Sunday, November 16, 2008
The Road - Little Bits of Haiku for the Apocalypse
I'm a little late to this book. It sat there in my pile of things to read, CDs listen to, bills to pay, songs to finish, laundry to fold...meanwhile I find 15 minutes to slap up blog posts. I did not come to this book as a huge fan of Cormac McCarthy, though I feel this might change a bit. I've only read 1 or 2 other books and I am aware that this is a departure from earlier work.
But I'm glad I waited. This book hit me at just the right time, it seems. I'm not 100% certain of what I mean by that; maybe any time I chose to read it would have felt like the right time. But this book spoke to me on a fundamental level and has heightened certain essential components of my consciousness.
I read it last week in a matter of a night or two. The last thing I expected was a page-turner. But I gather this is the reaction of many people who have read it. It compels readers for various reasons, some feeling that they are even responsible for helping the characters along, which is a notion that is both absurd and deeply true of any book. Like the tree that falls in the forest, e.g. I don't let myself get overexposed to reviews and criticism of books or movies. I don't want a story spoiled in advance, but more importantly, I don't my own perception clouded by judgments made by others. After forming my own opinion, I seek out those same reviews, at least in channels I trust. I want to compare notes.
I am being elliptical. I think all of this preface is just me avoiding the real topic, that is how profoundly moving I found The Road. Certainly being a father has a lot to do with my extreme reaction. But I have not shaken the effects of having read this now 4 days after the fact. But more significantly is that I don't think I will ever forget it. I think the emotions will become less acute, but the overarching theme, the poetry of the prose, the philosophy behind the story, the allegories and the story itself...
I am torn between re-reading it immediately and trying to move on. Seriously. It was a physical involvement, reading it. I don't know that I can recommend it to everyone who reads this site. I guess I'm more eager to hear from others who have read it.