Dear Readers,

I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Road--just in time for the most cheerfulest week, like, ever!

It's been a gloomy week here at EBC headquarters. What with the horrifying, nightmarish massacre at VA Tech, the alarming supreme court decision on partial-birth abortion, the growing number of bombings in Iraq, and the lying scoundrels stuttering before congress all taking current affairs to a brand new low, I decided to read a book with a cheery outlook on the future... not.

Cormac McCarthy's The Road just won the Big Ol' Pulitzer Prize,, and of course is doubly honored by being selected for Oprah's Book Club, returning after its Frey-induced hiatus. (Don't get me started on Oprah--post Secret, she's on notice).

So how could I not jump on the literary bandwagon? I pilfered my parents' hardcover copy (and by pilfering, I mean "mom and dad, can I borrow The Road please?") and set to work reading.

I was trembling with fear within minutes, close to tears within hours, and done within a day. The book was surprisingly short and sparse. But I'm still having nightmares about burned corpses in garbage cans, cannibals roaming the deserted, ash-covered country, and a father and son huddled close together through the black, black night. What's scary about post-apolocalytic worlds is how recognizable they still are (at least to overimaginative sorts like me), and how easy it is to believe that this might happen--how quickly our busy interstates could become long, charred paths through wasteland. And with Senator McCain cheerfully humming about bombing Iran, which is allied with China, which is allied with Russia... I mean, how far away are we, have we been for decades, from our own destruction?

But back to the literature. The Road, for all its gruesomeness, has been called beautiful by the creme de la creme of reviewers, and I agree. The relationship between the man and the boy is nerve-vibrating, both uplifting and at the same time terrifying, because the humanity they represent puts them in so much danger. McCarthy has a gift for language that is both complex and discernible. He doesn't make you struggle too much but you can appreciate his verbal twists and turns. The Road is an essential read: frightening, stark, moving, prophetic (let's hope not too prophetic). It hounds its readers with an iron grip and a vision of darkness.

Both Ms. Winfrey and that Pulitzer guy have really good taste, I guess.

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