0160 | The Road – Cormac McCarthy

Context: Listened to this in a day while preparing food in the Wycliffe kitchens.

This surprised me. Wasn’t what I thought. I thought it’d be some esoterical account of someone’s journey to find the meaning of life or something. It turned out to be so down-to-earth it almost defined the word prosaic.

The book is written in a masterfully poignant style that only lends to the atmosphere of melancholy as a father and his son struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic nightmare set along a road they travel. There’s no reason for travelling the road other than for the sake of movement. The sky is grey, the land is ash covered and the people are shadows of humanity.

And in this barrenness the love of the man and his son is fully revealed. I was really touched by the man’s patience with his son and the son’s candour.

Despite the beauty of the writing, I’ll not be rating this higher. It’s definitely got something but it lacks that certain something that makes it an unforgettable book. Not sure what but that’s the impression I got.

When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.

In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.

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