Friday, February 27, 2009

Me Again

I slacked off on my other books, so now I'll just have to do a three in one. Since I last posted, I've read The Power of One, A Room with a View, and the Bell Jar.

The Power of One was not what I expected at all. I expected it to actually be about apartheid or WWII and instead it was only about the kid. And I found it wasn't emotional at all. Mich said it was one of the only movies she's cried in, but I wasn't even close to tearing up. It was a pretty good story about, well, the power of one, but the end where he beats the crap out of his childhood bully kind of ruined it, I thought. So, not an A+ from me. Not that I didn't enjoy it, it was a pretty good read, but definitely not my fave.

A Room with a View was pretty great. At first it was boring, had long descriptive paragraphs that I didn't understand, and action that was vague so I felt like I was only getting the gist of the story. And now I feel like I'm hating on this book... But after the first bit of the book, I really enjoyed it and it was a lovely romance. Very cute!

I freaking loved the Bell Jar. When I got that at Christmas, I remember Went and Cris saying they loved it as well. It was intense and so well written! It was surprising how subtle it was at first, and then bam. But also, it didn't seem like she was insane, only really depressed. But I liked it mucho, I couldn't put it down!

So, there's a few little blips for ya! Love ya lots!

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Road

The Road is a story of a father and son’s journey for survival through the post-apocalyptic wasteland of the American southeast. It’s set in an endless winter, in burned lifeless forests and on abandoned roads. The man and the boy travel only with a small stash of belongings and the food they have scavenged from the dead, ash-covered earth and abandoned homes. Many years before an unexplained catastrophe destroyed the earth. There is no sunshine, the air is thick with soot, rivers and the ocean are black, and most life has become extinct. Those left are refugees like the boy and the man, or marauders and cannibals.

Their journey is nothing short of terrifying. The desolation, the utter bleakness of their prospects is haunting. However, The Road is also a miraculous story of love and hope. Despite their misery, father and son continually remind themselves that they “carry the fire;” that they possess an inherent goodness, and a faith that civility and decency persist somewhere in the world. And the man and the boy’s devotion to one another remind us of the basic, undeniable authority of love. (And although my review may suggest otherwise, the novel isn't unnecessarily weighed down with generic themes or by apocalyptic dread. The Road is also an adventure novel.)

McCarthy's writing is epic and beautiful: "The soft black talc blew through the streets like squid ink uncoiling along a sea floor and the cold crept down and the dark came early and the scavengers passing down the steep canyons with their torches trod silky holes in the drifted ash that closed behind them silently as eyes."

And simple, bare and gripping: "He held him all night, dozing off and waking in terror, feeling for the boy's heart. In the morning he was no better. He tried to get him to drink some juice but he would not. He pressed his hand to his forehead, conjuring up a coolness that would not come. He wiped his white mouth while he slept. I will do what I promised, he whispered. No matter what. I will not send you into the darkness alone."

The Road is a brilliantly conceived allegory. And despite its darkness, it's also an extremely rewarding novel.