Monday, January 25, 2010

The Road

I read an interview with Cormac McCarthy recently, though I can’t remember where, that spoke about the newly released screen version of his 2006 novel The Road. And because I’m making an effort to discover new, well new-to-me, authors, I got The Road from the library. Warning: this is not a happy tale. The Road is the story of a father and son who set off on a depressing journey. Though the details and time period are not truly divulged, America has been set on fire, literally, and there are hardly any survivors. The duo decide it best to walk to the west coast where they will hopefully find other signs of life, or at least, a life for themselves.

A long, tedious voyage, father and young son push all their worldly belongings (not much) in a cart down what seems to be the one road left crossing the country. The landscape is covered in ash and soot making food and shelter difficult to find. They travel in constant fear of meeting other survivors with bad intentions, and for the boy, in constant fear of almost everything that they come across. Along the way, a careful dance develops between assuaging the boy’s fears and trying to stay alive.

The Road, for me, was just so so. It was nice to branch out a bit from my usual reads. It was extremely relationship driven without really talking about the characters at all. I guess I should say it was more journey driven, but the journey would not have existed without the characters or their relationship, right? I’d be interested in seeing the movie as the book was filled with descriptive imagery that would be nice to visualize.

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