Tag Archives: reading

The Road

11 Jul

Can of Coke scene from "The Road"One of the books that’s haunted me this past year is The Road, Cormac McCarthy’s tale of a father and son surviving in post-apocalyptic America. McCarthy is a spellbinding writer whose language seems both polished and naturalistic. His attention to detail – from his bleak backdrop to the architecture of a decaying mansion – sculpts the images of this world effortlessly in your mind.

Outside of the few remaining humans, the world of The Road is dead: there is no sun; nothing grows. Sustenance must be foraged either from cans, or from the bones of your own species. An unnamed father and son trudge through this landscape, surviving off of scraps while avoiding the marauding gangs of killers and pederasts.

The scene that keeps cropping up in my head is where Father discovers something more precious than gold or diamonds.

He sat and ran his hand around in the works of the gutted machines and in the second one it closed over a cold metal cylinder. He withdrew his hand slowly and sat looking at a Coca Cola.

What is it, Papa?

It’s a treat. For you.

I cried at the end of this book. This scene didn’t make me cry. It didn’t have to. Father’s action here wasn’t extraordinary or heroic. It was the simple, instinctual act of a parent.

(If you haven’t heard, The Road has been movie-tized, with Viggo Mortensen in the lead role. Check out the trailer here.)