October 22, 2008


On reading The Road

whatever you're doing
stop right now
even if you are in the middle of a dream
go immediately buy THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy
right now --

No book has gotten to me that much since I first read Molloy or better yet How It Is

this book shows us How it will be

No book has moved me [even when I first read Calvino] than THE ROAD since I felt the little slippage when I first read Sam

it may be because of my present condition as I confront my mortality up close

it's a sad mysterious cryptic and crystal clear
we are in the No-man's land of deviltry
there is urgency to each page
raw emotional pull

you cannot stop reading even if you don't know where this road is taking you

it is as if you must keep reading so that the father and the son can stay alive

so they can survive this horrible How it will be if humanity doesn’t stop going full speed towards eternity

it's a violent story

a grotesque landscape not unlike that in which Pim Pam Pem etc are crawling in How It Is

a horrible landscape rendered beautiful and melancholic even though it is atrocious

a darkness that glows with intensity

a huge gift of language

it is not the language of Sam in which one always hears a little laughter

the language here is all sadness

and yet happiness too the way the father loves his son

the son who carries the fire
the fire towards which they are perhaps going
should by accident stop humanity doing
what it is doing and reinvents love compassion and fear

it is a disturbing book that exposes the blackness
that lies beneath this surface of grief and horror

it is the inevitable culmination of everything becoming nothing

just ashes

yes ashes that's all is needed to know when and where we are
on the road to nowhere

it's hard to comprehend how the writer managed to write the apocalypse in such beautiful words

Well there is a bit of biblical stuff that circulates in this book
but wasn't that true also of Sam's language
but with Sam we don't fall into the trap
here it's not always clear it's ambiguous

what is for sure
McCarthy is the perfect cynic for our time

a word to describe this book – devastating – yes a book about devastation --

lovely and sad
so sad it's hard at the end not to let out a few tears when the father dies

but then one remembers what we read a few pages earlier

Every day is a lie ... but you are dying. That is not a lie.

Yet amid this Godot-like bleakness, McCarthy shares something vital and enduring about the boy's spirit, his father's love and the nature of bravery itself when it's a matter of survival

Raymond Federman

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?