Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’

“If we have ever spoken, ever, I have tried to persuade you to read ‘The Road.’ Friends have been subject to countless wine-infused rambles on its importance, strangers on its opening pages next to me on planes have been assaulted by my flurry of promises on its life-altering qualities, librarians and unsuspecting Borders clerks have been hounded to put it in more prominent places. The story of a father and son wandering the earth after its destruction, Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ ends with the boy watching his father, “each the other’s world entire” die in front of a little camp fire in the middle of the woods. Understandably, reviewers tend to sum ‘The Road’ up as “relentlessly depressing.”

My instance that people read it anyway comes from the general elsewise assessment that because of this bleak imagined world, ‘The Road’ is in some way flawed. Because McCarthy doesn’t leave plausibility for a civilization to grow out of the ashes, for the boy to have a family, for the boy to make a family, ‘The Road’ has been dismissed in some ways as lacking sophistication, perspective, or redemption. But the book’s truth is wrapped up in its desolate ending- we as a society desperately try and wash this out, but as ‘The Road’ says, ‘There are some things that cannot be put back, cannot be made right again.'”

For more, read Elizabeth’s review in the Huffington Post.

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