Wednesday, April 4, 2007

"Thoughts of Joy..." ~ The Road

"Thoughts of Joy..." can be found here.

NO, I did not read this as an Oprah Book Club member! I checked it out from the library and had it nicely nestled in a pile of TBR books days before she announced it. However, I did put it on the top of the pile once I knew I wouldn't be able to renew it because hordes of people would be placing it on hold.

*I'm not sure why I felt compelled to share the above, but I feel better now. :)

Normally when I finish a book, I run to the computer (okay, I don't run, but I do make it there rather quickly) and type out my thoughts. I don't feel 100% finished until I click "PUBLISH", and then I can move on to the next book. I tell you that because that didn't happen this time. It couldn't. I couldn't. I couldn't put my thoughts together enough to make any sense. (I'm not quite sure if I waited long enough now!) Anyway...

Wow! Bleak. Powerful. Thought-provoking. This author was as new-to-me as was the subject matter, so I had two whammies at once. What a well-written post-apocalyptic novel, although on occasion it felt a little drawn out. I attributed that to my traveling "the road" with this father and son duo and feeling every pothole and pebble along the way. I continue to feel a little battered from the ramifications of that journey and suggest all readers be prepared.

I have been left in somewhat of a funk. I am in need of something a little more uplifting. I'm off to find some happiness...


kookiejar said...

Pretty much unlike anything else you've ever read, huh Joy? It's a real kick in the gut, but everybody I know whose read it is really glad they did. Did you find the ending uplifting or hopeful in any way?

Wendy said...

You wrote: "Normally when I finish a book, I run to the computer (okay, I don't run, but I do make it there rather quickly) and type out my thoughts. I don't feel 100% finished until I click "PUBLISH", and then I can move on to the next book."

Exactly how I feel - LOL!

Can't wait to read this book; but it will have to wait one more month for me to catch up on other books first!

Joy said...


Kookie ~ I have never been so affected by a book in such a negative way! I found it soooo depressing. The writing was just fabulous in the sense of it being so real and plausible...sad to say.

I found the ending to be hopeful in the sense that the boy wasn't going to be on his own. I felt the family was genuine in their offer to take him under their wing. However, the future of everybody seemed very bleak with not much hope for survival in the long run.

I have been reading my educational reference books since I finished it. I can't remember the last time I needed a "break" from a book.

Is ALAS, BABYLON this powerful and/or bleak?


Wendy ~ Surround it by uplifting, humorous, exciting type books.

April 5, 2007 8:09 AM

kookiejar said...

Joy, 'Alas Babylon' is not nearly as bleak. It deals with similar themes, but because an entire town survives the holocaust there is a more hopeful tone and lots of interesting character interaction. I think you'll like it.

Amy said...


I felt the same. For half the book I was unsure that I would finish.

I am glad I read it before Oprah recommended it because I haven't typically liked the books she has recommended and that may have put me off.

Wendy said...

Are all of McCarthy's books a bit gloomy? I read a review on another of his books, and although the reviewer thought it was an amazing book, she described it as dark and dreary.

Joy said...

Amy ~ I actually thought the first 1/3 (?) was a little repetitious. This is the second time I was "in progress" of reading a book when Oprah announced it as her book choice.

Wendy ~ I don't know, but many people have liked the Pretty Horses one. That doesn't sound so bad. *grin*

Maggie said...

I absolutely LOVED No Country for Old Men!

Sometimes, I felt I had already been to that part of the road and I think McCarthy's style lead me to this mundane feeling. Wind blowing ash, ash blown wind, grey from ash, coated in ash...I was blowing my book off before each reading! ;D

Reference his style, I just love that he keeps the punctuation to a minimum.

Was anyone bothered that he demands a name from Ely, but never offers his or his son's?

BTW, McCarthy began his career as a Southern Gothic writer. He was from Tennessee before moving out west.

Oh, how will Oprah's audience react to this story?