This novel by Cormac McCarthy is also a movie made by John Hillcoat in 2009 with Viggo Mortensen.
It is an apocalyptic novel about a man and his son that try to survive in a cold world with almost no food, shelter, and in constant fear. They want to go south before they freeze to death and start walking with all their belonging in a trolley.
At one point, they have no food left, but discover an underground bunker filled with food. The relief and joy they feel is enormous and shows gratitude for something that we find normal. When they are eating the food, the boy is wondering if this is stealing or not and he thanks the people of the house/bunker for the food. They cannot stay long because they can be found by other people, “Bad People” who survive because of the death of other people. So they stack up as much as possible in their trolley and go back on the road. This scene for me reflects the setting of the book. The search for food and shelter together with the fear to come across people with bad intentions.
It is also a book of trust, family, believe. The father wants to protect his son from all the terrible things and wants to nourish him, give him food and water. And when he is not able to give this, he feels guilty.
This is the first book I read written by Cormac McCarthy, and probably not the last. I read the book in Dutch, so I think some of the original English writing style will be lost. In the beginning I didn’t know what to expect from it, but as the story evolved, I couldn’t stop reading. It is such a specific writing style and setting that it is a book that you love or hate, there is nothing in between. You share a lot of different feelings throughout the book: fear, joy, sorrow, … . It is a rollercoaster of emotions, but you don’t know where it is going.
It is a very good book that gives you insight in the different paths that are possible in time of need. You can choose to survive the “good” way by never giving up, have hope and stay human. Or the “bad” way and leave humanity, take advantage and live from the dead of other people.
In the end, the light will survive the evil.
This review is published on my website: http://booksforthoughts.weebly.com/index.html