The world is a but a husk; a broken and bitter place left smoking and quaking beneath a sullen sky. Ash and bones are all the remain in our once vibrant world yet despite the destruction of its entirety life still trudges along; barely.
“The Road”, written by Cormac McCarthy is my all time favourite book. Now you’re probably thinking: This pulitzer prize winning story with an overall theme of death and loss must be the most depressing story one can read; well it is…but tragically beautiful all the same. Set in a landscape of Grey with a few splotches of red smeared across the asphalt, the world McCarthy has created is undoubtedly grim, however amidst the blood and corpses we are given a brutally honest story of human struggle. Struggle which captures our hearts as we breathe each breath and take each step with our desperate heroes.
We see these stark circumstances through the eyes of a father, who must at all cost protect his son from dangers whilst simultaneously trying to be a good parent, and, let me tell you, it’s pretty clear that doing that in between bullets and eating cockroaches is no easy feat. Though when we travel with the pair we experience the father’s sadness and his fortitude, both of which become incredibly endearing, yet what really stands out is his son. The boy has only ever known the world for its sombre tones and knows only of colours from his old story books and collections of knick knacks he has collected along the road. Comparatively presented against his father’s dire intensity, the young boy demonstrates that kindness and innocence are still profoundly powerful, teaching us with each word whom the true hero of our story is.
Each page is an intensely intimate insight into the hearts of fear and innocence and each time I pick up this book I am confronted yet again with a picture that never fails to devour my mind. I would recommend this book to any and all readers – it is bleak, it is blunt, but most of all it is a captivating work of true beauty.
– Michael, QBD Plenty Valley