Just finished reading 'the road'…
They’re starving but every time they run out of food they find some, every time the plot requires a crisis it immediately happens
it wouldn’t be much of a story if, when they ran out of food, they just died would it? it wouldn’t be very tense and captivating if there were no crises and they just kept on pushing that trolley through the ash for 250 pages unhindered.Posted 4 years ago
No… But he strips it of any logic, they’re characters (well, almost) in a plot (well, kind of), not people in a world. Suspension of disbelief is fine but a story should follow its own rules, you can’t have food be impossible to find and then suddenly have it fall from the sky for the sake of plot. Unless you’re the Hunger Games anyway.Posted 4 years agonickcSubscriber
McCarthy doesn’t do hope. His books are unrelentingly bleak. We are all dying and evil prevails, is his message.
Did you read all the way to the end?
Northwind, it’s not about “what happens” though really, it’s about a dying man’s struggle to ensure the survival of his son.Posted 4 years agodjflexureSubscriber
If you liked the Border Trilogy……….don’t watch the film of All the pretty horses.
Read Edgar Allan Poes ‘Fall of the house of Usher’ instead.
Cheers for that, will look it up. Just bought Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson which looks promising. I read Reamde last summer by the same author, following a recommendation on here, and quite enjoyed it.Posted 4 years ago
I’m probably a sucker for more of a back to nature feel rather than post apocalyptic nihilism.
Indeed – the description of the wolf (and that dog fight, where she & Billy make their stand) in The Crossing is particularly outstanding, as is CM’s more general feel for landscapes. He’s able to convey immense grandeur without being remotely sentimental: no matter how often I read it, the ending of The Crossing – the near-geological sadness of it – still demolishes me. By any standard, even by those of his American predecessors (and CM surely warrants comparison with Faulkner, etc), he is an absolutely outstanding writer.
As for the absence of hope… I disagree, although there’s no disguising the general bleakness (murderous characters, indifferent Nature). In many respects, the semi-autobiographical Suttree is hugely uplifting – a man living life at near-rock bottom, without losing either his dignity or humour. The relationship between the father & son in The Road is almost unbearably gripping, but it’s probably my least-favourite of his books. I actually find Blood Meridian to be the most apocalyptic of ’em all – I mean, who could ever adequately portray the Judge on film? 😯Posted 4 years ago
nickc – Member
Northwind, it’s not about “what happens” though really, it’s about a dying man’s struggle to ensure the survival of his son.
Which he… doesn’t. Actually he just wobbles along as scripted events unfurl, then predictably as soon as he dies yet another perfectly timed and incredibly unlikely intervention happens.Posted 4 years agoMushMember
Don’t want to ruin it for those yet to read it, but I took a different view of the ending of the Road. Perhaps it’s so unlikely an intervention as to make you question it? Suppose it’s a question of optimism and pessimism.
I liked All The Pretty Horses a great deal, but struggled with the joylessness of the Crossing and haven’t started Cities of the Plain as a result.
Blood Meridian has a lot of fans, but not sure I’ve got the stomach for some of the scenes depicted..Posted 4 years ago
mikey74 – Member
It’s a frickin novel. What else did you expect?
I’d like for things to be remotely convincing. I find it very hard to get involved in a novel when it’s this ridiculous, it undermines everything. No sense of threat or jeopardy or progress which means that the characters actions and subsequently motivations become meaningless.Posted 4 years ago
there are actual end of level bosses
This is a very fair criticism of The Road – and I suspect it’s why some CM super-fans don’t like it asmuch as his other books (i.e. he could have won the Pulitzer Prize for something else…). But when I read it, I was so utterly transfixed by the father-son relationship & their desperate love, I simply ignored the book’s [potential] flaws. I have absolutely zero paternal instincts – and I was fugging howling by the end.
Also, the very last passage is stunning – a kind of eulogy for the American landscape.Posted 4 years agomartinhutchSubscriber
I read ‘The Road’ when I was coming down with pneumonia – it freaked the hell out of me. The ending was a surprise, certainly.
‘The Crossing’ was unrelentingly bleak. You naturally want the characters to do well, to be repaid for noble deeds, but it just gets worse and worse.
I enjoyed ‘No Country for Old Men’ the most. The film is an excellent representation of the novel.Posted 4 years ago
deadlydarcy – Member
Surely you must have realised when you got, say three quarters through, that it was that ridiculous that it was beyond saving…just one predictable, scripted episode after another?
Nah, sometimes the earlier failings of a novel are paid off, setting up some change of direction or style later on, or just worth it for some other aspect of the book. And there were parts I enjoyed, I just think they were outnumbered. (also, I’m terrible at stopping a book once I’ve started… I mean, I kept going with the wheel of time ffs and that was like having nails hammered into your brain)Posted 4 years ago
Ok, it was just that you said it was “awful”.
I have so little time to read these days that if I’m getting the impression a book is awful, I put it down – I got caught out reading shit books when I got talked into a book club type shite affair a few years back. Never again. 😡 But fair dues for persevering…seems like the book carried some chink of hope somewhere. 🙂Posted 4 years agomytiMember
I read it a few years ago in one sitting also as couldn’t put it down. Still one of the most memorable books I’ve read and the film is good but I just think when you read an amazing book the film can’t come close. Haven’t read a good book in ages..need some suggestions!Posted 4 years agomytiMember
Just searched for this thread to get myself some reminders for a good read for my hol next week. Have ordered Pretty little horses and Swan Song which was tough to track down in print! Selling for £30 odd quid 2nd hand on Amazon but found myself a sneaky copy for £3.70 on ebay. Do love a good apocalyptic story especially when on a beach!Posted 4 years ago
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