The Road.pdf

The Road.pdf
 

书籍描述

编辑推荐
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Best known for his Border Trilogy, hailed in the San Francisco Chronicle as "an American classic to stand with the finest literary achievements of the century," Cormac McCarthy has written ten rich and often brutal novels, including the bestselling No Country for Old Men, and The Road. Profoundly dark, told in spare, searing prose, The Road is a post-apocalyptic masterpiece, one of the best books we've read this year, but in case you need a second (and expert) opinion, we asked Dennis Lehane, author of equally rich, occasionally bleak and brutal novels, to read it and give us his take. Read his glowing review below. --Daphne Durham


Guest Reviewer: Dennis Lehane

The Road Dennis Lehane, master of the hard-boiled thriller, generated a cult following with his series about private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, wowed readers with the intense and gut-wrenching Mystic River, blew fans all away with the mind-bending Shutter Island, and switches gears with Coronado, his new collection of gritty short stories (and one play).

Cormac McCarthy sets his new novel, The Road, in a post-apocalyptic blight of gray skies that drizzle ash, a world in which all matter of wildlife is extinct, starvation is not only prevalent but nearly all-encompassing, and marauding bands of cannibals roam the environment with pieces of human flesh stuck between their teeth. If this sounds oppressive and dispiriting, it is. McCarthy may have just set to paper the definitive vision of the world after nuclear war, and in this recent age of relentless saber-rattling by the global powers, it's not much of a leap to feel his vision could be not far off the mark nor, sadly, right around the corner. Stealing across this horrific (and that's the only word for it) landscape are an unnamed man and his emaciated son, a boy probably around the age of ten. It is the love the father feels for his son, a love as deep and acute as his grief, that could surprise readers of McCarthy's previous work. McCarthy's Gnostic impressions of mankind have left very little place for love. In fact that greatest love affair in any of his novels, I would argue, occurs between the Billy Parham and the wolf in The Crossing. But here the love of a desperate father for his sickly son transcends all else. McCarthy has always written about the battle between light and darkness; the darkness usually comprises 99.9% of the world, while any illumination is the weak shaft thrown by a penlight running low on batteries. In The Road, those batteries are almost out--the entire world is, quite literally, dying--so the final affirmation of hope in the novel's closing pages is all the more shocking and maybe all the more enduring as the boy takes all of his father's (and McCarthy's) rage at the hopeless folly of man and lays it down, lifting up, in its place, the oddest of all things: faith. --Dennis Lehane





From Publishers Weekly
McCarthy's latest novel, a frightening apocalyptic vision, is narrated by a nameless man, one of the few survivors of an unspecified civilization-ending catastrophe. He and his young son are trekking along a treacherous highway, starving and freezing, trying to avoid roving cannibal armies. The tale, and their lives, are saved from teetering over the edge of bleakness thanks to the man's fierce belief that they are "the good guys" who are preserving the light of humanity. In this stark, effective production, Stechschulte gives the father an appropriately harsh, weary voice that sways little from its numbed register except to urge on the weakening boy or soothe his fears after an encounter with barbarians. When they uncover some vestige of the former world, the man recalls its vanished wonder with an aching nostalgia that makes the listener's heart swell. Stechschulte portrays the son with a mournful, slightly breathy tone that emphasizes the child's whininess, making him much less sympathetic than his resourceful father. With no music or effects interrupting Stechschulte's carefully measured pace and gruff, straightforward delivery, McCarthy's darkly poetic prose comes alive in a way that will transfix listeners.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From The New Yorker
In his new novel, McCarthy exchanges the bleak Western setting of previous works for an even bleaker post-apocalyptic one. As usual, lawless space engenders violence, but here a nuclear holocaust has reduced everything to ash, mummifying all but a few unlucky souls, who must kill or be killed (and eaten). The main characters are a father and his son, who was born a few nights after the bombs fell. "We're still the good guys," the man repeatedly assures the boy as they scavenge their way south for the winter, trying to avoid "bad guy" survival techniques. Even by McCarthy's standards, the horrors here—an infant "headless and gutted and blackening on the spit"—are extreme, and, deprived of historical context, his brutality can seem willful. But McCarthy's prose retains its ability to seduce—the deathscape is "like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world"—and there are nods to the gentler aspects of the human spirit.
Copyright © 2006 Click here to subscribe to The New Yorker --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com
In Cormac McCarthy's new novel, The Road, the bloodbath is finally complete. The violence that animated his great Western novels has been superseded by a flash of nuclear annihilation, which also blasts away some of what we expect from the reclusive author's work. With this apocalyptic tale, McCarthy has moved into the allegorical realm of Samuel Beckett and José Saramago — and, weirdly, George Romero. The novel opens on a world that seems to have been demolished by the psychopaths of McCarthy's earlier fiction, as though the Judge from Blood Meridian had graduated from shotguns to atomic bombs and vented his spleen upon the entire planet. It's a shift that transforms not only the physical landscape, reduced now to barren plains of ash, but the moral landscape as well. The fear of dying, so prevalent in McCarthy's previous novels, is balanced here by the fear of surviving: "Creedless shells of men tottering down the causeways like migrants in a feverland. The frailty of everything revealed at last. Old and troubling issues resolved into nothingness and night."

