Friday, 28 October 2011

The Road - Cormac McCarthy (2006)

One of my teachers said I should read this. I was a little skeptical, considering his choices for English texts are generally unpopular. I like it, the way it is written made it hard to put down. He uses a stream of consciousness  (not unlike Tim Winton in Cloudstreet) where there are no chapters, and sentences and paragraphs mesh. There is also no punctuation or speaker acknowledgement during dialogue.
eg.
Are we going to die?
Sometime. Not now.
And we're still going south.
Yes.
So we'll be warm.
Yes.
Okay.
Okay what?
Nothing. Just okay.  
(page 9)

This book is amazing. It is a post-apocalyptic novel with a father doing everything he can for his son. The story is told in a way that haunts you and breaks your heart. The characters are never named and is told in third person. In 2006 it won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction and in 2007 it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. A film adaptation was released in 2009. Check out the trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbLgszfXTAY



The world (for some unknown reason) has been left almost barren. A father and son trek across the country to get to the warmer coast. Along the way, they encounter thieves, scavengers and cannibals. They have to search through abandoned homes to find food to sustain them. The man has a pistol which he keeps in case they have to commit suicide. The man tries to give almost all they find to the boy, but the boy is too astute. When they near the coast, the man gets sick and is dying. He tells his son to go on without him. The man dies, but a couple and their children have been following the pair, concerned for the boy with his sick father, and let the boy come with them on their journey to the coast.

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