Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lisa wimps out on The Road

*crossposted on Breaking the Fourth Wall

First let me say that I am not a person who gives up on books I don't like. I rarely don't finish a book. Having said that, there is no way in H E double hockey sticks that I could finish this book. No way. I made it to page 50.

I guess all parents have terror, that story that fills you with dread when something wakes you up at 2 a.m. and you can't go back to sleep? My nightmare is thinking about something bad happening to our country and being left to care for my children without money, food or medicine. I just can't bear the thought of it. I want to jump out of my skin.

Plus, my oldest boy must be about the age of the child in this book. I could totally see my boy asking the same questions the boy in the book was asking, having the same sweet confusion. I started reading it after the kids went to bed tonight. By the time I got to page 50, sitting in the bath, I was getting pretty crazily emotional and felt like I was going to hyperventilate.

I did read the last few pages. I just wanted to see what happened. I know, it's against all book-reading rules, but I wanted to confirm that my decision to quit was a good one....I just felt that there was no way there could possibly be a satisfactory conclusion to this saga. I was right. I'm glad I quit.

I nod to Cormac McCarthy. I know he's a gifted writer, and he probably deserves all the accolades he's gotten. But he'll have to get them from someone other than me.


Pour of Tor said...

I am so sorry this was such a trauma, Lisa! I also found it to be an emotionally scorching book, even without have the painful layer of parental empathy that you mention.

I am also intrigued that you didn't find the conclusion satisfactory (and I don't think there are any hard and fast reading rules apart from what works for you individually, so no need to feel bad for skipping to the end when you need to!), because the ending has been a source of a lot of conversation here on the blog. You don't have to answer this if you want to put the whole "Road" experience behind you, but in what sense do you mean "satisfactory"? Did you find the ending sinister? Implausible? (Any number of other possible adjectives might be better here.) I have my own strong opinions about the ending, so I am eager to hear what others thought.

By the way, I am sorry to be absent from the blog for so long, everyone! I am abroad currently, crouching on the floor of the bathroom because it is the only place I can find even the faintest wireless signal.

Lisa said...

Actually, the ending was probably as good as could be expected. I just meant what I said about the ending in terms of the fact that it caused me to think about having to face the possibility of leaving my kids to fend for themselves...and how unprepared our kids are today for doing that....especially my kids...oh, it just gives me night terrors. I WAS really glad to see the child found someone to be with in the end, but the ending would have only added to the personal trauma that I'd have already accumulated from this book!!!

Hopefully someday when my kids ARE old enough to fend for themselves, I can try this book again...I CANNOT stop thinking about it and I only read 50 pages, so that says a lot.

kookiejar said...

I'm really sorry you couldn't finish this one, Lisa. Even for those of us who have children who are almost adults it is a emotionally traumatic book. If you'd delved in even futher, it would have been harder yet for you, so you probably made the right decision.

You may find that since you cannot stop thinking about it, that you may want to give it another whirl before the year is up.

sally906 said...

I totally understand where you are coming from on this. I had this occasional niggle at the back of my mind. My daughters are both in their 20's. Capable of fending for themselves. But my youngest daughter is having our first grandchild next month - and ... do wonder don't you?

I found there to be a glimmer of hope towards the end - that will be all I will say as you have to get to the end to understand it :)

Maybe one day you can pick the book up and read it.

It is a sign of how well written it is though - to arouse these feelings in you :)