Book Review: The Road-Cormac McCarthy

The Road (Oprah's Book Club)

You have my whole heart. You always did.

A story of a father and son left alone in a vast and empty new America, Cormac MccCarthy creates a novel where a father-son relationship is the center of the reader’s focus. The Road takes us on a journey where a man and a son as they struggle to survive in a sort of post-apocalyptic world, where the land is barren and cold. Everything is abandoned and there isn’t  any sign of life apart from the occasional straggler man or women, sometimes child. People are forced to survive in the wild where food, water, and shelter are sparse.

The Road looks at the intimate relationship of a father and son as they journey to find their survival. They must battle against the wilderness, “the bad guys”, and against their own sickness. McCarthy creates a minimal setting and plot which allows the readers to see how much the father loves his son, and the internal struggles he faces with keeping himself and son safe. The dialogue is short and choppy, and the plot typically remains the same, but it’s the atmosphere surrounding the protagonists which makes the words stick out and evoke such strong emotions.

What would you do if I died?

If you died I would want to die too.

So you could be with me?

Yes. So I could be with you.

Okay.

The young son in the story is more contemplative than the father, and in a way more moral; he is always thinking about others and the outcome of their actions. He is the more complicated of characters and is the literary figure of “goodness” we often find in children. The father is more practical and logical, thinking of survival and safety, “[t]here was a good chance they would die in the mountains and that would be that.” The different perspectives of both characters are wound together seamlessly adding on to the beautiful relationship.

As for me my only hope is eternal nothingness and I hope it with all my heart.

I absolutely loved this novel. The Road left me feeling more colder and empty than when I began. McCarthy is a brilliant writer and I found myself highlighting so many sentences because of the mere beauty of it. Although the plot was typically the same throughout the novel, I think McCarthy wanted to focus on the idea of relationships and love in the midst of strife.  I would recommended this book to those who enjoy books about relationships, fathers and sons, and self reflection. Being my first Cormac McCarthy novel, I definitely want to read his others. A book that sinks deep into you bones, The Road swallows heart and head whole.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Popular Authors I’ve Never Read

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 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Authors I’ve Never Read. I am surprised at some of the authors I’ve never read, and hopefully that will change as I read more books. 

1.Gabriel García Márquez-One Hundred Years of Solitude

2. Franz Kafka-The Castle, Amerika

3. Nora Roberts-The MacGregors, The Perfect Hope, and many more.

4. Suzanne Collins-The Hunger Games Trilogy

5. Leo Tolstoy-Anna Karenina

6. Neil Gaiman-Stardust, Coraline

7. Gillian Flynn-Gone Girl

9. Stephen King-Carrie, The Shining

10. Dan Brown- The Da Vinci Code

My goal to  read a least one novel from each of the authors over a span of time! What popular authors haven’t you read yet?

Book Review: The Lowland-Jhumpa Lahiri

17262100 If you are a lover of beautiful prose and heartbreaking plot, The Lowland  is a must read for you. I am so happy I was able to experience her work, it was honestly one of a kind. Lahiri webs together relationships magically, yet their prints aren’t left behind. The feeling is reminiscent of someone brushing your arm lightly; it’s quick and light yet you can still feel their touch minutes later. Identities and human nature unravel revealing a bare soul. Lahiri’s crisp, clean, yet beautiful writing made her novel a perfect choice for the Pulitzer Prize.

The Lowland  focuses on two brothers Subhash and Udayan, born 15 months apart, growing up in Calcutta during the 1960’s. The younger brother Udayan, impulsive and free-spirited joins the revolutionary movement of the Naxalites. The Naxals are a rebel group formed against the Indian government, often fighting for the rights of the lower class. Subhash, the older brother and devoted son, goes to America to attend college and pursue a degree in aquamarine science. The story takes a turn when the brothers’ close relationship is torn apart through tragedy, leaving Udayan’s pregnant wife Gauri and a despaired family.

She saw that she impressed him, not only by reading what he gave her, but by talking to him about it. They exchanged opinions about the limits of political freedom, and whether freedom and power meant the same thing. About individualism, leading to hierarchies. About what society happened to be at the moment, and what it might become.

It is here the novel takes us into the lives of the characters of Gauri and Subhash living their lives together, yet so distant and separate. Subhash takes the responsibility of caring for Gauri and her child, but their relationship is strained and reticent.  Lahiri bobs and weaves through the minds of both Subhash and Gauri, as well as incorporates flashbacks of Udayan. The reader gets different perspectives of the characters internally and externally. Through the beautiful narratives of Lahiri’s words, both India and America are twined together seamlessly.

Overall this novel is memorable. I am so pleased I was able to read Lahiri’s work, for it was magnificently  crafted. The different characters perspectives really adds to the constant rise and fall of the plot. It was also interesting to learn about India’s politics going on during the 1960’s. I am eager to pass this incredible story along.  Remarkably constructed, The Lowland is sure to be talked about for a while.