Thursday, September 07, 2006

Cormac McCarthy - The Road

As long term readers of this blog will know opinion is divided at Crockatt & Powell over the writer Cormac McCarthy.

I love his writing. The Border Trilogy in particular (the final part is still one of only two books to make me cry) His most recent novel No Country For Old Men is perhaps the most underated book published in years. Most reviewers treated it as a simple thriller, ignoring or failing to notice the layers of meaning, the politics, the anger that churned beneath the pared down plot. No Country For Old Men is a book about the beginning of the end of a society and culture (that of the US) that showed the redundancy of a culture that worshipped at the alter of Supply and Demand. (What is the cocaine trade if not capitalism taken to a logical conclusion?)

Marie loves his writing too.

Adam thinks he is the pits - too "poetic" and a waster of words.

When a proof of McCarthy's new novel came in Marie snaffled it. She didn't tell me either cos she knew I would be furious! Well, after three consecutive nights of nightmares she has finally finished it and claims it is "the most terrifying book I have ever read". Where No Country For Old Men raged at the failures of American consumer culture The Road takes place in a world and landscape that has totally collapsed...

It is sitting here in front of me now. I'm going to have to start reading it...

"When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the 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."

Excuse me now - I have a book to read!


  1. It's the literary equivalent of having your belly sliced open and watching someone reach their ice cold hand in and squeeze your guts. Yes: that good.

  2. Doesn`t sound like much of a laff

  3. Marie warned me about this book and sure enough I was up late last night reading "just a couple more pages" despite needing to be up bright and early today.

    No, there isn't much laughter in this book!

    Something woke him. He turned on his side and lay listening. He raised his head slowly, the pistol in his hand. He looked down at the boy and when he looked back toward the road the first of them were already coming into view. God, he whispered. He reached and shook the boy, keeping his eyes on the road. They came shuffling through the ash casting their hooded heads from side to side. Some of them wearing canister masks. One in a biohazard suit. Stained and filthy. Slouching along with clubs in their hands, lengths of pipe. Coughing. Then he heard on the road behind them what sounded like a diesel truck. Quick, he whispered. Quick. He shoved the pistol in his belt and grabbed the boy by the hand and he dragged the cart through the trees and tilted it over where it would not be so easily seen. The boy was frozen with fear. He pulled him to him. It's all right, he said. We have to run. Dont look back. Come on.

    Lynn truss would have words about the lack of punctuation eh? McCarthy is a visionary writer. I bloody hope he isn't a prophetic writer or we are in trouble...AAARRGGHH!

    Must finish book but how when supposed to be working? Good thing am own boss.

  4. Lynne Truss would be wrong. There's nothing wrong with that punctuation. It's constructed so it doesn't need much. And that's fine.

  5. "poetic", mmm. "masturbatory", yes!

  6. I couldn't put the book down. Truly a work of genius. No wasted words in this book (if that is something you have an aversion to). Stark, sparse, hungry. I know I'll be savoring the next coke I drink.