Books »The Road (Best Book)

the road cormac mccarthyBooks category pick for the week of 9/22/08
Here's what I said then:

The Road by Cormac McCarthy has been on my to-read list since it was published but something just always held me back. I'd heard nothing but good things, amazing things even from people I could care less about like Oprah who gave it a (sometimes) coveted spot on her book club, to reviewers, whoever votes for Pulitzers and friends and family whose opinions I trust.

Every agrees though, that it's intense and I will add to that by telling you my own tale of woe. I had about ten pages left on the subway but my stop came. At the time this was infuriating, as the book is totally engrossing, but the next morning when I finished it in the comfort of my own home I was relieved because it caused me to sob uncontrollably for an unseemly amount of time. (So keep in mind, the end is not good for subway commutes).

But there, see, that's just the kind of story that made me hold off on reading it for so long, so let me try to reverse the damage and convince you to pick it up immediately. It is a harrowing, well written, scary, tense, beautiful novel and one of the best I've read this year. While sometimes popular things can be solely a result of hype, there is a legitimate and reason for The Road's popularity.

It's bleak look into human darkness, survival, cannibalism, and fear and?it's vision end of the world goes far beyond the comparatively optimistic imaginings by other post-apocalyptic movies and books like Day of the Triffids and 28 Days Later, where people, relatively unscathed manage to survive in some plot of land somewhere to begin again. The world of The Road is rough, hopeless, and terrifying.

I can only imagine how possibly stupendous the Viggo Mortensen, John Hillcoat film adaptation might be. Read it first, though!

Runner Ups:
I'm With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie
In the Small
The Secret History
Call for the Dead

See more: Books

Posted on November 3, 2008

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