It has been well over a year since I first encountered Cormac McCarthy’s novel the Road. I was aware of it for quite a while, due to the fact that it was in Oprah’s book club, and any book in that category sells like crazy at my work.…
It was because of the fact that Oprah recommended the Road that I avoided it for so long. Eventually I picked up the book and read the back to find out what it was about. It sounded interesting and I had some spare cash so I thought ‘what the heck?‘ and bought it. I went home sat down in my rocking chair and started the book immediately. From page one I was captivated – no wait – enthralled by McCarthy’s mastery of storytelling. His words and his sentences were one and the same as sunshine to a blooming flower. I had to keep reading; I had to find out what happened next….
For those of you who have not read the 2006 novel the Road first let me say ‘’ shame on you, ‘’ and then I’ll say ‘’ It’s okay, I forgive you, buy it today.’’ The book takes place in a grim and gritty setting, an unknown year in a post-apocalyptic America. The world is burnt and everything is covered in ashes. The story centers on a man and a boy — a father and a son. We follow the man as he travels the former USA – which now resembles some loose, lost memory buried in a cemetery – trying to find hope for his beloved son in this futureless, hopeless world. The only possessions they have is a shopping cart with a few cans of random aged food and some blankets. The man carries a revolver with two bullets for protection from the few people they encounter on the road that are typically monsters in human flesh. These deformed survivors resort to murderer, rape and cannibalism, without a second thought. The man must face these dangers amid a dehabilitating condition — lung cancer – which leaves him expelling blood with every wet cough. In the story, the father-son relationship is symbolic of the good left in the hearts of men as the father tries desperately to provide for his boy even though his own death is imminent.
You might find yourself asking why I am bothering to review a book that is two years old and now a Pulitzer Prize winning story. The answer is that the Road is now being made into a major motion picture! Production started April 2nd, 2007 and is being directed by John Hillcoat. Hillcoat previously directed the gritty western ‘the Proposition’ about a man who has nine days to murder his older brother or the law will hang his younger brother. Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings) is due to play the father and Kodi Smit-McPhee is to play the son. McPhee is also playing a young Logan in the upcoming ‘X-Men Origins’ film about Wolverine’s past.
I think all the players involved are perfect choices and I am looking forward to the premier with immeasurable enthusiasm. Normally I would be wary of this masterpiece being adapted for film but due to the wonderful work done for McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men I’m confident that this film will bring justice to the novel.
The Road is one of those stories that makes you pause and think about life and those that you hold near and dear to your heart. McCarthy has the ability to talk about the best and the worst in people in a way that that no other author has ever come close to. This book is something that is so important to me that I give it out as a gift and have read it too many times to count. I implore you to go to your local bookstore right this moment and purchase Cormac McCarthy’s the Road and join the club of the people who ‘know’.