Book choice for September 2012

The Road [suggested by Anita Galasso]

[this book originally suggested in Feb 2009, from where this text is taken]

The Road

A father and his son walk alone through burned America, heading through the ravaged landscape to the coast.  This is the profoundly moving story of their journey.  "The Road" boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which two people, '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 first great masterpiece of the globally warmed generation.  Here is an American classic which, at a stroke, makes McCarthy a contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature ...An absolutely wonderful book that people will be reading for generations' - Andrew O'Hagan.  'A work of such terrible beauty that you will struggle to look away' - Tom Gatti, "The Times".  'So good that it will devour you, in parts.  It is incandescent' - Niall Griffiths, "Daily Telegraph".  'You will read on, absolutely convinced, thrilled, mesmerised.  All the modern novel can do is done here' - Alan Warner, "Guardian".

Wikipedia entry.
IMDb entry for the film.

About the Author

Cormac McCarthy, born Charles McCarthy (born July 20, 1933 in Providence, Rhode Island), is an American novelist and playwright.  He has written ten novels in the Southern Gothic, western, and post-apocalyptic genres, and has also written plays and screenplays.  He received the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for The Road, and his 2005 novel No Country for Old Men was adapted as a 2007 film of the same name, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.  He received a National Book Award in 1992 for All the Pretty Horses.

His earlier Blood Meridian (1985) was among Time Magazine's poll of 100 best English-language books published between 1925 and 2005 and he placed joint runner-up for a similar title in a poll taken in 2006 by The New York Times of the best American fiction published in the last 25 years.  Literary critic Harold Bloom named him as one of the four major American novelists of his time, along with Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo and Philip Roth.  He is frequently compared by modern reviewers to William Faulkner.

McCarthy too has both a Wikipedia entry (from which the above is borrowed) and a website.

 

Shortlisted for this month

Book selectors can bring one, two or three books for selection, although it's usual to bring three. This month Anita's other selections were:

Gilead

Gilead

Gilead is the journal of a man who is coming to the end of his life, written specifically for his young son. His son is the child of a second marriage - his first wife and child died - and he married his much younger second wife late, and so is an old man (77) with a young son (nearly 7). As the journal progresses, he tells stories of his relationship with his own father, and of his grandfather - three generations of church ministers, the grandfather having been involved in the Civil War, the father an ardent pacifist, the narrator trying to come to terms with his own life and what will happen when he dies. The strength of the book is in the power of this narrative - the relationships that are evoked by the understated but beautiful prose of the journal, and the man's own wrestling with his inner life as well as the lives going on around him. A specific story emerges, and the book becomes very moving in unexpected ways. I found it a very subtle book, and one that slowly enthralled me. There is very little dialogue, because of the nature of the narrative, but it never becomes monotonous. It is like a meditation on the nature of father and son relationships, yet written by a woman - quite extraordinary, and definitely to be recommended to anyone looking for a slower, more thoughtful read. [abridged from a review on Amazon by tillyschneider]

Wikipedia page.

About the Author

Wikipedia page.

The White Woman on the Green Bicycle

The White Woman on the Green Bicycle

When George and Sabine Harwood arrive in Trinidad from England George instantly takes to their new life, but Sabine feels isolated, heat-fatigued, and ill at ease with the racial segregation and the imminent dawning of a new era. Her only solace is her growing fixation with Eric Williams, the charismatic leader of Trinidad's new national party, to whom she pours out all her hopes and fears for the future in letters that she never brings herself to send. As the years progress, George and Sabine's marriage endures for better or worse. When George discovers Sabine's cache of letters, he realises just how many secrets she's kept from him - and he from her - over the decades. And he is seized by an urgent, desperate need to prove his love for her, with tragic consequences... [product description on Amazon]

Novel's page on the author's website.

About the Author

Wikipedia page.
Author's website biog notes.

 

Previous Months' Book Choices

August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
November 2010
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