The smoke travelling from the United States that is currently covering Calgary's sky has reminded me of this amazing book awarded with the 2007 Pulitzer Prize and considered by many one of the best books of the last two decades.
Set in a post-environmental catastrophe, The Road is a book about survival, endurance, fear, acceptance and love. A father and son’s journey along a road in a world where the sun does no longer shines and the sky is no longer blue; where danger lurks around every corner and human nature has recessed to its animal origins. It’s a world where all the values we know have been swept away and replaced by urgent needs, where there is no space for inner thoughts or self-doubt. It’s a book about life and death. Nevertheless, even in this bleak environment, the bond between son and father is stronger than anything else: stronger than starvation, fear, danger and, ultimately, death.
The writing reflects the scenario that is set to describe: fragmented, abrupt, unforgiving. McCarthy’s vision of this (im)possible new world sounds so distant and, yet, could be just around the corner. The anguish that runs through the every-day life of these two characters is so palpable that the reader finds himself/herself walking the road with them.
The Road ends with a message of hope: death is inevitable but love is stronger, our best chance of survival. No technology will ever be able to fill that gap. Love is the only thing that can save us all. (Maybe)