Thursday, March 13, 2008

Read "The Road"

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road: Cormac McCarthy

What's the bravest thing you ever did?

Getting up this morning.

Describing The Road

Imagine there's nothing to look forward to. Nothing to hope for. Dreams are all but useless. And memories of the past are the only remnants of happiness.

What is important is not today. Neither this hour nor minute. But this very moment that decides if you'll survive another moment to simply exist.

No safe shelter. No food available. No heat from the sun. No one to trust your life to. Only you and your child.

Would life still be worth living?

Experiencing The Road

I had to continue reading despite the urge to stop, to breathe, to escape the bleakness and desolation. It's as if their lives (the father and son) depended on me, as well as mine on them.

At first, I was thinking of I am Legend's set based on the beginning of the story. The aloneness, grayness, hopelessness. But as the plot progressed, the world became much darker until pitch black of the night.

I can feel the fear of such darkness, the blackest black, since I recently experienced wading in the beach on a rainy night. It was as if darkness will swallow you with its entirety spanning the whole horizon. It was frightening.

The slow pacing made me want to turn down the book and not finish it. But since a friend recommended it as a very good read, I waited for the story to unfold further.

With the first scene of sentiment, my heart was pierced to the very core and tears hung strongly in my eyes so they won't roll off. And as the tension for survival thickened, the pace became much slower but my heartbeat getting quicker. A slower pace due to the terror enveloping the heavy air, that I have to make myself stronger to read on. The word "gripping", true to its essence in this book.

As much as for the style, the author did a very fine job of cutting down into the barest necessities, may it be dialogue or punctuation. It's as if the writing itself was part of the story, in simplicity and grayness. Making the characters more vivid, the emotions more raw.

Perhaps my note to Jonat best describes my experience with The Road:

Thanks, Jonat, for sharing this book with me. I just finished reading it and I was deeply moved. (Thus the letter.)

Yet I cannot include this in my favorites because of the heaviness and sadness in my heart. I don't know if I still have the guts to read it again.

Nevertheless I do agree with you that this is the best novel I've read so far. It is the saddest yet most beautiful story that made me weep so painfully. I couldn't stop crying even after I closed the book and held it in my hands for a long time.

Thanks again and I would definitely recommend this to anyone.


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