Thoughts on The Road

I’m not very good at book reviews. This is especially true when the book changes you as you read it. Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is that kinda book. So Instead of a review I want to give you some of the thoughts I had while reading and then after finishing. Pretty late to the party on this one. I just discovered McCarthy a few weeks ago and have been tearing through his works ever since. There are very few writers I connect with as a reader and as a writer. McCarthy now sits atop the list. But if you are looking for a feel good book, this ain’t it. However, if you are looking for something profound in the world of Honey Boo-Boo…well, here ya go.

There is no other book I can think of where I’ve wanted to finish and yet never end.

It’s a dark book. Yes. Dark like the night sky without which you cannot see the heavens. Dark like prophecy.

The Christian world will probably keep on writing as if a book like this does not exist. As if no one writes like this. Amish Romance will continue to reign.

I bet Wendall Berry hates this book.

Just like every good parable, I bounced around from every character wondering which one was me.

I can’t even imagine the man and the boy complaining about preservatives in food. 

Is this what a world rebelling against God looks like when the veil of grace and beauty is pulled back?

Belief and unbelief both seemed reasonable. I was at least understanding of those who had no hope.

My life is full and the gravity of life and death are interruptions. Their lives were nothing but life and death with a few brief interruptions. My interruptions are less valuable for all that.

I bet pacifists hate this book.

The outdoors were safer than the indoors. Which is the opposite of the world as we know it.

I kept picturing Jeremiah and his lamentations.

Publishers Weekly described McCarthy as the closest thing in American literature to an Old Testament prophet. About right.

Right now, discouragement about work and vocation are like a tidal wave. But we have clothing. We have food. We have safe shelter. Beauty and reasons for wonder everywhere. And cannibals are not trying to eat us. Good reminders.

5 thoughts on “Thoughts on The Road

  1. Gardner Gordon March 19, 2013 / 1:04 pm

    didn’t someone say that “in the cannon of American literature, McCarthy is ‘Judges.'”

  2. Kyle April 3, 2013 / 11:49 am

    Just saw your review of this. This is my favorite book, in the sense of its impact on me. I read it in one sitting a few years ago, then went and picked up my sleeping son (1 and a half at the time), and held him and wept.

    The rest of McCarthy’s stuff is powerful as well. Thanks for the thoughts on the Road.

  3. Allison Redd (@alredd) April 3, 2013 / 9:40 pm

    I just saw this video where Andrew Peterson talks about how The Road inspired his song “Carry the Fire” and I remembered your review.

    Between the two of you, I will read McCarthy this year, I think. He got me to read The Yearling and that’s a feat in itself.

    The whole album has carried me through a pretty heavy season of my own, so I thought you’d appreciate this.

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