Dante's hell has more hope than you're going to find in The Road.
At least Dante made it out.
My daughter was assigned The Road by her high school Lit teacher, so I'm reading it along with her. I'm glad I did, because there is a lot we'll need to talk about.
It's the most dreary, dark, and depressing book I've ever read.
I appreciated its brilliance. Cormac McCarthy is obviously an artist with his words. I loved that the book was written with no quotations, no chapters, and no names. What an effect! Chill. Harsh. Grey. Flavorless. Cold. Fear. No break. Never ending. I can only dream of being able to move people with my words they way he is able to move people with his. His words moved me. I cried.
They just moved me the wrong way. And I cried because I was sad.
The Road offers no relief from the despair. Not a single glimmer of hope. There's no happy ending here. Only sadness, tragedy, and despair. Others who read The Road find the opposite. They find strength in the unconquerable human spirit. The never-give-up-ness of the man and his so-relatable-it-makes-my-heart-ache love for the boy. And they are right, I do want to go home tonight and hug my kids a little tighter and a little longer.
Because I don't want them to die or be eaten by cannibals.
I don't need despair to stir those feelings. I'll be hugging my kids tight regardless. I'll hug them longer and tighter when moved by joy than when moved by despair.
There's enough sadness in the world. I don't need to read books about it.
I don't read just to feel. I want books to lift me up. I read to feel joy.
Recommended for 15-and-ups are too happy and need to have more sadness in their life. If you just appreciate good literature, you'd probably be glad you experienced The Road too.
Just read it with puppies.
Happy Sad(?) Reading!