Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favourite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.
My choice for this week is:
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Taken from my review in 2010:
I read this book in a day – I just found it impossible to put down. Although it’s bleak I found it to be written in a gentle, almost dream-like way which I loved.
The story is of a man and his son (whose names we never learn) who are travelling south during the harsh, post-apocalyptic winter. They set off along the road with their cart and all their worldly belongings in it. We never find out the reason that the road and the fields and whole cities are burnt and abandoned; we are left the imagine for ourselves if it is due to war, asteroid etc.
I have read many reviews, since reading this book, that seem obsessed with knowing what happened to bring them to where they were. For me, that reason didn’t feel important – whatever had happened was years ago and clearly they had got past the “why?” etc and were just focused on survival. The book was like a snapshot in time which is why we never really find out anything other than what is going on right then.
The relationship between the man and boy is beautiful and so tender. It’s one of the most touching and important relationships I can remember reading about. The backdrop that McCarthy managed to pain in my mind was bleak and burnt and gray. Imagine having to survive through that? Not just life as you know it gone forever but how on earth would any survivor (and there are some whom the man and boy meet on the way – all struggling too) even begin to set up a new community? There were no animals left, no crops. Where would you even start? Would there even be a point?
Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? I have heard mixed reviews on this book but I still think about it all these years later. That’s the sign of a powerful book.