The Road

22 11 2009

The Road by Cormac McCarthy is my latest read. This post apocalyptic story about the journey of a father and son has deeply moved me.

I’ve been coming across ‘The Road’ in several bookstores since a long time that I became a little curious about it eventually. When I picked up the cute little paperback from the local library the other day, I had no clue what it is about or whether it’s any good. When I noticed on the book cover that it’s a Pulitzer prize winner, I decided that I should give it a try. And I’ve no regrets whatsoever. On the contrary, I’m glad I’ve picked it up.

But I’ve to say that it has not been an enjoyable read. The horrendous circumstances after the end of the world and the desperate struggle of the survivors for existence really made me shudder with genuine fright.  At first, it was like reading horror fiction and I was dreading things as they came along – descriptions and the unfortunate incidents. I have great aversion to anything related to horror and violence and I consciously avoid reading or watching such material.  So, I deliberately refrained myself from reading ‘The road’ during evening and night times.

The story actually starts some years after the end of the World. The mother had been pregnant with the boy when it occurs. She later kills herself not willing to await death in the form of rape and vicious murder. Everything was burned down and there was no vegetation whatsoever alive on the earth. Whatever animals or things survived were long before exploited. There was murder everywhere. There were also bad guys going around killing, raping people, eating them alive and dead.

The atmosphere is filled with ash and everything on the earth is covered by it (even after years since the great event). So much so that it almost entirely blocks the sun. With no light except a gray tint during the days and pitch blackness during the nights, the boy and his father struggle along the road. Keeping vigil against the bad guys, with little supplies for survival, they tread through the pitiless weather.

Amidst all these horrors, the only beautiful thing is the love between the father and the son, which is sure to strike the chord in everyone.  The movie is coming out in less than a week and no matter how curious I’m  to find out how it’s made, I’m not sure I will be able to go through the journey once more.

Reading this book was quite an experience and it would be no wonder if it haunts me for the rest of my life. Such is its effect upon me.

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28 12 2009
Century « Peek Inside My Mind

[…] affecting novel. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera” was an enigma. “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy was another disturbing but wonderful […]

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