Monday, June 23, 2008

Book Review Brief: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

So I'm flying through my books this summer. I was just telling my wife yesterday that I love that I'm able to read large chunks right now. During the school year, there's so much going on that I read four pages one night and 6 pages two weeks later--not a great way to read a book. You'll notice that the posting right before this is dated yesterday. In other words, I shot through The Road by Cormac McCarthy in about a day and a half. After the debacle of The Emperor's Children, it was nice to read a gripping novel like The Road which was also a relatively short book (230-ish).

Wow, this book was really engaging and takes you on this journey that feels more than the length of its pages. It's basically about a father and son who are on this journey to the sea through a land that has been ravaged by, perhaps, nuclear war or something apocalyptic. All they have is each other, literally. The ending is so very touching. As you know, I am working as one of the summer school librarians this summer (GREAT gig, btw) so I finished it while I was in the library this morning. I had to suck back the tears a few times during the final few pages.

This book happens to be an Oprah's Book Club selection. Interesting note here: the image I pasted above is of the version of the cover before it was named an Oprah Book Club selection. Note that the gold seal says "Winner of the Pulitzer Prize" (2007) which amounts to basically the highest award in the literary world. More recent editions of the cover have replaced the Pulitzer Prize seal with a seal that says "Oprah's Book Club". Crazy, isn't it? I guess Oprah has more influence than the Pulitzer Prize board.
Anyway...I don't know about you, but after I watch a DVD, I love to then watch the special features to see the "making-of" stuff and the back-story for the film. One advantage of being an Oprah selection is that there is a ton of extra stuff that one can take a look at after reading one of her selections (you have to open an account with the Oprah website, but there's no fee). As a result, there's an interview with the author, his first ever television interview. There are also discussion questions and articles about the book's themes.

I really enjoyed the book though it was at times a bit gruesome (though not very detailed in those portions). In the end, it's a book about faithfulness, love, and courage--things that our world could use a bit more of.

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