The Road, Cormac McCarthy
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.
The Road is a haunting novel about a man and boy surviving a post-apocalyptic setting — an aftermath of Mother and Mother Nature both dying. Is this climate change fiction, as is sometimes reported in media?
I don’t think so. We do not know the source of the cataclysmic event in the novel because it is not mentioned, and without knowing, it would be hard to define the event as a climate change event. Technically, the climate changes, but modern fiction about AGW climate change, this is not. Ash and fires point to potential other events such as volcanic eruptions, asteroid strike, or nuclear fall-out. Corpses frozen in their final postures and the references to incineration make one think that there was a singular blast of some sort that made much of the population burn up; fires, smoke, ash, and particulate matter coloring the air all point to a fiery event that took place, not climate change. The world is also cold, like a nuclear winter. Regardless, we may consider this book as eco-fiction since whether or not the event that caused the catastrophe was AGW climate change, its aftermath is definitely an Earth-scorched setting that has resulted in humankind’s departure from the ecology in which we currently depend.
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Author(s): Publisher: Vintage International
A searing, post apocalyptic 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. The 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 wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.