Monday, January 2, 2012

just medium brave

4th Book of Break:
The Road.
-Cormac McCarthy

Stunning. And shocking. And so beautiful.
At the beginning, it is difficult to be caught up in a story that, as Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal describes it, is like "a dogged exercise in finding different ways to express grim and gray." It's awfully bleak. And the fact that there are no quotation marks and very little structure in the dialogue makes throwing yourself into the book awfully difficult. But actually I grew to love the lack of quotation marks. After several chapters [(?) there's no chapter delineation either-that's a strugg] but, after a bit, the lack of quotation marks helps you fly through the story. I've never found myself running through a book so fast. It's a terrifying book. I almost didn't want to read each paragraph for fear something unspeakably horrific would occur. But it was incredibly moving. And the sparse dialogue cut you like a knife. The words were so specific--they were precious and few and chosen to make their sharp and bitter point as poignantly as possible. One of my favorite exchanges comes at the end of the book between the father and the son:

I want to be with you.
You cant.
Please.
You cant. You have to carry the fire.
I dont know how to.
Yes you do.
Is it real? The fire?
Yes it is.
Where is it? I don't know where it is.
Yes you do. It's inside you. It was always there. I can see it.

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