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Daily Book Discussion: The Road

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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 17, 2012 5:29:53 PM PST
Well then, it did exactly what I hoped!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2012 2:17:44 AM PST
Springer13 says:
I don't think All the Pretty Horses is his most accessible. I think that "prize" would have to go to: No Country for Old Men (Vintage International) Actually, I found The Road far more readable than All The Pretty Horses, or pretty much anything else McCarthy has written, save for No Country. But that's just me. For sure Blood Meridian is far more difficult than any of the above-mentioned titles, but well worth the read if you can get through it. He is definitely an acquired taste.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2012 3:29:59 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 18, 2012 3:39:43 AM PST]

Posted on Feb 18, 2012 4:39:40 AM PST
CS Professor.
I see your post got yanked by Amazon. Self promotion is a no no on the Customer forums. Your on topic point was a good one. Please repost it with out the advertising.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2012 4:45:22 AM PST
CS Professor says:
Apologies! Am I missing something about this product link business? Glass House: Climate Change in the Third Millennium

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2012 4:58:49 AM PST
CS, I hope you don't mind if I call you CS

Product links are not only fine, they are encouraged as long as they are not for your own work. Amazon asks that all author self promotion stay in the Meet Our Authors forum. You will find a link to it on the bottom of the page.

Stay and visit about books and stuff though. The Kindle Book Forum is a pretty nice place.

Posted on Feb 18, 2012 5:21:48 AM PST
CS Professor says:
All right no product placements, my apologies. I'll try to recreate my points.

As a writer of two syn- and post-apocalyptic visions, I'd say that these are "easy" to write because destruction requires less difficult thinking than creation. It may therefore be "easier" to read as well. I see some of the horror genre, particularly zombie hordes, as similar in nature to apocalyptic-ism.

On a cultural level, Westerners are preconditioned to accept, perhaps even crave, apocalyptic visions because of Christianity. I cannot think of another religion in which this concept features. I wonder if apocalyptic visions are a popular entertainment in non-Christian cultures?

On a personal level, the frisson induced by apocalyptic visions may help many cope with personal and collective guilt, without actually needing to take personal responsibility. Apocalypse is forced on us, rather than being internal; how much easier to have the sinful world destroyed for us, rather than have to take the risk and effort of making it better or learning to accept it. The other personal aspect, I think of adolescents particularly, may be as a release for the anger that many feel for the world.

Posted on Feb 18, 2012 8:11:12 PM PST
One of my all time favorite books.Grey,bleak,and impossible to put down.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 18, 2012 8:26:06 PM PST
AmeliaAT says:
I've forgotten most of what I used to know about Hinduism, but there is a theme in Hinduism similar to "apocalyptic" beliefs, though with an important difference. In Hinduism, it's cyclical. The world is repeatedly created, "lives," and is destroyed, then is created anew to have the same thing happen. I find it a rather disconcerting concept to consider!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2012 2:17:10 AM PST
CS Professor says:
Yes, you're right. I think there is more emphasis on creation in Hinduism than destruction; the conflict is described in the Bhagavad Gita. The themes of the Christian Apocalypse, Armageddon and The Second Coming are based mainly on the books of The Bible, Daniel and Revelation. After the destruction of Satan's human armies by Jehovah at Armageddon, the human survivors will re-create Paradise. There is a lot more, however, about destruction, judgement and punishment than the re-creation of Paradise. As I said earlier, destructive writing and the venting of anger are much easier than the depiction of creation and happiness. Religion aside, the apocalyptic theme must tap into many of our anxieties and fantasies: payback for our sybaritic lives, desire to return to "Nature" or a simpler life, punishment of those who oppress us, boredom, anger, frustration, guilt, etc, etc

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 11:22:30 AM PST
I have always found this subject disturbing, even being a horror fanatic. I think it speaks to our secret fears and the imbalance of the world we live in. At the risk of sounding like a doomsayer......we are beginning to grasp how precarious our grip on our environment as a whole really is. Technology won't save us from miriads of events. The most disturbing aspect of this story is the added sense of desperation ....having a child. As a makes you wonder if you should just drink the kool-aid.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 12:11:20 PM PST
CS Professor says:
I have two small children - I love them dearly - and I am frightened sometimes for their future. I fear that life without our civilisation (and I do not put that in ironical quotes, either) might well not be worth living nor would we want to see our loved ones suffer without it, for suffer terribly we would. But the reassurance is that these are just stories and that they need not become real. I know that my parents had their similar fears and lived under the "nuclear cloud" (irony here because we still live under it and it's even bigger!) and catastrophe seemed just around the corner. And no doubt their parents had apocalyptic fears and so on, time out of mind - Durer's Four Horsemen is medieval, after all. Yet, we are here and life is often pleasant. So ditch the kool-aid, James, and let's "drink from the spring of the water of life" while we can!

