah.

And, if you read what I said, I was stating that EVEN THOUGH Oprah liked it, I STILL liked. Meaning, I generally think Oprah is wrong about stuff.

Thanks for stopping by.


Travis said...


By the way, I deleted my own comment the first time because I wrote something that didn't make sense after I reread it.

Try not to look for ways to be offended. There are plenty of offensive things in this world already.

And I don't watch Oprah either.

God bless you and have a great weekend.

Angie said...
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JNTHN said...

This book has been on my list for a while!