Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Road

Cormac McCarthy's The Road has been on the List for a very long time.  I don't remember exactly why I wanted to read one of his books (and this one in particular, although it may have had something to do with the movie coming out).  But I did.  So continuing with trying to just read books on the List (particularly those that I want to read once then send on their way), after Daughter of Hounds, I chose The Road.  Well, that's not exactly true.  I went through another spell where I was starting things and failing to finish them, one of which being Peter S. Beagle's Tamsin, which I had trouble reading because my cat passed away.  But I'll get back to it one day.  So after a few false starts, I started The Road.

The Road tells the story of a father and son who are trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.  You never know what exactly happened, but the world is a dead place, where no plants grow.  Ashes routinely rain from the sky and cover the sun.  There's no real mention of how long the world has been like this but you know it's been awhile - everything is ransacked and it's very difficult to find food.  Knowing that they won't survive another winter up in the north (wherever they were - I was guessing somewhere like Seattle or Minnesota), the Father decides they need to head south.  And so they take their cart and their dwindling supplies, hiking along the roads, scavenging for supplies, and trying to avoid the other people on the road out of fear.

I honestly thought The Road was doomed to be another false start.  I started a few weeks ago, got about 50 pages in and then lost interest.  But after watching some Walking Dead with a friend (and said friend making the comment that the survivors there have to be eating tons to stay physically fit enough to fight zombies), I found I had a new interest in The Road.  Here was a more realistic portrayal of a post-apocalyptic world, one where people don't routinely go to the bra store for clean underwear (it's a running joke my friend and I have while watching The Walking Dead - all the girls have immaculate undergarments!)  I had a hard time getting into it, but I am definitely glad I finished it.

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