Tuesday, November 11, 2008

And they hummed of mystery

I finished Cormac McCarthy's The Road today. Possible spoilers below.

It's the first McCarthy novel I've read. I have to say I was skeptical, since suffering through the end of No Country For Old Men, which is based on a McCarthy novel, and frankly disappointed me like no other movie has for a very long time, especially considering how strong the start of the movie is.

So, on to The Road. The story centers around a man and a boy, walking down a road through a devastated America, post some unspecified apocalypse. The landscape is all ashes, forests and cities and everything burned. Destroyed. It's a very bleak picture McCarthy paints, and a post-apocalyptic setting quite unlike anything I've read.

The prose is at times exactly how I write, which probably has a big part in me liking it. The dialogue is condensed, and several key phrases repeat over and over, which gives the impression that the two characters know each other intimately.

My mind is winding down, going “Sleep now, oh bearded host animal”, so I must come to a conclusion.

I really, really liked The Road. I read it in two days, I will re-read it at some point, and the end almost made me cry. On the train. That almost never happens, on or off the train. Bookwise, only Man and Boy has affected me in that way, and I'm guessing Extremly Loud and Incredibly Close will too.

I highly recommend The Road for any fan of quality writing, or post-apocalyptic fiction for that matter. Now I have to listen to my mind and go night night.


Scott Wallace said...

I was affected the same way. What a brilliant, powerful ending. Thanks for your post.

beardonaut said...

I hope they don't bungle the ending for the movie, which should be out this year.