Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Road

I don't get it. There, I said it.

I just got done reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I had heard great things about this book. What, exactly, I don't remember now. Maybe that should have told me something.

For those unfamiliar, McCarthy describes the journey of a man and his son through a post-apocalyptic wasteland. A horrible something has happened. What, we're never really told. There's a lot of ash everywhere and there were apparently a great number of fires (one city is described as being somewhat melted). The father and son must pick their way across the ruined landscape, scavenging for whatever they can find, trying to avoid the other survivors.

It turns out that most of humanity has become little better than animals. It sort of reminded me of Lord of the Flies only writ large and much more disgusting. I'd like to think that humanity would behave better after a massive disaster such as whatever happened, but I know my theology all too well to believe that. McCarthy's depiction of the breakdown of society and how people would behave is disturbing especially since it's so believable.

But that's as far as my comprehension ended. What was the overall theme of the book? Man's inhumanity to man? How fragile this thing was call "society" really is? How much a father is willing to sacrifice for his son?

I guess I'm no literati. The tale was intriguingly told. McCarthy's prose is, at times, poetic even when it's brutal. But this is the end of the road for me. And none too soon.


Keanan Brand said...

I've tried to read McCarthy's work, usually after hearing rabid praise for one book or another, but each time I try, I don't get far. I don't get the hype, because the books themselves don't grab me. I haven't finished more than a few pages of any of them.

I'm not illiterate or stupid, so maybe whatever he has to say, and the way he says it, just doesn't speak to me.

Stephanie said...

I have similar feelings about the book "Ishmael". It changed some people's lives, others loved it and I started it and didn't get it. Perhaps I should finish it and see.