The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Road

I just finished it and I’m going to leave it out for my daughter, and she’s going to give me Blood Meridian to read. That was the deal. Sort of. She’d asked for a lift to the library, and I said I’d take her if she would pick up a book for me while she was there. I’m new to Cormac McCarthy and the only title I could remember at that moment was Blood Meridian. She decided on The Road as well all by herself.I’m also new to reading books for pleasure from the library. I’ve always paid for everything I’ve read for pleasure because I wanted a copy for my shelves. Years on and my books have found their way into boxes, except for those few that look good next to the glass vase on the wall unit. No problem, the kids need the space, and it’s kinda like the man and the boy picking and choosing what they can carry because it’s a matter of life and death. If I ever buy another house, the walls will be painted taupe, the floors will be hard, cold tile. No junk you have to leave behind, cry over, when the end comes and you have to move quickly. Library books are a good thing. I can read as many as I like and I won’t be feeling as though I’m taking the last can of peaches for myself.

I knew the book would end the way it did, and I kept asking myself why we even needed another book like this. Why do I? Seems I’ve always had my head in the ash, always looked for the dankest subjects to stir, just so I could prove I wasn’t scared, I suppose. You know, looking into the great abyss and all that.

Funny, but the one image I’ll keep with me of this story, is that of the man and boy peering at nothing, the pure black of a world without its moonlight, the man never once loosing the boy in the dark. Never once.

A tough read for this dad. A couple tears near the end, and suddenly the story became about the boy.


Blogger Anne C. said...

I think all parents find themselves contemplating a thing-free lifestyle at some point. Maybe in retirement?

Sat Jan 12, 05:20:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

I love this, Tony, beautiful, evocative prose. The books that look good next to the glass vase, your requirements for the next house. Things to leave behind and things -- or people -- not to. Lovely.

Sat Jan 12, 10:52:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

Only use what you can fit in a shopping cart...

The Road was disappointing for me, and depressing. And I like tragedy.

Thu Jan 17, 12:55:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

There were some aspects of the book I found mildly disappointing, as well. I kept hoping I'd get some passages going into detail about the time the world was unravelling, the time of the fires. I find that fascinating, travelling back from the aftermath, but the book and its author had somewhere to get to. In the end, it was enough for me.

Fri Jan 18, 12:52:00 pm GMT-5  

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