Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cormac McCarthy's The Road

The Road is a truly gripping read, amid its profundity, difficult narrative and superior language usage. A post-apocalyptic novel with frightening, vivid images of deaths, desolation and desperation.

Father and son set out on the road across a charred, barren America. How long have they been on the road, what are their names? We never know. And where are they going? Away from everything, the madness, the man-eating commune. Yet, where can they go.

They have only each other to live for. The few people they meet, mostly they avoid, scavenging and drifting from place to place, living with dignity, whatever is left of humanity. Then, the end. The inevitable end. A gleam of hope. A new beginning. We don't need much to live for really, just tender, unconditional love from our family, and in return, our devotion to them.

I love the novel's last paragraph, almost like an afterthought. Somehow prophetic. As if Cormac McCarthy is telling us something that we should know, yet choose to ignore, or forget. The destruction of our world is real, if you heed his words.

The mystery of life lies in the things older than man.

P.S.: I suddenly realised how lightweight my review turned up, despite the meditation, the urgency in Cormac McCarthy's writing.

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