Why The Road and Emory Peak
I chose The Road because of the proximity of Big Bend to El Paso. McCarthy lived twenty years in El Paso and says the city’s landscape was an inspiration for his post-apocalyptic novel. McCarthy is a highly decorated author and The Road is my favorite of his novels. I enjoy dystopian novels and this is a masterpiece of the genre. This is not a happy story and it does not have a feel good ending. It is stark and unrelenting in it’s depiction of the world left when society has collapsed. Yet, it is so beautiful written that not a word is wasted and the story will stay with you long after you have finished the book.
More About The Road
The Road is a 2007 novel by American writer Cormac McCarthy. It is a post-apocalyptic tale of a journey of a father and his young son over a period of several months, across a landscape blasted by an unspecified cataclysm that has destroyed most of civilization and, in the intervening years, almost all life on Earth. The novel was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction in 2006. The book was adapted to a film of the same name in 2009, directed by John Hillcoat.
A father and his young son journey across post-apocalyptic America some years after an extinction event. The land is covered with ash and devoid of life. The boy’s mother, pregnant with him at the time of the disaster, committed suicide some years earlier.
Realizing they cannot survive the winter, the man takes the boy south along empty roads towards the sea, carrying their meager possessions in their knapsacks and a supermarket cart. The man is suffering from a serious cough and knows he is dying. He assures his son that they are “good guys” who are “carrying the fire”. The pair have a revolver, but only two rounds. The father has taught the boy to use the gun on himself if necessary, to avoid falling into the hands of cannibals.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, McCarthy said that the inspiration for the book came during a 2003 visit to El Paso, Texas, with his young son. Imagining what the city might look like fifty to a hundred years into the future, he pictured “fires on the hill” and thought about his son. He took some initial notes but did not return to the idea until a few years later, while in Ireland. Then, the novel came to him quickly, and he dedicated it to his son, John Francis McCarthy.
Cormac McCarthy (born Charles McCarthy; July 20, 1933) is an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He has written ten novels, spanning the Southern Gothic, western, and post-apocalyptic genres. He won the Pulitzer Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction for The Road (2006). His 2005 novel No Country for Old Men was adapted as a 2007 film of the same name, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. For All the Pretty Horses (1992), he won both the U.S. National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. All the Pretty Horses, The Road, and Child of God have also been adapted as motion pictures.
Blood Meridian (1985) was among Time magazine’s list of 100 best English-language books published between 1923 and 2005 and placed joint runner-up in a poll taken in 2006 by The New York Times of the best American fiction published in the last 25 years. Literary critic Harold Bloom named him as one of the four major American novelists of his time, alongside Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon and Philip Roth, and called Blood Meridian “the greatest single book since Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying“. In 2010, The Times ranked The Road first on its list of the 100 best fiction and non-fiction books of the past 10 years.