This is my first ever delayed rhapsody, and it’s such a shame because the book scheduled for last week is one of my favorites. I have already blogged about this on my personal blog years ago, but that’s okay. I don’t think I can ever get tired of ranting about this.
It even came to the point that I shoved this book at the throat of my friends. That was not a very good move because this book, as I always say, is not for everyone. If you are someone who reads to escape from the realities of life, stay away.
A film adaptation for this was released a few years ago, and I have to say that it fell short of the intense emotions that the book has. One has to read this to make it settle inside him firmly.
So let’s get this started!
The Road is a post-apocalyptic novel about an unnamed father and son walking westward to find the sea. Why the sea? Nothing really. It’s just a sort of destination for them to go on. Besides, there’s nothing left for them to lose. There’s nothing in their world.
My copy of the book is black and there couldn’t be a more appropriate color than it. Aside from gray, maybe. But some people argue that these aren’t colors. It’s because the world of the father and son is bereft of any color. There’s smoke and ash everywhere. There’s nothing to eat. There’s nowhere to go. There’s ash fall. There’s famine.
And to make things worse, a group of people is out there, hunting other people so that they could feed on them. Cannibalism. That’s how bad things are. The daily struggle of the father and son is hopeless. There is nothing to hold on to. One might as well kill himself to make things easier.
But hope springs eternally in the son’s heart. This is what keeps the father going. Just thinking about that boy brings back awfully good memories with a little hurt in my heart. How could that boy be an angel in such a world devoid of stuff that good things are made of?
The relationship of the father and son is one of the best that I’ve read. It might be too good to be true, and I might be patronizing this too much. But it is just unbelievable. The father has not always displayed a strong disposition. There was even a time that he contemplated suicide with his son just to end all the suffering. And a lot of times, you get to wonder if there is a god in this world.
God or no god, there is the fire inside their hearts. The fire of life, the fire that keeps one going despite the odds.
Every page is just intense. You cringe at every paragraph. You root for them so hard that whenever they find something to eat, your heart leaps with joy. And when they finally reach the shore only to meet the father’s end, you hold on to the boy. You hope that he would continue to carry the fire that he and his father are always talking about.
And he does. At least there’s something happy about this book.
The few people whom I know who have read this book all said that this is an utterly good book, but it is not something that they can read again. I agree with them. Rereading this is reliving the horrors of the father and son’s tough journey. It is just unbearable.
It takes a lot of energy to go through the experience of reading this. I was always crying then, and I am not even the one who would cry so easily. Okay fine, I admit I cry easily, but this book is something that would hit you so hard. This is only one of the few books that made me cry so hard. Actually, there are only two books as of today that were able to make me shed buckets of tears.
McCarthy is an allegedly intense writer. I have a friend who adores him like the god of modern literature. I’d like to read more of his works, but I have to make sure that I am prepared for it. I have to empty my emotional baggage before I attempt another one of his works.