"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Review and quotes: THE ROAD

The Road by Cormac McCarthy 

Book Beginnings quote: 

When he woke in the in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.

Friday56 quote:  

The frailty of everything revealed at last. Old and troubling issues resolved into nothingness and night. The last instance of a thing takes the class with it. Turns out the light and is gone. Look around you. Ever is a long time. But the boy knew what he knew. That ever is no time at all.

Summary: In a post-apocalyptic world a father and son make their way along the road, en route to the coast. The landscape is burned. Nothing moves except the ash in the wind. It is cold. The boy and his father are a world unto themselves, having only each other with no hope for the future but a love that sustains them. "Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation" (Book jacket).

Review: Years ago I decided I wanted to read all the past Pulitzer Prize winners. Then the reality of that decision actually sunk in and I amended my goal to reading all the winners for this coveted prize from the 21st-century only, with a few others, from the 20th-century, thrown in for good measure. With the completion of The Road, the 2007 winner, I am within three books of my goal and I'll be done!

My husband read The Road soon after it was published in 2006 and has been making veiled comments about it ever since. I wasn't sure I wanted to rush to read it since there is so much depressing news in our lives already why would I want to read a book about what life might end up being like in our future -- bleak and hopeless. What I didn't expect was the love and the power of that love to overcome the tragedy of the end times. While other survivors roamed around in packs looking with menace on their minds this unlikely team stick together and make their way through the dark and cold with dignity and resolve. The father does his best to shield his son from the horrors of their reality and tries to find moments and small things to delight him, like the time they found a bottle of coke and the boy gets to taste it's syrupy sweetness for the first time in his life. Or the time the man enters a barn looking to see if there was anything inside they could use and instead he finds three dead people hanging from the rafters. The boy wants to enter anyway, just in case there is food inside. But the father blocks his entry saying,  “Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.” He tries to protect his son from the potential of horrible memories that will haunt him forever. In a world which has completely fallen apart that is an impossible task, but a worthy one.

Clearly there is no happy ending to this tale. But there is an ending with a tinge of hope and so much love. In the end, after all, only love remains.

(I'm crying right now. I didn't realize how profoundly this book touched me until I started writing this review.)

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from current book.The Friday56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56 to share. Visit these two websites to participate. Click on links to read quotes from books other people are reading. It is a great way to make blog friends and to get suggestions for new reading material. 


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