The Road (Knopf, 241 pp., $24) follows two of the last people on Earth, an unnamed man and his young son, as they walk through an incinerated wasteland foraging for food and hiding from gangs of starving cannibals. "The nights now only slightly less black," he writes. "By day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp." This marks a significant departure for McCarthy, but it's hardly a departure for apocalyptic fiction and film, which have trafficked in these dark visions for decades. Of course, McCarthy has borrowed from lowbrow forms before. Most of his works are Faulknerian transformations of dime-store Westerns; his first modern-day novel, last year's No Country for Old Men, wore the worn costumes of a drug-crime police chase. Without its rich voice, The Road would read like a remake of "Night of the Living Dead." Indeed, as if to acknowledge that debt, the man remembers his late wife saying, "We're the walking dead in a horror film." More than once, the little boy warns his father they shouldn't go into an abandoned house, but then -- no, stop! -- they go in anyway. There are also the requisite touches of gallows humor: the delicious taste of the last Coke on Earth, the only writing that survives worldwide destruction being a billboard that reads: "See Rock City." And finally, the one-dimensional horror-flick women: Most middle-school boys have a more nuanced understanding of the opposite sex than McCarthy demonstrates in his fiction, and he does nothing to alter that impression here.

But even with its flaws, there's just no getting around it: The Road is a frightening, profound tale that drags us into places we don't want to go, forces us to think about questions we don't want to ask. Readers who sneer at McCarthy's mythic and biblical grandiosity will cringe at the ambition of The Road. At first I kept trying to scoff at it, too, but I was just whistling past the graveyard. Ultimately, my cynicism was overwhelmed by the visceral power of McCarthy's prose and the simple beauty of this hero's love for his son.

The novel is made up of several hundred isolated moments, scraps of dialogue and flashes of action. Here's a typical one that could appear anywhere in the book:

"The land was gullied and eroded and barren. The bones of dead creatures sprawled in the washes. Middens of anonymous trash. Farmhouses in the fields scoured of their paint and the clapboards spooned and sprung from the wallstuds. All of it shadowless and without feature. The road descended through a jungle of dead kudzu. A marsh where the dead reeds lay over the water. Beyond the edge of the fields the sullen haze hung over the earth and sky alike. By late afternoon it had begun to snow and they went on with the tarp over them and the wet snow hissing on the plastic."

These remarkable passages, like a succession of prose poems, are marked by a few flashes of terror, but we're never forced to gorge on the gore that McCarthy's most devoted fans celebrate. There's only a glimpse of the civilization-ending catastrophe itself, which took place years ago, just before the boy was born: "A long shear of light and then a series of low concussions." Afterward this single haunting vision of the early days: "People sitting on the sidewalk in the dawn half immolate and smoking in their clothes. Like failed sectarian suicides. Others would come to help them. Within a year there were fires on the ridges and deranged chanting. The screams of the murdered. By day the dead impaled on spikes along the road."

