BOOK & BLOG
September 1, 2008
Book of the Week: THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy
In case you haven’t yet heard about, read, or anticipated the movie, Cormac McCarthy’s book won the Pulitzer Prize.
Yes, this is a great book. Yes, you should read it. But here’s my warning: don’t start THE ROAD if you’re depressed. Ultimately, this is a book about hope, but THE ROAD takes its own sweet time getting there. McCarthy’s book takes place in post apocalyptic America. The circumstances of the catastrophe that overcame America and, it’s implied, the world are not spelled out. But the result is that most life has been annihilated, either during the original holocaust or since. Everything is covered in ash. There are no fish in the streams, no leaves on the trees, no birds in the sky.
A man and his son are making their way south to the ocean, hoping to find warmer weather. Any encounter with other humans fraught with peril, especially for the son. There is one bullet left in the man’s gun, and he saves it so his son can commit suicide if the man dies.
You can’t get much bleaker than that, and I’m sure this sounds like the kind of book you can hardly wait to put down. But there’s a reason it won the Pulitzer. The writing is absolutely compelling, and journey this man and his son undertake is both awful and suspenseful. Though it seems impossible that McCarthy could manage such a thing given the circumstances of the narrative, the ending is a shocker.
What shall I write about this week? Is anything coming up on the calendar? Oh, right! This week I go to Hollywood to the premiere of TRUE BLOOD. Next Sunday, anyone who’s subscribed to HBO can see it and form his/her own opinion.
My bags aren’t exactly packed, but I have pretty good idea of what I’m taking, and I don’t think it’ll take me more than an hour. We won’t be gone long, but a lot will happen in that time.
I find I’m taking all the advance stuff way too seriously. If I read a bad review of TRUE BLOOD I get upset. Even a mediocre review is enough to make me unhappy. I want this show to succeed for a lot of reasons. For one thing, my income will go up if it does, and though that’s important it’s not the top reason on my list. Here’s what is: I’ve become fond of Alan Ball, I’ve met most of the cast, and I find I’m regarding TRUE BLOOD as my adopted child. I know it’s not my creation, but I love it and I want it to go to the top of the class. I know the show is not above criticism, but I’m really defensive about it, too, just like a mom.
I’m trying to focus on making sure my family has a good time on this trip, and on relaxing enough to ensure my OWN good time. We’ll see how that goes!
I’ll let you know next week.
© 2009 Charlaine Harris