The Road

Oprah chose Cormac McCarthy’s novel, The Road, for her next book club selection.  And, she succeeded in convincing McCarthy to give her an interview–his second in 40 years.

I’m kinda a big fan of both–though I’m more a fan of McCarthy in theory than in reality because I can’t stand to read his books.  Lewis is a huge fan of McCarthy, no surprise, as Lewis is a guy stuff kinda guy and so is McCarthy.  To put it mildly.  I bought Lewis The Road for his birthday and he read it in one sitting and then thrust it at me and said I had to read it.  I tried.  Really, I did.  I’ve read one other McCarthy novel, at the behest of my first MFA mentor, Melissa Pritchard, which was All the Pretty Horses.  I am an admirer of McCarthy’s terse, smooth prose and he probably is one of the best, if not the best writer alive today.

But.

I can’t stand the violence in his novels.  The Road is a post-apocalyptic story of a father and his son traveling through a ruined landscape.  At the time I tried to read it, the US was having one of its periodic blustering showdowns with North Korea.  Couldn’t stomach the novel.  I can’t read McCarthy for the same reason I don’t watch war movies–I just choose not to take those kinds of imagery and ideas inside me.

I know that’s very woo-woo and New Agey, but there it is.   

Since I can’t write an honest review of The Road, not having read it all, I will instead share my Oprah theory with you.  I call it, originally enough, the Oprah Effect. 

Its like in the Langston Hughes poem, I, Too, Sing, America, when he says: They send me to eat in the kitchen/When company comes/But I laugh/And eat well/And grow strong.

People belittle Oprah’s minions, but we minions ignore the naysayers, and watch her show ,or in my case, since I always forget to watch TV, read her magazine.  And we grow strong. 

The Hughes poem continues: Tomorrow/I’ll be at the table/When company comes/Nobody’ll dare say to me/Eat in the kitchen/Then.

One day we minions (mostly women, I have to add) will quietly take over the world, just as we have quietly turned on her show every day or read her magazine every month.   We’ll be eating at the table when company comes.

The world will then be a place of peace and beauty, where everyone gets to shop at VERY expensive shops and everyone’s house is decorated by clones of Nate or whatever his name is, and everyone is fit, both mentally and physically.  Most important, everyone will understand that we make our own lives.  Period.

It’s gonna be awesome.  Trust me. 

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