Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

Sometimes you come across a book that truly keeps you riveted. Not only while you read it, but for days after. McCarthy's apocalyptic vision does just that. I feel as though I cannot do this book any justice by writing properly formulated sentences. So much of my reaction is visceral, that a well-crafted paragraph will only take away from the impact such a work has on the mind and soul. So I give you scattered thoughts, emotions and perceptions. To know anything more, you need to read it yourself.

Fear. Chilling. Cold. Stark. A picture, a reality, voice of my nightmares. Desolate. Barren. Why worry about the boy’s heartbeat when every other thought is about mercifully killing him? Why be worried about him succumbing quiet, peaceful in the night when the other options are so much worse? What are they hoping for? What does their hope lie in? Why keep faith? What are they trying to survive for?

We long for absolute silence and the peace of not having anyone around. But if that were really to occur, we would be desolate within ourselves. We would be driven mad by every sound.

What did this? Nuclear holocaust? Meteor? Climate change?

Are the “bad people” bad for surviving in the only ways they know how? Why do they resort to cannibalism to appease their need for meat rather than learn how to plow the fields and plant things? Is the earth so scorched that nothing will grow? What will happen to the planet when all is gone? When all humanity, all animal life is gone...what will populate the earth? Lots and lots of trees? Nothing can appear from nothing. Can it?

McCarthy makes things happen when absolutley nothing is happening. How can so much happen when the world is so dead? Very few writers can paint such visions with so few words. This is one of them.

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