I just read this incredible tale in one sitting. Couldn't put it down. What a stunning text! It reminded me somewhat of Faulkner and Bradbury. The imagery was exquisite and I really engaged with the free-verse style of writing. There seems to be a lot of text about at the moment relating to the end of humanity and surviving it. Or sort of surviving......are we pining for a death-knell or is it a metaphor for the destructiveness of our excess and cultural hedonism?
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I also like the fact that this novel reminds us what it is to be human, it emphasizes the importance of human relationships in our lives, and is a very artful, powerful example of storytelling. It made me want to read another McCarthy book.
I have not had the pleasure of reading this book, but I am now inspired by the heartfelt discussion of it. It brings to mind a quote (don’t remember who said it), "It doesn’t matter how many good books you get into, it’s about how many good books get into you." Sounds as if this has happened.
Because the focus of this story was so much on the relationship between the father and the son, and not so much on what actually happened to create the disasters, I would say that The Road is more of a love story, the story of how the power of love and humanity is what can keep us alive in this world, even if all else fails us. There is quite a bit of post-apocolyptic literature and film out there these days though, you are right. I think that is because 1. It is interesting and fascinating to think about how things would be afterwards, 2. Technology in film allows computers to create those vivid disaster scenes, whereas before it was limiting, 3. Many feel that the political and social climates in the world are deteriorating fast, and will lead to awful changes, so stories that play into those fears are prevalent, and 4. Such literature DOES allow authors and directors to make comments on their attitudes towards society and where it will take us. I feel that The Road is less a social commentary, and more a simple statement about what, in the end, will keep us human, and that is our kindness, decency and humanity, which McCormac refers to as "the fire" in the son.
Cormac McCarthy is a master storyteller with a very unique style of writing. When I read The Road, I was reminded of the 1970's end-of-the-world movies like The Omega Man. At a time when the economy was horrible and nuclear war a real threat, art began to reflect that sentiment in books and movies. I don't think that was McCarthy's goal with this story, but I do think he wanted to think and write about the end of civilization, the end of hope. Although the end of the book has a hint of hope for the boy, it is a pretty dark and dismal story.
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