Book 27: The Road, Sept 3

Posted on 05.09.2014

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The-Road27. The Road, Cormac McCarthy (Sept 3)
Audible had another big sale, and my boyfriend and I went apeshit and bought about 6 audio books between us. I’m currently figuring out how, on our new shared Macbook Pro with two separate user accounts, to take my audio books and put them on his phone. I might have it done, but it still needs to go through a trial run. My book functions in his iTunes, and appears to be on his iPhone… we’ll see if it plays.

So I’d been meaning to read something from Cormac for quite some time, as everyone and their mother seems to think he’s amazing. When I saw this at its daily deal price of $3.95, it didn’t require any thought to click ‘purchase’. And after Walden, I needed some fiction. I wouldn’t call the Road light reading by any stretch of the imagination, but it was definitely an antidote to how I was feeling after reading (listening) to Thoreau. My boyfriend thinks this is one of his best, so that was a nice recommendation to go on.

I almost feel bad for not having read this BEFORE watching the Walking Dead series. Clearly, both take place in a post-apocalypse of one kind or another, but are rather different. One has zombies and terrible survivors, the other just has lots of death and some very terrible survivors. However, having watched Dead for a few seasons, I’ve already got a lot of ideas on how to survive and what could be dangerous. I wouldn’t say I’m prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse, but if it happened, I’d be thankful they made a TV show out of that graphic novel.

That being said, a lot of things that were about to happen were slightly predictable, based on what I’ve already experienced from watching movies about survivors after horrifying events.

That’s not a bad thing, just something to be filed under ‘nothing is new, nothing is ground-breaking, nothing is different’ heading. There was a point, after a particularly scary part of the story, where I chose NOT to listen to the book before bed, JUST IN CASE something else like that happened in the story. I had a hard time falling asleep that night and the night before, thinking about what the protagonists had just gone through.

With these types of stories, I think we find ourselves wondering what we would do in the situations we read or see. Especially in THIS story and Dead, I often find myself wondering if I would have done the same, or something different. I think it’s important to know what you might do BEFORE these things happen. Then, we can’t be totally surprised. Regarding Dead, I would personally show a whole hell of a lot LESS mercy than those characters have, and most of the issues that arise in the series would have been solved a lot quicker. But that’s TV drama for you.

I spent a lot of time trying to imagine what the landscape McCarthy described looked like, and would feel like to walk through. A completely empty space, which is something I find myself searching for from time to time here in crowded Tokyo, and in general. There’s a lot of talk of ash falling, and I also spent a lot of time trying to figure out what had happened in the beginning, and what caused these fires that seemed to have come from nowhere. I’m almost glad that he didn’t describe what happened in great detail, since it seems that no one would have really known anyway, if suddenly the power went out as it seems to have done.

There was also the unending stress that is with you throughout the entire book. Because there MIGHT be cannibals nearby, or there may be someone trying to take what you’ve got, or you may run out of food so long after the initial collapse, that going through stores and homes yields nothing at all. It almost seems like our heroes got lucky more often than could be reasonably expected.

You just know this one isn’t going to end well; these stories never do. There are some that I wish would just get on with it already, but in this case, the long walk towards death was nice to read. I wasn’t expecting the ending to go as it did, I was expecting a different ending altogether and am not sure that what happened is entirely believable… but the ending the story was given is right in line with what we WANT to happen, I think, in order to retain SOME semblance of hope for humanity or ourselves, if we should ever find ourselves in a similar position. It’s nicer than the truth.

Now I’ll go watch the movie. And not jump during the scary bits.

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