Saturday, 17 April 2010

The Road

A couple of weeks ago I asked my sister if she wanted to go and see the movie The Road. I remembered she'd read and enjoyed the book, by Cormac McCarthy, and I think we'd even talked about the movie and the excellent reviews it was getting. So I was a bit surprised when she told me she didn't really want to see it. The reason she gave was that she thought she'd find it too depressing.

I first heard of McCarthy when the movie No Country for Old Men came out (he also wrote the novel on which that movie was based), but I only really became interested in reading his work after he was mentioned several times in Don Watson's American Journeys, the book about traveling around the United States by rail which I read last December. This story about McCarthy auctioning his old typewriter, which appeared in various newspapers at around the same time, further piqued my interest.

Anyway, since my sister wasn't keen to see the movie of The Road, I decided to read the book. I found a copy of it on the shelves at the public library and finished reading it the other day. It is very dark, although like American Rust, the novel I read last year in which the protagonists seem to wander from one hopeless situation into another, it was saved by an ending that, while not exactly happy, does provide some hope. Now that I'm used to McCarthy's quirky style of writing (he omits apostrophes in negative contractions like hadnt and isnt and doesn't use quotation marks for speech) I might see if the library has any of his other novels.

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