‘The Road’ (Cormac Mccarthy) is a remarkable book, to be read at one sitting if possible – accompanied bya remarkable film. It is a must see. The setting is a post-cataclysm work where an unnamed man and his son escape from an ensuing northern winter by travellign south toward the sea, guided by a disintegrating map. [Of couse, that it is the US means that when it has been scorched by great firestorms, the wole 'world' is also included.]
Reading the novel in the space of two days, i entered a world of a grey pall. Nature has died. Humans are left to scavenge, to avoid rampaging groups of humans who cannibalise otre huamns, even their new born!
At an immediate level, this is a warning of a future for which we are responsible. The theologian in me recalls, however, that the earliest Christians called themselves followers of the Way; and they knew the fire of persecutiona and the ash of death, even as they expected a new day.
Will there be a future in this grey landscape, beyond the escaping and scavanging? The nameless father is beset by a fear that drives him to escape, and to fear other humans. The nameless son asks questions which challenge the fear. The son takes a risk of compassion toward fellow travellers.
There are no easy platitudes here. Written at it was in 2006, the book is set in apost 2006 environment, when Bagdad had been bombed with shock and awe, and fear of terror was leading governments and the populace to accept as normal the fire and ash. Any compassion found here will seem to be idiocy. It reflects the Idiot at the heart of Christian faith.
See some other sites:
A Few Words About The Road / Ted Boynton
….. After reading The Road in early 2007, I fell into a six-week depression from coming to grips with my fundamental assessment of the nature of man and the future of humankind. … McCarthy’s The Road is so unflinching in its confrontation of the inherent savagery of men that consuming the work is the spiritual equivalent of staring at the sun….
– Copyright © 2008 by Rick Wallach
The Road was the winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Literature.