Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

The Road

I finished Cormac McCarthy’s book “The Road” last night.

I’m still sorting out how I feel. It was incredibly …….oh so many adjectives. Moving. Depressing. Illustrative. Gorgeously written. Imaginative. Solid. Thinking book.

This quote – I read it over and over when I arrived at it in the book.

“He thought each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins. As in a party game. Say the words and pass it on. So be sparing. What you alter in the remembering has yet a reality, known or not.”
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)

It gives you an idea of the thought-provoking prose that gracefully flows from nearly every page;  my little book-reading gnomes in my brain are still sitting by the fireplace, feet up, pondering and ruminating on all the facets in this book. What I suppose I find so haunting is that the whole book, in my memory of reading it, feels so parallel to my over-arching grief process. There is sadness. There is inevitability. But through all of the darkness, there is an unbreakable strand of pure shining silvery light, the love between a parent and a child, and it isn’t the darkness that makes me cry, but the joy of still being able to see the light.


  1. logtar

    There are not many books that I have read and have filled me with emotions of, I am going to kill the person that recommended this book because I know they were messed up by it and wanted me to be messed up too. This book is an example on the same human gene that makes people say, this tastes horrible… go ahead try it.

    The book is excellent, but it is super depressing… and complex… and just… I still have not dealt with it… I need therapy just because I read it.

  2. sue

    Sooo… hrm. To read it or not to read it?

  3. Liz

    So yeah, have you read Cormac McCarthy before? I ask because I read Blood Meridian a while back and dispised it all the way through. Violent. Gritty. Unimaginable.

    So then I put the book back on my shelf and about a month later I remember talking about it to one of my co-workers and actually said, “His book takes you some really uncomfortable places. Places you will hate a week, maybe a month after reading. But once you digest, you come to find it is one of the most amazing reading experiences you’ve ever been through!”

    Once I said that, he became one of the most brilliant writers I’ve ever read.

  4. PlazaJen

    That book – The Road – has not left my head since I started it. I’m almost afraid to start another one! But I agree with you whole-heartedly.

  5. PlazaJen

    In the end, though – the fact that a book does this to us? Is amazing. I feel like in a day and age where everything is so fleeting and fast, it’s nice to have experienced something so stellar and lasting.

  6. PlazaJen

    Gotta read it, Sue. Especially with the parent loss/only child thing – I know it’s bleak but it is so so so beautiful and god – the writing.

  7. J-Wo

    It’s probably a good book, but it’s no “Scrotie McBoogerballs”

  8. jo ann

    read it also – when it first came out in hardback. still think of it. went to see the movie by myself. LOVED the movie
    – you see the H O P E – absolutely beautiful the way the father loves his son. now it is the movie that haunts me as the words in the book have left my brain. i recommend you see it when you feel ready.

  9. 6x6x4

    I struggled thorugh The Road, but was unabl to put it down. Afterwards I was split between horror and admiration. There was not a glimmer of hope in the book, yet I could not help but admire the father’s struggle … not just for life, but to raise an ethical child in a world that was not simply a world of bad morality, but a world with NO morality. An unforgettable book.

  10. Mark

    I’ll go along with 6x6x4. McCarthy does have some extreme writing mannerisms, but the book is amazingly crafted. Not sorry I read it, but I wouldn’t put myself through that again, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it to a friend. Warn them away, more likely.

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