Saturday, January 26, 2008

2007--Cormac McCarthy----The Road--Gautami's reads

Crossposted from my blog..

Title: The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
ISBN: 9780330448628
Publisher: Picador
Pages: 307
Rating: 5/5


It is a story, if we can call it that, about a father and a son who remain nameless throughout the narration. Both are walking through America, which has been ravaged by fire. They are walking towards south to the coasts. On their way to it, there is nothing but ashes, burnt trees, and soulless houses. They have each other and a pistol for a company. They pass through dead towns, looted houses, finding corpses on their way. They are afraid to meet other fellow human beings. Men who kill for food, for any kind of food.

The Man all the while tries to save the boy. Love and despair go hand in hand. Without the boy, he would have been dead long ago. Survival is the key. He does all he can to save himself and his son. However, he also prepares the boy to survive in case he is no longer there. The interactions between the father and the son is very interesting. We do not see dialogues, only narration. The Man instils moral values in the boy even in great adversity. At certain places, we see that he is not disappointed. His son has risen above the father.

The sparseness of languages enhances the harshness of the situation. This is what makes it chilling, scary and very gripping. If we do not take care of our Earth, this might become a reality. A forest burning is not a new phenomenon. The same reaching out cities and destroying can become a fact. What is shocking is that it can become a reality. The nameless people could be us…

Language used can be called poetry in prose. One pauses at certain places to enjoy the sheer beauty of words. One feels sad. However, there is hope too at the end, a salvation of some kind. This book should be read by all. Those who do not care for the Earth and those who truly love it.


2 comments:

Dean Rader said...

I love your Pulitzer project! I began the same one (though smaller then), but I failed. Good luck!

I find it interesting that McCarthy projects are garnering so many awards given, as you note, the potentially depressing themes of his work. I actually write about it in a recent post:

http://weeklyrader.blogspot.com/2008/01/extolling-mccarthy.html

Jaimie said...

Thanks for the great review. This is a theme that seems popular nowadays in literature and film. I have the book on my TBR shelf and am looking forward to reading it.