For my birthday, Bea’s Mom got me a copy of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.
It had been recommended to me, but with the caveat that it was quite dark, and could very well leave one depressed. Knowing my tastes and penchant for post-apocalyptic fiction (can we go ahead and just call it speculative fiction? ;) ), they felt that it was nonetheless a solid suggestion. I have to say, they were partially right.
The basic gist of the story is that a man and his son are survivors of what we can assume is something akin to a nuclear winter. It is indeed dark and dreary, and I will freely admit that I enjoyed going outside and enjoying the warmth of the sun on my face. Later, I talked to Jeremy and gave him my thoughts on the unfortunately short (~250 pg) book. I see where he might have been depressed, but I think I extracted a wholly different sentiment. For me, while the scenario and ordeals were horrible, it was the absolute and unending dedication of the man to his son’s well-being that affected me the most. It is the man’s sheer unwillingness to accept defeat in order to protect another and “keep the light” that I find uplifting.
This book is at times sad, harsh, and utterly bleak, and it is in these situations that the absolute best and worst of man is brought to light. The resounding message for me is that there are those that when faced with it, will keep putting one foot in front of the other because it’s just what has to be done.