Let me first say that I'm not a big fan of fiction; I've always been more interested in works of non-fiction. So if this review is overenthusiastic, it's simply because I don't read enough fiction. Apologies to those who are more well-versed than I ;D

My sister recently recommended I read Cormac McCarthy's "The Road." Before going to bed tonight, I started it. And I was blown away. Enough to get me back on the computer to write about it.

Cormac McCarthy writes in the exact style that I try (and fail) in my super crappy short stories. I haven't even gotten 30 pages into the book, and I've already been re-reading whole passages - his mastery of words is amazing. I'm going to share some of my favorite passages so far (the absence of punctuation is part of his style, and not a typo - I'm doing a complete transcription):

They passed through the city at noon of the day following. He kept the pistol to hand on the folded tarp on top of the cart. He kept the boy close to his side. The city was mostly burned. No sign of life. Cars in the street caked with ash, everything covered with ash and dust. Fossil tracks in the dried sludge. A corpse in a doorway dried to leather. Grimacing at the day. He pulled the boy closer. Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. You might want to think about that.

You forget some things, don't you?

Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.

My favorite passage thus far, emphasis mine: (this story is about an unnamed father and boy in post-apocalyptic America)

An hour later they were on the road. He pushed the cart and both he and the boy carried knapsacks. In the knapsacks were essential things. In case they had to abandon the cart and make a run for it. Clamped to the handle of the cart was a chrome motorcycle mirror that he used to watch the road behind them. He shifted the pack higher on his shoulders and looked out over the wasted country. The road was empty. Below in the little valley the still gray serpentine of a river. Motionless and precise. Along the shore a burden of dead reeds. Are you okay? he said. The boy nodded. Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other's world entire.


Posted by roy on January 6, 2009 at 12:18 AM in Ramblings | 1 Comments

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Comment posted on January 6th, 2009 at 01:30 AM
English 1301: FAIL! The first part is my instant message style.