Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What We're Reading Now

The Alexandria Campus Book Club resumes on 5 October. We'll be reading Cormac McCarthy's The Road.

"The searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece.A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food-—and each other.The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation."

Join us on October 5th for a discussion. Copies of the novel are available for check out in the Library.


Jack said...

The Road was a great book. Really easy to read, though I'm not sure I understand why he couldn't use quotation marks.
Sad story. We would all like to believe that we would help others we came across on such a desolate road, but our families always come first.

Alex Librarian said...

"I'm not sure I understand why he couldn't use quotation marks."

Presumably grammar and punctuation go out the window along with civilisation. -- Matt

Alex Librarian said...

The title "The Road" conjures up the literary convention of "quest" or "journey" fiction, in the tradition of Pilgrim's Progress and Tom Jones. Like Bunyan's everyman, the protagonists in "The Road" are not given names. What is the spiritual journey that McCarthy reflects upon: the human condition? The fate of civilisation?

Sylvia Rortvedt said...

I've been playing with Library Thing ( which lets you create your personal library catalog and tag books with your own subject terms. Tags other readers have assigned to "The Road" included "Fathers and sons" and "Survivors" and linked it to our next book, "Maus" -- a connection I hadn't made when we selected the books.