Monday, January 24, 2011

Another Book Finished!

The New Year's resolution is fully intact....I finished Cormac McCarthy's The Road last week.  Awesome book and I'm sorry that I put off the reading of it for so long.

I believe that Carter gave it to Joe as a Christmas gift last year.  The forbidding black cover hinted at the dark subject matter within and I knew the general plot:  father and son wandering across the country after some sort of apocalyptic event causes earth's near destruction.  I wasn't in a hurry to read something that, no matter how critically acclaimed, I thought would be gloomy.

There's not much chance of forgetting many of the details.  Character names:  the man and the boy.  Even I can't forget that!   Setting.... somewhere on the east coast of the US.  The two try to stay alive as they move toward the south and warmer climate pushing a shopping cart and huddling beneath a plastic tarp in a barren landscape, virtually alone except for a few maurading bands of people who have lost all sense of morality.

It will seem strange to say that a book involving a struggle to live, cannibalism and the loss of all natural beauty on earth was NOT depressing, but it wasn't.  Yes, it was bleak and occasionally horrific but also lyrical, engaging, strangely hopeful and very, very very memorable.

The man and the boy talk about "carrying the flame"... a symbol of the possibility of reigniting the good that might be found somewhere still and a reminder to themselves that they are the "good guys".  The motivation of the human spirit to rise above the grimmest of circumstances and and continue on with life reminded me of Slavomir Rawicz' The Long Walk.  Knowing that each day may only prolong your agony, what drives someone to get up every morning and press forward in the midst of decay and pain?  Hope.

Apparently the critics knew what they were doing when they gave it the 2007 Pulitzer!

Here's my stack of "To Be Read" books waiting for me on the oak side table.  I culled the downstairs bookshelves of the fiction books that I haven't read and came up with nine titles that will save me from spending money at the bookstore.  They range from classics to thrillers; between these and the book group reads, I've got enough to keep me busy for a while.

~~~My standard book review disclaimer:  I'm not writing this for anybody's benefit other than my own.  I'd love it if you see a book that strikes your fancy but I've no pretense of being a literature expert....this type of post falls into the journal aspect of the blog.  Nothing house or family oriented here.... just a book report to help me remember the details of what I've read. 


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