Title: The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Summary: The Road follows an unnamed father and son journeying together across a grim post-apocalyptic landscape, some years after a great, unexplained cataclysm has destroyed civilization and almost all life on Earth. Realizing that they will not survive another winter in their unspecified original location, the father leads the boy south, through a desolate American landscape along a vacant highway, towards the sea, sustained only by the vague hope of finding warmth and more “good guys” like them, and carrying with them only what is on their backs and what will fit into a damaged supermarket cart. (Goodreads Summary)
Why I Loved It: As I mentioned, there are ways to get on my five star list and excellent post-apocalyptic, dystopian literature is high up there. The father of one of my friends told her “This is the best book I would never recommend anyone read.” That is the most accurate recommendation.
Who would like this: I don’t know. It takes strong stomach to read a book this dark. But this one is well worth it.
“Then don’t. I can’t help you. They say that women dream of danger to those in their care and men of danger to themselves. But I don’t dream at all. You say you can’t? Then don’t do it. That’s all. Because I am done with my own whorish heart and I have been for a long time. You talk about taking a stand but there is no stand to take. My heart was ripped out of me the night he was born so don’t ask for sorrow now. There is none. Maybe you’ll be good at this. I doubt it, but who knows. The one thing I can tell you is that you won’t survive for yourself. I know because I would have never have come this far. A person who had no one would be well advised to cobble together some passable ghost. Breathe it into being and coax it along with words of love. Offer it each phantom crumb and shield it from harm with your body. As for me my only hope is for eternal nothingness and I hope it with all my heart.”
“Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other’s world entire.”
“Where men can’t live gods fare no better.”
“They lay listening. Can you do it? When the time comes? When the time comes there will be no time. Now is the time. Curse God and die. What if it doesn’t fire? It has to fire. What if it doesn’t fire? Could you crush that beloved skull with a rock? Is there such a being within you of which you know nothing? Can there be? Hold him in your arms. Just so. The soul is quick. Pull him toward you. Kiss him. Quickly.”