Just finished reading The Road, the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Cormac McCarthy. Dark, heavy words must be used to describe this disturbing read. Words like, oppressive, despair, hopelessness. It’s the story of the journey of a father and son in a world which has been destroyed. Only a few desperate starving people are left, roaming the desolate land looking for food and willing to kill to get it. The man and his son are constantly scavenging for what remains in their hopeless trek to the coast. They have only a pistol to defend themselves and travel on foot with a cart containing their meager possessions in a world that is always cold with freezing rain and gray snow. They encounter one horror after another and the only thing that sustains them is their love for one another and the will to survive.
The book is a quick read, thank God. I read it as fast as possible and actually dreaded coming back following my breaks. I only came back to it because it was touted to be such a great book and the writing is beautiful. It sure didn’t make me feel good, as a matter of fact I have felt terrible since reading it. I dread to think of such a world, which is entirely possible with a nuclear holocaust.
I have read other McCarthy books such as All the Pretty Horses. He writes beautifully but he doesn’t make you feel good or entertained. I need to take a vacation, get out in the sun or take an antidepressant after reading his works.
I wouldn’t read The Road unless you have a healthy state of mind, otherwise you might become suicidal after experiencing Cormac McCarthy’s world of despair. Right now I am searching for something light, warm, funny and uplifting. The war in Iraq might even fit the bill after reading The Road. If you must read this disturbing story save your money and borrow it from a friend like I did.