Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Road

Warning: contains spoilers

I’ve not read The Road by Cormac McCarthy, but last year I was introduced to his work. I read Outer Dark, which I’ve written about before, and Blood Meridian. Blood Meridian is an extraordinary, unrelenting descent into the kind of temporal hell that the fortunate amongst us will only ever fear, never experience. Its biblical language, sense of creation being somehow corrupt at root – a kind of inverted gnosticism – is operatic and visceral; its depictions of savagery are unflinching.

I am easily frightened by post-apocalyptic movies. The first hour of 28 Days Later, Day of the Triffids, the parts of Threads I managed to sit through, even scenes in I Am Legend leave me nervous, claustrophobic and aware of the vast, overpopulated urban space surrounding me. I remember, years ago, alone and drunk, watching Things To Come late one night and feverishly wondering where I could get my hands on a firearm.

So, when a friend asked me if I wanted to see the film of The Road, I said yes – with reservations. Post-apocalyptic McCarthy? Did I want to start the weekend preoccupied with planning escape routes from Clapham or wondering how best to transport water on foot? As another friend told me this week: “Since I read The Road I keep a store of food and supplies in my house. And so do three other people I know.” Continue reading



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