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 12:21:13 AM PST
Frank Mundo says:
I liked No Country for Old Men better, but I thought The Road was really good -- way better than the movie. His writing style was tough at first when I read All the Pretty Horses, but the more of his work I read the more it I liked it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 7:51:34 AM PST
Is the movie any good? I wanted to see it since I read the book but if it blows I'll pass.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 8:00:35 AM PST
K. Rowley says:
"My first question is why are post-apocalyptic stories so popular now?"

While they may be popular today - such stories are nothing new - Mary Shelley's The Last Man was published in 1826..

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 1:03:58 PM PST
<<On a cultural level, Westerners are preconditioned to accept, perhaps even crave, apocalyptic visions because of Christianity.>>

That is a very interesting observation. "Apocalyptic" is indeed a significant part of the Christian scriptures and tradition and would therefore influence western culture in a distinctive way. But apocalyptic literature and the aspirations that inspire it predate Christianity and indeed, Christian apocalyptic was probably borrowed from the surrounding culture just as the examples of apocalyptic in the Hebrew scriptures probably were.

I had not thought of the need to cope with personal and collective guilt. Apocalyptic literature is almost always written by those suffering at the hands of an oppressor expressing their hope in salvation. Post-apocalyptic would then would be the literature for those of us who know that we are in someway the oppressors? I will have to think about that more.

Thanks CS.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 1:06:54 PM PST
I also can relate to this CS. I have a son and I do wonder what kind of a world I was a part of bringing him into.

But I also know that almost every generation has seen the same "fig tree" and thought the end was near. I feel sorry for those folks with small children during the Cuban missile crisis or during the world wars.

*Trying real hard not to think about current events*

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 1:11:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2012 1:27:35 PM PST

I think post-apocalyptic does play into a number of our deep seated fears and aspirations. There seems to be something in us that recognizes that society and civilization are rather fragile things, and that the impulse towards anarchy is always being held at bay.

So too, I think that there does, as some of you have noted, exist a hope that if we could just start over maybe we could do better this time.

I am compelled by at least both of these.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 4:22:04 PM PST
CS Professor says:
Edward, good stuff! The Apocalyptic vision does seems a comfortable fit with the Old Testament, in spirit if not in so many words, and by those suffering oppression too. The coming of the Messiah was a constant theme of Judaism at the time of Christ and that has resonance with the Second Coming and Armageddon. I can think, however, of no parallels or precedents in the Greek or Latin cultures, although there is cosmic-scale conflict between the light and the dark in Zoroastrianism, I think, as well as Hinduism mentioned earlier. Nonetheless, I think the obsession with "End Times" is a Western, Christian thing.

As for the children, I can remember my Dad coming home, he was an Air Force officer, with a helmet and a sidearm during the Cuban crisis - the only time I ever saw him armed. I don't think I was all that frightened at the time, although I do remember being constantly anxious about nuclear war and survival from about 5 to 14 (discovered girls, may be significant!). Fortunately, I don't think my little ones suffer as much anxiety as I did, although they are concerned about the environment in a level-headed sort of way.

Civilisation is indeed a fragile thing. End-of-the-world scenarios may be not just an expression of our fears and perhaps even secret hopes. As constant reminders, they may help us to consider and avoid the actions that might bring about disaster.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 4:56:51 PM PST
Frank Mundo says:
Kelly, the movie is good and dark and follows the book closely, but the poetry is missing, which I think made the book better. The movie version of No Country for Old Men is way better, in my opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 5:10:08 PM PST
Oh, No Country for Old Men is one of my favorite movies (Call it)...I like dark things so I will have to check out The Road, thank you.
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In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 5:36:26 PM PST
Frank Mundo says:
I agree. That movie is excellent. So intense.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 5:40:38 PM PST
Anton Chigurh is my favorite character, so evil in a nonchalant kind of way.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 7:05:46 PM PST
I agree Walter. I cried at the end.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2012 7:51:19 PM PST
Frank Mundo says:
I think that's what's so scary about him. He's like a machine. A terminator. He has a job to do and, nothing personal, he's going to do it. Fantastic.
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Kindle Book forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  51
Initial post:  Feb 17, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 20, 2012

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