Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Road

Movie still from Cinemaisdope
Desolate, Lonely Landscape by The Lazy Photographer

Since this is the month that we typically celebrate all of the things that go bump in the night, I thought I'd share my pick for one of the most terrifying stories of our time. 

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
It has been awhile (one, maybe even two years) since I read The Road by Cormac McCarthy, but I have found that this book really resonates with me.  It is the story of a father and son and their journey to survive.  The setting is post apocalyptic America, and it is truly haunting.  The book is so well done that I still, all this time later, find my mind sometimes drifting back to it, thinking about various scenes and episodes and the feelings that accompany them.  I have friends who read the book and did not like it because too much was left unexplained (what caused this post-apocalyptic nightmare reality?  What are the names of the main characters?). While it is understandable that one might wonder about these issues, the reader must remember that McCarthy purposely left them out.  McCarthy is a very deliberate writer, choosing his words, spelling and syntax to enhance the story and add to the experience of reading it.  The unanswered questions allow us to focus on what is important.
 It isn't about what happened to cause humanity to slip into this futuristic hell; it is about the love a parent has for his child.  It is heartbreaking and lonely and full of despair, but there is also hope. This book is haunting.  So much so that I will not watch the movie.  I have images enough of what went on in this nightmare world without seeing them manifest on the big screen.  There are not too many books that capture my attention to the point that I think of them, years later, out of the blue.  This book, even in recall, has the same effect on me that it did as I was reading it.  Perhaps the connection comes from the fact that I have my own child.  Perhaps it is because I find the idea that humans could so easily slip into depravity truly terrifying.  What I find especially interesting is the way a piece of  literature can impact a person so profoundly, and can stay with someone long after the book has been placed onto a shelf or passed along to someone else.  For me, The Road is one of those books.  If you're looking for a truly haunting experience this Halloween, I suggest opening up a copy of McCarthy's award winning, best selling novel.  It's better than any slasher/zombie flick.  Trust me.

by our favorite professor, Dr. Frye

Post apocalyptic inspired clothing was displayed for fall and winter fashion, from Chanel to Vivienne Westwood to Alexander McQueen. Just because you're busy fighting for survival doesn't mean you can't look good doing it.

Vivienne Westwood

Alexander McQueen

leather pants from All Saints
(why not be a little badass
at the end of the world?)

Steve Madden Tropador, available at Nordstrom
(great for running, stomping, and kicking)

Lafayette 148 New York Cape
(you'll need to stay warm, but this way your
 hands are free for sudden combat)


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