These glimpses are metered out carefully in a way that only increases the sense of terror. It's the constant potential for carnage that energizes the story -- the hell that can be spotted in the flash of lightning, a baby on a spit roasting over an open fire.

Among his thinly plotted novels, The Road is McCarthy's most thinly plotted of all, as there's literally nowhere to go, no sense in going, just the inexorable impulse to move. The plot, such as it is, comes down to this father's existential need to keep his son alive and hopeful in a world that offers no life or hope. Day after day, month after month, they're starving and freezing, pushing along a cart with the few provisions they scavenge from decrepit homes looted bare years ago. "The boy was all that stood between him and death," McCarthy writes. "He saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. The crushing black vacuum of the universe."

But against that lifeless state, the man clings to a raw faith in his mission: "My job is to take care of you," he tells his son. "I was appointed to do that by God. I will kill anyone who touches you." With everything scraped away, the impulse to sanctify, to worship, to create meaning remains. "All of this like some ancient anointing," the man thinks after washing his son's hair in an icy dead lake. "So be it. Evoke the forms. Where you've nothing else construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them."

Concurrent with keeping his son alive is the more metaphysical challenge of sustaining his son's innate goodness while forcing him to witness the corruption of all moral behavior. "Are we still the good guys?" the boy asks in moments of confusion and shock. His father insists they are. "This is what good guys do," he tells him. "They keep trying. They dont give up." Why, then, his son asks, won't he help the stragglers they run across instead of running from them or shooting at them? "We should go to him, Papa. We could get him and take him with us. . . . I'd give that little boy half of my food." How to explain the necessity of abandoning others to certain death (or worse, in one particularly terrifying scene) while maintaining that they're "the good guys," the ones "carrying the fire"?

Under these singularly bleak conditions, the boy's nature -- his impulse to help, his anxiety about stealing others' food -- is, of course, naive. But even when fighting for their lives, his father knows that it's a naiveté inspired by the boy's goodness that makes their fight worthwhile, that allows him to resist the age-old temptation "to curse God and die."

The encounter that illumines the final moments of the novel will infuriate McCarthy die-hards who relish his existential bleakness, but the scene confirms earlier allusions that suggest the roots of this end-of-the-world story reach far past the nuclear age to the apocalypse of Christian faith. The book's climax -- an immaculate conception of Pilgrim's Progress and "Mad Max" -- is a startling shift for McCarthy, but a tender answer to a desperate prayer.

Reviewed by Ron Charles
Copyright 2006, The Washington Post. All Rights Reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From AudioFile
Those familiar with McCarthy's unique spare writing style will find Tom Stechschulte's performance of THE ROAD a good fit. Stechschulte's voice maintains a somber, growling quality that suits the mournful story of a father and son, two survivors journeying across a scorched America. McCarthy's riveting descriptions of setting and characters are delivered at a measured pace and with a rich depth that is appealing from opening line to closing scene. Although the story's subject matter is truly bleak, Stechschulte's capable performance is offered in an accessible tone that complements McCarthy's skilled prose. In a way, McCarthy and Stechschulte share a common gift. Both are masters at conveying significant meaning with little fanfare and peerless results. L.B.F. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist
A man and a boy, father and son, "each the other's world entire," walk a road in "the ashes of the late world." In this stunning departure from his previous work, McCarthy (No Country for Old Men, 2005) envisions a postapocalyptic scenario. Cities have been destroyed, plants and animals have died, and few humans survive. The sun is hidden by ash, and it is winter. With every scrap of food looted, many of the living have turned to cannibalism. The man and the boy plod toward the sea. The man remembers the world before; as his memories die, so, too dies that world. The boy was born after everything changed. The man, dying, has a fierce paternal love and will to survive--yet he saves his last two bullets for himself and his son. Although the holocaust is never explained, this is the kind of grim warning that leads to nightmares. Its spare, precise language is rich with other explorations, too: hope in the face of hopelessness, the ephemeral nature of our existence, the vanishing worlds we all carry within us. McCarthy evokes Beckett, using repetition and negation to crushing effect, showing us by their absence the things we will miss. Hypnotic and haunting, relentlessly dark, this is a novel to read in late-night solitude. Though the focus never leaves the two travelers, they carry our humanity, and we can't help but feel the world hangs in the balance of their hopeless quest. A masterpiece. Keir Graff
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review
"His tale of survival and the miracle of goodness only adds to McCarthy's stature as a living master. It's gripping, frightening and, ultimately, beautiful. It might very well be the best book of the year, period." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Vivid, eloquent . . . The Road is the most readable of [McCarthy's] works, and consistently brilliant in its imagining of the posthumous condition of nature and civilization." —The New York Times Book Review

