To Cormac McCarthy’s The Road?
I could have been sticking needles under my nails.
I could have been snorting crushed glass.
I could have been eating a week-old ham-and-mayo sandwich that had been left out in the sun.
This is not to say that the book is not good. Quite the opposite actually – the book is so good, that most people will never write anything that should rival a single paragraph in its glorious despair.
However, the sadness it evokes translates into such incredible punishment that no single apocalyptic we-are-the-real-enemy zombie movie even comes close. Its a beautifully constructed text about some of the ugliest things imaginable: among the highlights are newborns being roasted, women committing suicide with sharp rocks, and half-dead burn victims with melted eyes crawling down ashen roads in what appears to be nuclear winter. The book is strewn with corpses – chief among them nature and civilization. Add the narrative is so real, so immediate – one naturally spends long hours at night pondering the possibility of such a scenario playing out within one’s own lifetime. The happy, tender moments in the book are in such stark contrast to the rest of it that they are almost more painful than the barbarity and gloom otherwise portrayed.
This is a book that needs to be taken in all at once, like a shot of particularly potent vodka, because you have to know, you must know: what happens to the little boy? Oh please, please. WHAT HAPPENS TO THE LITTLE BOY?!?!?!
I wanted to read this book for a while; then Oprah admitted it into the club, and I was reluctant for a while, seeing as I didn’t want to be “conformist.” That case of the stupids quickly passed, thank God.
Although now I am so sad that the green and living forest outside might as well be chrome, and cocaine seems like a sensible option.