The Road by Cormac Mc Carthy
Time is a funny thing. If you’d asked me about this book before last week I’d have told you that the my first attempt at reading it was during college… but that is not possible because when I looked into it was published 11 years after I graduated. Weird, you see… I distinctively remember sitting on my little single bed in the tiny room opposite the college gates (best address ever) and trying to make heads or tails of it. And then getting rid of the thing because I just didn’t get it. Must have been a different book. Or a different room.
I don’t know why I didn’t like it the first time around, because now… I loved this novel. I read it on holiday on my phone using the kindle app after I ran out of real books and I still loved it. Absolutely brilliant.
Father and son are walking… just walking in a word that has ended as we know it, it’s cold and grey, there is only fire and ash blowing in the wind. They have no food and no real place to go.. they walk… and talk very little and try to stay alive. There are ‘bad’ people that do unspeakable things… and they hide and look for food and they walk…
We know nothing of them. We know they’re father and son but we don’t know their names, or where they come from, or where they are and we don’t know what happened to the world, why everything is gone and there are no birds in the sky or fish in the sea, no electricity and not many people at all, just fire and ash and cold.
And yet… amongst the horror and the suffocating, strangling fear… there is this ‘something’, tiny something that keeps them going… nobody even dare to call it hope because hope it’s too big a word… but it’s there, makes them cling on to life when really… there doesn’t seem any point in doing so.
“Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.”
Stunning. Compelling. Heartbreaking. Chilling. It stays with you long after the last page.
The list so far:
2018 Mr Hanckock and the mermaid
2017 – Magari domain resto (Lorenzo Maroni)
2016 – Upstream (Mary Oliver)
2015 – Reasons to stay alive (Matt Haig)
2014 – Annihilation (Jeff VanderMeer)
2013 – Careless people (Sarah Churchwell)
2012 – Wonder – (R J Palacio)
2011 – The Paris Wife (Paula McLain)
2009 – Let the great world spin (Colum McCann)
2008 – The White Tiger (Aravind Adiga)
2006 – The Road (Cormac McCarthy)
2005 – Never let me go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
2004 – American Gods (Nail Gainman)
2002 – Everything is illuminated (Jonathan Safran Foer)
2000 – Coram Boy (Jamila Gavin)
1997 – Paradise (Toni Morrison)
1996 – Wilfred and Eileen (Jonathan Smith)
1991- Regeneration (Pat Barker)
1990 – Darkness visible (William Styron)
1989 – Like water to chocolate (Laura Esquivel)
1987 – Norwegian Wood (Haruki Murakami)
1985 – Oranges are not the only fruit (Jeanette Winterson)
1984 – Hotel du Lac (Anita Brookner)
1983 – Heartburn (Nora Ephron)
1982 – The colour purple (Alice Walker)
1980 – Emmeline (Judith Rossiter)
1979– The bloody chamber (Angela Carter)
1973 – the honorary consul (Graham Greene)
1971 – Reunion (Fred Uhlman)
1970 – A slipping down life (Anne Tyler)