"One of McCarthy's best novels, probably his most moving and perhaps his most personal." —Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Illuminated by extraordinary tenderness. . . . Simple yet mysterious, simultaneously cryptic and crystal clear. The Road offers nothing in the way of escape or comfort. But its fearless wisdom is more indelible than reassurance could ever be." —The New York Times

"No American writer since Faulkner has wandered so willingly into the swamp waters of deviltry and redemption. . . . [McCarthy] has written this last waltz with enough elegant reserve to capture what matters most." —The Boston Globe

"There is an urgency to each page, and a raw emotional pull . . . making [The Road] easily one of the most harrowing books you'll ever encounter. . . . Once opened, [it is] nearly impossible to put down; it is as if you must keep reading in order for the characters to stay alive. . . . The Road is a deeply imagined work and harrowing no matter what your politics." —Bookforum

"We find this violent, grotesque world rendered in gorgeous, melancholic, even biblical cadences. . . . Few books can do more; few have done better. Read this book." —Rocky Mountain News

"A dark book that glows with the intensity of [McCarthy's] huge gift for language. . . . Why read this? . . . Because in its lapidary transcription of the deepest despair short of total annihilation we may ever know, this book announces the triumph of language over nothingness." —Chicago Tribune

"The love between the father and the son is one of the most profound relationships McCarthy has ever written."
The Christian Science Monitor

"The Road is a wildly powerful and disturbing book that exposes whatever black bedrock lies beneath grief and horror. Disaster has never felt more physically and spiritually real." —Time

"The Road is the logical culmination of everything [McCarthy]'s written." —Newsweek

"It's hard to think of [an apocalypse tale] as beautifully, hauntingly constructed as this one. McCarthy possesses a massive, Biblical vocabulary and he unleashes it in this book with painterly effect. . . . The Road takes him to a whole new level. . . . It will grip even the coldest human heart." —The Star-Ledger (Newark)

"McCarthy is a gutsy, powerful storyteller. . . . The writing throughout is magnificent." —Chicago Sun-Times

"Devastating. . . . McCarthy has never seemed more at home, more eloquent, than in the sere, postapocalyptic ash land of The Road. . . . Extraordinarily lovely and sad. . . . [A] masterpiece." —Entertainment Weekly

"His most compelling, moving and accessible novel since All the Pretty Horses. . . . McCarthy brilliantly captures the knife edge that fugitives in a hostile world stand on. . . . Amid this Godot-like bleakness, McCarthy shares something vital and enduring about the boy's spirit, his father's love and the nature of bravery itself." —USA Today

名人推荐
‘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

媒体推荐
书评:
末日之后怎么活?

如果你读《纽约时报》或《华盛顿邮报》等美国“左派”大报,你决不会猜到,美国历史上曾经有过一个单枪匹马闯西部的传统。任何社会问题,卡特里娜飓风灾害后新奥尔良市的缓慢复苏;脏乱的城市贫民区;质量普遍低劣的公立中学等等,根子永远是政府拨款太少。这些报纸倾向的解决方案,永远是政府给钱、给钱、再给大钱。
  
不过,一个民族的传统,即使已被住在大城市的学院左派和媒体精英遗忘,却必然顽强地生存在民间草根中,而且常常会在文学艺术中反映出来。刚在星期一(4月16日)得了今年普利策小说奖的《路》(The Road),就是这样一部作品。
  
美国老作家科马克·麦卡锡(Cormac McCarthy)在《路》中描绘的是末日景象。
  
某年某月某日,半夜1点17分,核子大战。政府灰飞烟灭;任何组织都没有了;就连专职在苦难中安慰民众的宗教团体也没有了。你活不活?
  
