Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Elisabeth Follows the Road


The Road is set in post-apocalyptic times.

Post. Apocalyptic.

Normally if I'd picked these words out in a book's description, I would've placed it firmly back on the shelf and dusted my hands off in a 'good riddance' sort of motion. But I had made the commitment to stay true to the spirit of our book club, so instead I found myself cautiously making my way through chapter 1.

Surprisingly (to myself - and not to any one on the committee who awarded C. McCarthy that little Prize called the Pulitzer) I liked it. This does not mean I officially recommend it - in fact this book falls into my 'you didn't hear about this from me' category.

But let's get back to the point of why I liked The Road (please note I didn't say enjoy). I went about finishing it in bits and pieces as the material was a bit intense for just sitting down and finishing off in one go. Society as we know it is gone, obliterated. And we are following a father and his son in their desperate journey to survive, and maintain their love and integrity, in the face of humanity fallen to pieces. Although I didn't enjoy the setting McCarthy chose, I could not help but like and undeniably respect the fact that this is one well written book. The man can turn a phrase, and artfully create characters that are full of life.

Although The Road is chock full of disturbing imagery that will return to haunt you months, perhaps even years later, when you least expect it (say just as you're dropping off to sleep) - McCarthy's tale will leave you thoughtful each and every time you pick it up. The world McCarthy created was so vivid and believable, that every time I put down my book I was surprised to look up and find my world, as I knew it, still existed.

Finishing this book is rewarding too. McCarthy shows us he wisely believes in the good qualities of humanity, just as much as he believes in the bad.

This was a truly great, thought provoking read, and I'm glad that Amber picked it for us. Just remember though, you didn't hear that from me.

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