Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is great, but that doesn’t mean I was wholly blown away by it. Sparse language and stark apocalyptic landscapes aren’t exactly new territory, and that sort of stuff doesn’t exactly get my noodle going. It’s a parlor trick of sorts that Mr. McCarthy has pulled off gracefully. The plot and style are similar to any comic book or pulp novel or B-movie from a bygone era, but the author has imbued this thin palate with a literary cognizance that raises story out of the muck and grime of a post-apocalyptic landscape.
The story follows a man and a boy walking down a road, searching for sustenance and dodging evil-doers, after the end of days. How and why the earth has been scorched into oblivion is never explained because it doesn’t need to be. Mr. McCarthy has kept as much information out of the story as possible, even going so far as to do away with contractions and other formatting niceties, like quotations marks or chapters. The message is clear: show only what is needed, nothing more. I’ll follow suit, and offer you nothing more of the plot, it would ruin the experience of reading it.
According to IMDb, Mr. McCarthy’s books have been adapted into four films so far, including last year’s Best Picture winner No Country For Old Men. The Road represents one of three more films coming out adapted from his work. I doubt the film will be very good, but it’s obvious why it would be made. The novel’s stripped down nature reads just like a screenplay. Action, action, dialogue, scene. This formula lent itself extremely well to No Country, which follows the book almost to the letter.
But this book is very different. There is no chase. There is nothing to strive for. Ultimately, there seems to be no reason to live in this non-world that the author has drawn up for us, which is why this book has mystified readers since its release. Is it a great read? Yes. Is it anything more than that? No. Do I recommend it? Hell yes.
rating: 3 of 5 stars I have to say I enjoyed this goofy little romp. Sure, it’s inane, but for some reason I couldn’t put it down. I think Chris Elliot is sending a message to us to not take ourselves so darn seriously. Message recieved loud a clear cabin boy.
Catherine Hardwicke no doubt set out to make a gritty drama of teen angst set against the backdrop of the dreary Pacific Northwest, but a few weeks prior to shooting, a producer must have handed her a script for “Twilight” and said make this instead. The first screen adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s bestselling romanticÂ vampireÂ series isÂ likeÂ a cheap wine looking for a bottle, which is really a shame because I would surely lap it up if only served properly. Targeted at teenage girls, it would seem my age and gender preclude me from this discussion, however I believe that young women are yearning for much more from their heroines, so let’s get started with the nit pickiness. Read on…
This beast of a book has been following me around lately. It all started when I had the bright idea to make a horror film, but couldn’t come u p with, ya know, plots or characters or those things you need to get some decent writing done. I don’t want to reveal my diabolical plans just yet, but I can tell you that I’ve been fascinated by zombies lately. I’d really love to get to know them better, get inside their heads (though I bet they’d want into my cranium more).
Anyway, killing time in the graphic novel section at B&N last week, I happened upon this tome of murderous tales. So far it’s tons of fun. Most of the comics I’ve read so far have been from 1950–1955, and while none have literally terrified me, they certainly have been quite entertaining. The one that will be toughest to top in this book is “Hitler’s Head” by Don Heck (and co.). It tells the tale of a decorated Nazi laying low in South America after the war who is haunted by the ghost of Hitler and his Army of demons. From the beginning right down to it’s head-scratcher of an ending it is truly fascinating. It is grizzly, but not gruesome. Plus, it’s easy enough to cheer on Nazi on Nazi action. Read on…