这是核大战之后的核冬天。废尘笼罩全球。没有太阳,没有月亮,没有星星。夜间伸手不见五指;白天灰蒙蒙一片。永远不停的风,风中无数黑灰。河流是黑的。海是灰的。最干净的是阴沟里的水。即使在南方,气温也常常降到零度以下。没有政府发放帐篷、毯子和面包,你活不活?
  
公路上是排成长龙的汽车残骸;轮胎都熔化了,在地上结成一堆堆黑渣;烧死后缩成一团的尸体,指骨吊在方向盘上;你曾经熟悉的世界,如今只存在记忆之中。只有梦里才见得到绿色。生活中倒是还有红色——仍在燃烧的火,还有你吐的血。这样的世界,你活不活?
  
一位父亲,一个儿子,核大战幸存者。他们只有一支手枪,枪里只有一发子弹。父亲告诉儿子:如果碰到坏人,我把他们引开,你拿着枪躲起来,如果坏人发现了你,你就这样〔自杀〕。因为坏人会活活吃孩子的肉,父亲宁愿他自杀。就是这样的处境,你活不活?
  
孩子的母亲,觉得这样的生活无意义,她自杀了。消耗了一发珍贵的子弹。父亲常常觉得自己应该羡慕那些已死的人,他们解脱了,不再忍受生存的苦难。但是,他带着儿子,一步又一步走在州际公路上。在公路上是危险的。虽然绝大多数人都死了,死于核爆炸,死于寒冷,死于饥饿,死于绝望,但少数坏人靠着吃人生存下来了——吃那些绝望地走在公路上的人。但父亲和孩子仍然走在公路上。
  
父亲和儿子互相提醒:我们是好人,我们不抢别人的食物,我们不吃人。父亲告诉儿子:我们带着火种。
  
“脂穷于为薪,火传也,不知其尽也”(《庄子·养生主》)。某一堆燃料会烧光,火却总是可以在另一堆燃料上烧起来。只要人有这点精神,单枪匹马,他们也要重建文明。
  
小说的最后一页,儿子遇到了一个女婴。绝望的旅行终于有了结果。薪尽火传,读者看到了人类延续的一点希望。他们仍然走在公路上,他们仍然时时面临危险。但是,如果他们有面对一切毁灭而生存下去并做个好人的勇气,他们大概不是孤例。即使儿子遭遇不幸,薪尽火传,其他的好人还在路上。

这样的小说能得普利策奖,而且得奖之前已被美国最负盛名的电视女主持人奥普拉·温弗里(Oprah Winfrey)在她的读书节目上向全国推荐,出版社因此赶印了95万本平装本,这仍然说明美国人内心深处根深蒂固的个人主义传统。这也帮助我们理解,为什么在多次发生校园枪击事件之后,多数美国人仍然认为公民有持枪的自由。
  
政府确实可以在灾难时刻做很多事,但政府的“好意”必然侵犯私人自由。卡特里娜飓风灾害期间,政府的疏散车船容量有限,规定只运人不运宠物。但对许多美国人,狗和猫亲如儿女,宠物不走,他们也不愿走。其实留在城里未必活不下去,他们是否可以拒绝政府的“好意”?说得极端一点,如果他们宁愿与宠物死在一起——孔子曰,“自古皆有死”,这也不是什么了不起的事——他们能否有这样的选择?

Freedom is not free (自由不是免费的)。如果美国人愿意为他们的自由付出高昂代价,别人也没什么可说的。
  
在《路》的结尾,父亲想道,“或许只有在世界的毁灭中才能最终见到世界是如何生成的。”在毁灭中孤胆独行的人,是否会建成一个自己对自己负责的更为自由的世界?

