Monday, October 23, 2006

Book: The Road by Cormac McCarthy offered me 5% more off my order if I ordered Cormac McCarthy's The Road with World War Z, so I said "why the hell not" and added it to the cart. It's a good book. It's a very fast read. And it's one of those simple-but-difficult books, just because of the subject matter.

The book follows an unnamed protagonist and his son as they trek south towards some unknown and esoteric goal. The goal, whatever it is, acts as a MacGuffin to provide the two with a need to move. They push an old shopping cart that contains their worldly possessions, and avoid human contact whenever possible - in no small part because many of the the other humans in the ash-covered, burned-out wasteland have resorted to cannibalism to survive.

The book is heavy. It's barely 200 pages, but it's heavy all the same, because while it has the normal survivialist masturbatory fantasies post-apocalyptic books they play second fiddle to the relationship between the father and son. The father's goal is to basically survive long enough to teach his kid how to survive, and as the story progresses he becomes more and more desperate in his drive to do this. It is clear at some points that the father isn't willing to take the kinds of risks that might actually provide a better life for his son, and his descent into paranoia is equally heartbreaking for its utter lack of hope as it is for it inevitable conclusion.

I recommend The Road, but don't expect something lighthearted. Sleep will not be an easy time coming after you finish this book.

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