McCarthy, Cormac. 2006. The Road.
When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him. Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world. His hand rose and fell softly with each precious breath. He pushed away the plastic tarpaulin and raised himself in the stinking robes and blankets and looked toward the east for any light but there was none. In the dream from which he'd wakened he had wandered in a cave where the child led him by the hand. Their light playing over the wet flowstone walls. Like pilgrims in a fable swallowed up and lost among the inward parts of some granitic beast. Deep stone flues where the water dripped and sang. Tolling in the silence the minutes of the earth and the hours and the days of it and the years without cease. Until they stood in a great stone room where lay a black and ancient lake. And on the far shore a creature that raised its dripping mouth from the rimstone pool and stared into the light with eyes dead white and sightless as...
I'm mean aren't I? But I wanted to hook you. In case you aren't already familiar with the premise, The Road, is the story of a father and his son. This isn't quite your typical father-son bonding story, however, it's the story of a father and son trying to survive on earth after horrific and massive catastrophes have torn everything and everybody apart. We're not told where, when, how, or why. We just see the fragments and remnants of the world as it now is. Ash. The cities especially are covered in ash. It's implied that a few years at least--maybe longer--have passed since IT happened. It is now near impossible to find food by rummaging cities and towns--stores and homes--any and every structure. And the few people they meet are dangerous for the most part. (If you've read it you know just WHAT I mean.) But the boy and his father are on their way, scavenging as best they can. The father is trying to make it to the east coast. I presumed it was the southern east coast though I could be wrong. I don't remember now if I just assumed that or if it said it out right. So don't take my word on that little detail. The key thing is that they're on a journey, they're on "the road."
I won't say much more than this. I don't think I need to. It's an emotional journey you take along with them. It's got it all. And it's certainly one I won't be forgetting.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews