Monday, November 30, 2009

Blackness Without Depth or Dimension

I'm having a pretty difficult time reading McCarthy's The Road. I'm pretty sure it's the darkest, most depressing and bleak book I've ever opened.

Here's the honest truth: I feel like the book is crushing me.

My students are having a different experience. "This is the first book I've liked all year," one of them said. They're fascinated by the nature of the apocalypse - what happened to end the world? When did they start becoming cannibals? How long have they been traveling south?

I don't really care about those things. "Do you see ANY EVIDENCE of hope in the first 77 pages?" I asked them. "Is there any reason to think things are going to turn out WELL?"

Yes, they said unanimously. The dad loves the boy. The dad is never going to give up on that.

So, okay. I'll keep trudging through. It's not like I have any choice.


Anonymous said...

I so hated the first Cormac McCarthy book I read, I have absolutely no interest in reading this one.

LH's CA friend, MM

Martha said...

I have the book sitting on my table waiting for me to read it. I think it would crush me too.


haphazardmusings said...

I have to admit that The Road is one of my very favorite books. Sure, it's bleak as anything, but there are so many little moments of humanness that I really enjoyed reading.

kc said...

I do think the book is extremely well done, but I just feel it's exhausting to read.

abby said...

Saw the movie with R & J this weekend, and left feeling glad I didn't read the book. Seeing it on screen is tough, but I can't imagine seeing it in my head while reading the book and having it not be over after 2 hours. I agree though, really well done.

anne said...

I had nightmares for days (well, nights) after I finished that book. I'd love to talk with you about it now that I've graded 90 EHS papers on it.