Customer Reviews
1. The future is now..., March 28, 2007
                                By JLind555
"The Road" is a work of stunning, savage, heartbreaking beauty. Set in the post-apocalyptic hell of an unending nuclear winter, Cormac McCarthy writes about a nameless man and his young son, wandering through a world gone crazy; bleak, cold, dark, where the snow falls down gray; moving south toward the coast, looking somewhere, anywhere, for life and warmth. Nothing grows in this blasted world; people turn into cannibals to survive. We don't know if we're looking at the aftermath of a nuclear war, or maybe an extinction level event -- an asteroid or a comet; McCarthy deliberately doesn't tell us, and we come to realize it doesn't matter anyway. Whether man or nature threw a wild pitch, the world is just as dead.

The boy's mother is a suicide, unable to face living in a world where everything's gone gray and dead. Keep on living and you'll end up raped and murdered along with everybody else, she tells the man before she eats a bullet. The man and his son are "each the other's world entire"; they have only each other, they live for each other, and their intense love for each other will help them survive. At least for a while.

But survival in this brave new world is a dicey prospect at best; the boy and the man are subjected to sights no one should ever have to see. Every day is a scavenger hunt for food and shelter and safety from the "bad guys", the marauding gangs who enslave the weak and resort to cannibalism for lack of any other food. We are the good guys, the man assures his son. Yet in their rare encounters with other living human beings, the man resorts to primitive survivalism, refusing help to a lost child and a starving man, living only for himself and his son, who is trying to hold onto whatever humanity he has left. It's in these chance encounters with other people, even more than their interaction with each other, that we see them for who they really are. The boy is a radiantly sweet child, caring, unselfish, wanting and needing to reach out to others, even though this bleak, blasted world is the only environment he's ever known; the father, more cautious, more bitter, has let the devastation enwrap him until all he cares about is himself and his son. And to hell with everybody else.

Their journey to the coast is an unending nightmare through the depths of hell and the only thing that holds them together is their love for each other. When one is ready to give up, the other refuses to let him. I won't let you go into the darkness alone, the man reassures his son. But ultimately, as the boy finds out, everyone is on his own, and all you can do is keep on keeping on.

McCarthy has proven himself a master of minimalism; with a style as bleak as the stripped terrain the man and the boy travel through, but each sentence polished as a gem, he takes us into the harsh reality of a dying world. The past is gone, dead as the landscape all around them, and the present is the only reality. There is no later, McCarthy says. This is later. Deep down the man knows there is nothing better to hope for down the road, even though he keeps them both slogging down it, only to keep his son alive. And we keep slogging down that road with them, hoping against hope that around the next corner or five miles down the line, maybe there is something, anything, to make survival worth while.

Living in such a hell, why would anyone want to survive? The mother made her decision; she checked out long ago. We come to the end of this book totally drained, enervated, devastated, but curiously uplifted. Because as long as there is love, McCarthy tells us, maybe there is something to live for, and as the book shows us at the end, maybe there is a even little bit of hope.

Judy Lind

2. Are We Still The Good Guys, March 28, 2007
                               By prisrob "pris," (New EnglandUSA)
'Concurrent with keeping his son alive is the more metaphysical challenge of sustaining his son's innate goodness while forcing him to witness the corruption of all moral behavior. "Are we still the good guys?" the boy asks in moments of confusion and shock. His father insists they are. "This is what good guys do," he tells him. "They keep trying. They don't give up." Why, then, his son asks, won't he help the stragglers they run across instead of running from them or shooting at them? "We should go to him, Papa. We could get him and take him with us. . . . I'd give that little boy half of my food." How to explain the necessity of abandoning others to certain death (or worse, in one particularly terrifying scene) while maintaining that they're "the good guys," the ones "carrying the fire"? Washington Post

