Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Road

Cormac McCarthy's The Road was one of the most profound reading experiences of my life.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I was moved to tears, and more than once.  The Road is right up there with To Kill a Mockingbird in my personal pantheon.  The amazing thing about the book is that it works on so many levels.  On one level it's a simple, and undeniably bleak, story of a Father and son trying to survive a post-apocalyptic wasteland.   Go a little deeper, and there is a beautiful and incredibly powerful theme at work.  No matter how bad things are, every minute we spend with loved ones is to be valued and fought for.  In the end, what else is there?  At it's deepest level, The Road is a commentary on the times.  McCarthy illustrates how hard it is to keep the fire with so much evil lurking in the world, and yet, in the end, if we follow the road, there is a way.  Sorry to go all literary there, but I love this book.  Don't take my word for it, Mr. McCarthy won a little thing called the Pulitzer Prize for his efforts.

I wanted to see the movie when it came out last year, but Meg isn't a fan of the whole post-apocalyptic thing.  Meg and Scout were at a Girl Scout camp Saturday night, so I picked up the DVD.  McCarthy has had a number of his books made into excellent films (No Country for Old Men is a classic), but I wasn't sure if The Road would translate as well.  When you love the book, the movie can often be disappointing.  The movie isn't on the same level as the book, but I definitely wasn't disappointed.  I love Viggo Mortensen, and his spot-on portrayal of the Dad makes this movie worth watching.  The Road isn't for everyone, but it is a powerful film in it's own right.    

6 comments:

  1. I've had this book in my "to read" pile for a while now...I guess it's time to start reading it! You have inspired me to rent the dvd too:)

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  2. I thought the film measured up well to the novel. Viggo was great. The basement scene in the film hit me harder than the part in the book. I mean, visualizing in novels is one thing. But when a film comes out and it visualizes it beyond what your original scope...
    shivers down my spine.

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  3. Sounds like a good one to read. Thanks I must check out a football game soon

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  4. Squilla's AuntAugust 20, 2010 at 11:02 PM

    I can't do depressing, in books or movies. It sticks with me far too long. And from what I know, this is one of the most bleak and hopeless books to read. But I have to confess that this quote of yours made me almost want to read it:

    “Go a little deeper, and there is a beautiful and incredibly powerful theme at work. No matter how bad things are, every minute we spend with loved ones is to be valued and fought for.”

    It reminds me of a quote I’ve always liked (taken from, of all things, a Kenny Loggins song - from Footloose!), "If there's anything worth my love it's worth a fight."

    (And now I'm going to have that song in my head all day!)

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  5. I love to read; wish I had more time to do so. I'm currently reading "The Lonely Polygamist," a 600 pager selected by my book club.

    About one third through it, I'm waiting for it to all come together.

    I've known of "The Road" for awhile, but like Meg, I'm a bit leary about the post-apocalyptic theme.

    Glad to hear your feelings about it; years from now, I'll see it at a yard sale and will HAVE to buy it and read it. :)

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  6. I loved this book and it had the same effect on me.

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