A montanha mágica

segunda-feira, setembro 25, 2006


A searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy´s masterpiece.

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. They sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don`t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearting, a cart of scavenged food?and each other.

The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other`s world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.

Ny:Yet as the boy and man wander, encountering remnants of the lost world and providing the reader with more and more clues about what destroyed it, this narrative is also illuminated by extraordinary tenderness. "He knew only that the child was his warrant," it says of the father and his mission. "He said: if he is not the word of God God never spoke."

The ruined setting of "The Road" is strewn with terrible, revealing artifacts. There are old newspapers. ("The curious news. The quaint concerns.") There is one lone bottle of Coca-Cola, still absurdly fizzy when all else is dust. There are charred corpses frozen in their final postures, like the long-dead man who sits on a porch like "a straw man set out to announce some holiday." Sometimes these prompt the father to recall "a dull rose glow in the windowglass" at 1:17 in the morning, the moment when the clocks stopped forever.

Although "The Road" is entirely unsentimental, it gives father and son a memory to keep them moving, even if it is the memory of how and why the boy?s mother chose to die. She was pregnant when the world exploded, and the boy was born a few days after she and the man "watched distant cities burn."

posted by Luís Miguel Dias segunda-feira, setembro 25, 2006

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