The Road by Cormac McCarthy
(Movie Tie-In Edition)
(Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group: 2009)
READ: January - February 2009
My first mistake was trying to read this whilst on vacation in Mexico. While it worked well as a book to read on the flight down (indeed, I picked it up in a bookstore only a day or two prior to our departure), the post-apocalyptic desolation of the book did not ring true while on a lush, sunny beach. However, post-vacation, I was able to return to this book.
I had a few friends who had read it and sung its praises, one of the reasons I picked it up. They talked about the nightmarish quality of the book and of the engrossing nature of its writing. I thought the book was good and well-written; however, I wasn't sure why it was so lauded. One of the book's qualities, I think, was in how it keeps feeling like something is about to happen, yet nothing (almost ever) does. The post-apocalyptic world isn't full of monsters and excitement; it is full of day after day spent on the move, trying to find somewhere with enough food to sustain yourself. That was well-done by McCarthy. Maybe it is because I have watched Randal play Fallout 3 too much; maybe I have just spent too much time thinking, reading, or watching things about the apocalypse, but I didn't find McCarthy's vision of the post-apocalyptic world particularly frightening. Yeah, it's quiet, and scary, and hard to find food, and not everyone is out there to help you. It's the post-apocalypse.