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willemite

willemite

Currently reading

Hieroglyph: Stories and Blueprints for a Better Future
Neal Stephenson
Ukraine: Zbig's Grand Chessboard & How the West Was Checkmated
Natylie Baldwin, Kermit D. Larson
The Girl on the Train: A Novel
Paula Hawkins
Our Souls at Night: A novel
Kent Haruf
Above the Waterfall
Ron Rash
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Stephen King
Designs on Film: A Century of Hollywood Art Direction
Cathy Whitlock
The Homicide Report: Understanding Murder in America
Jill Leovy
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Erik Larson
The Gods of Mars
Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Road - Cormac McCarthy A man and his young son are traveling along a highway, hoping to get far enough south to avoid the onslaught of winter. It is a post apocalyptic landscape, heavy with ash, in which you can hear the absence of birds chirping or bugs buzzing. The language is remarkable. I was reminded of Thomas Hardy for beauty of language, but it is a different sort of beauty. McCarthy uses short declaratives, as if even language was short of breath in the devastation, and terrorizes generations of elementary school english teachers by tossing off verbless phrases as sentences (p 27 - A river far below.) He is effective in turning nouns into verbs, as on p4 – “when it was light enough to use the binoculars he glassed the valley below.” Forgetting the content of the narrative this is a masterwork of style. I was deeply moved by not only the technical skill with which he molds language to his purpose, but the effective emotional impact of the work. This is a book to read slowly, to savor, not one to speed through to hasten ingestion of the plot. There are events that are exceedingly grim in this, focusing on despair, suicide, cannibalism. Yet the love of the father for his son is palpable and despite the omnipresent gray ash, there remain slivers of hope. Highly recommended, but this is not a book for those with a weak stomach.