Category Archives: The Road

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Blindness by Jose Saramago

I read Nobel prize winner Jose Saramago’s modern classic Blindness in 2005 and am happy to hear that Fernando Meirelles (who directed City of God and The Constant Gardener) has made into a movie — just read Terrence RaffertyDescending Into Blindness to See the Light” published September 19, 2008 in the New York Times comparing the movie to other apocalyptic science fiction movies.

I would guess that Julianne Moore is well cast as the doctor’s wife, given her work in other eerie movies like The Forgotten, Freedomland, and Children of Men.

Also in this movie are Mark Ruffalo (as the ophthalmologist), Gael Garcia Bernal, Danny Glover, Sandra Oh, and other stars.

I hope that this film, shot in São Paulo, Ontario, and Uruguay, does justice to this book.

Which reminds me….I wonder when the movie version of The Road comes out.

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The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I had heard rumors that The Road by Cormac McCarthy, one of three books I recommend for Earth Day 2008, was going to be made into a movie so I was thrilled to read Charles McGrath’s “At World’s End, Honing a Father-Son Dynamic” (published May 27, 2008 in the New York Times) about filming the movie version!

Filming started in late February mostly in and around Pittsburgh with its “deserted coalfields, run-down parts of Pittsburgh, windswept dunes.”

I’m glad to hear that the script is faithful to the book and I hope that Viggo Mortensen portrays the father well (Charlize Theron is set to play the wife and Robert Duvall and Guy Pierce also have minor roles).

The son will be played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, an 11 year of Australian who is known for his masterful American accent!

The Road has great cinematography potential and I will definitely see it when it comes out in theaters!

Earth Day Books

I don’t consider myself an environmentalist.

But I do love being outdoors, particularly being in the ocean so in honor of Earth Day (April 22) and Earth Week, here are the eco-themed books I recommend:

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondJared Diamond is a professor of geography and physiology at University of California, Los Angeles and the writer of Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.

Diamond lists eight factors which, based on his analysis, have historically contributed to the collapse of past societies: 1. Deforestation and habitat destruction; 2. Soil problems (erosion, salinization, and soil fertility losses); 3. Water management problems; 4. Overhunting; 5. Overfishing; 6. Effects of introduced species on native species; 7. Human population growth, and; 8. Increased per-capita impact of people.

He further isolates four new factors that may contribute to the weakening and collapse of present and future societies: 1. Human-caused climate change; 2. Buildup of toxic chemicals in the environment; 3. Energy shortages, and; 4. Full human utilization of the Earth’s photosynthetic capacity.

Some of the collapsed societies Diamond discusses are Easter Island, Anasazis (Southwestern US), and Maya (Central America). He also compares modern day Haiti to the Dominican Republic, which share the same island but have vastly different economies.

Click here to read the first chapter on washingtonpost.com.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy – Yes McCarthy is the author of No Country For Old Men. I promise this book isn’t nearly as violent as that book/movie. The Road was deservedly awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was also a selection of Oprah’s Book Club. The NYTimes Book Review writes a good summary of this book.

I really liked the Road — I couldn’t put it down and read it in one sitting — though it’s one of those books that I won’t re-read it (I frequently re-read my favorite books, but this one is just too sad).

I don’t like to read or watch a lot of violence so I found some of the scenes a bit nauseating. However, McCarthy seems purposeful in writing the scenes of violence so you don’t feel like he’s just trying to shock you just for the sake of sensationalism.

The conclusion was reassuring with it’s idea that mankind could not only survive nuclear destruction but do so without every person resorting to looking out just for themselves (as most of the folks the father and son encountered on the Road seemed to). It seems to be part of the moral of the story; not just that nuclear war cannot be an option but also that we need to work together towards a better future.

Click here to read an excerpt on the Random House website.

Happy Earth Day!

Library Book Sale

I just got back from my local library’s Annual Book Sale and wow, I got 24 books in almost new condition for $1.00 each (except for two hardcovers for $2.00 each). What a deal!

So these are the latest additions to my large personal library:

That’s about $440.00 worth of books for just $26.00! Can’t beat that, even at the local used bookstore!