When a book gathers so much attention, I can't help but read it just to see what all the fuss is about. Such was the case for "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. The blogosphere was making such a racket that I decided to give the book a try. I don't have anything against award-winning, best-selling books, it's just that there's lots of other good stuff on my reading list awaiting my attention. This book broke my heart. Here's a great description of it, but I'll sum it up by saying that it's your worst nightmare, especially as a parent. An unnamed man and his son are traveling across a great distance to reach the sea in a completely dead world. Some kind of cataclysm has occurred and nothing is living on the earth. The world is divided up into good guys and bad guys, with good guys scavenging canned food and staying hidden from the bad guys who are cannibals and killers. My heart broke for this poor little boy who was witnessing the absolute depravity of the human race, the worst possible behavior of human beings. Yet the boy remains pure, full of desire to be a good person, to see his father be the best person he can be and help people they see along their way. The father has no interest in helping others, but he takes great care to watch over his son, going to great lengths to provide for him. It was an interesting contrast in how they each showed love. The man for his son, the son for other people. The love that this man has for his son, the son's insistence on them staying human and not succumbing to the animalistic behavior of the bad guys made this book a beautiful story instead of a despondent one.
I cannot recommend this book to those with frail hearts. The burden of reading it would hurt too much. It has left a mark on me, but I'll never forget the beauty of it either.