Cormac Mccarthy has given us a glimpse of a world none of us want to see or visit, but we are there. It is desolate, singulatory, stark, bleak; all of these words and more are needed to describe a world after a nuclear explosion. We are left to imagine the events, the place, and the time. All we have are these two souls, dad and son, no names. They are moving from one place to another to get to the coast, why, we do not know, are left to wonder. Along the way Mccarthy describes the world we never want to see. Smoldering even after a few years, everything black and stripped of any semblance. Not many people, and those they meet, they are afraid of. Looters, and murderers and eaters of flesh. These two souls, father and son, the two evidences that love can keep you going, can keep you on the right path, and can keep you "One of the good guys". There is not much to keep you going or to keep you safe. Death, no food, no shelter, no clothing, harsh and cold environment, only your wits, and then it is hard to keep them together. A harsh and cold path and if it is what we have to face, Cormac Mccarthy has given us the most beautiful prose and surreal writing.

This is a book to be read by everyone. This is a book to be remembered, to be revered and to be kept in the recesses of our brains, to come out only when necessary. This book begs to be discussed. So many nuances, so many allegories, and so many scenes that are reminiscent, but still new.

"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 love of a father and his son, the greatest love of all.
Highly, highly recommended. prisrob 10-14-06

作者简介
Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island. He attended the University of Tennessee in the early 1950s, and joined the U.S. Air Force, serving four years, two of them stationed in Alaska. McCarthy then returned to the university, where he published in the student literary magazine and won the Ingram-Merrill Award for creative writing in 1959 and 1960. McCarthy next went to Chicago, where he worked as an auto mechanic while writing his first novel, The Orchard Keeper.

文摘
When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him. Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before. Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world. His hand rose and fell softly with each precious breath. He pushed away the plastic tarpaulin and raised himself in the stinking robes and blankets and looked toward the east for any light but there was none. In the dream from which he'd wakened he had wandered in a cave where the child led him by the hand. Their light playing over the wet flowstone walls. Like pilgrims in a fable swallowed up and lost among the inward parts of some granitic beast. Deep stone flues where the water dripped and sang. Tolling in the silence the minutes of the earth and the hours and the days of it and the years without cease. Until they stood in a great stone room where lay a black and ancient lake. And on the far shore a creature that raised its dripping mouth from the rimstone pool and stared into the light with eyes dead white and sightless as the eggs of spiders. It swung its head low over the water as if to take the scent of what it could not see. Crouching there pale and naked and translucent, its alabaster bones cast up in shadow on the rocks behind it. Its bowels, its beating heart. The brain that pulsed in a dull glass bell. It swung its head from side to side and then gave out a low moan and turned and lurched away and loped soundlessly into the dark.


With the first gray light he rose and left the boy sleeping and walked out to the road and squatted and studied the country to the south. Barren, silent, godless. He thought the month was October but he wasnt sure. He hadnt kept a calendar for years. They were moving south. There'd be no surviving another winter here.


When it was light enough to use the binoculars he glassed the valley below. Everything paling away into the murk. The soft ash blowing in loose swirls over the blacktop. He studied what he could see. The segments of road down there among the dead trees. Looking for anything of color. Any movement. Any trace of standing smoke. He lowered the glasses and pulled down the cotton mask from his face and wiped his nose on the back of his wrist and then glassed the country again. Then he just sat there holding the binoculars and watching the ashen daylight congeal over the land. He knew only that the child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke.


When he got back the boy was still asleep. He pulled the blue plastic tarp off of him and folded it and carried it out to the grocery cart and packed it and came back with their plates and some cornmeal cakes in a plastic bag and a plastic bottle of syrup. He spread the small tarp they used for a table on the ground and laid everything out and he took the pistol from his belt and laid it on the cloth and then he just sat watching the boy sleep. He'd pulled away his mask in the night and it was buried somewhere in the blankets. He watched the boy and he looked out through the trees toward the road. This was not a safe place. They could be seen from the road now it was day. The boy turned in the blankets. Then he opened his eyes. Hi, Papa, he said.

I'm right here.

I know.


An hour later they were on the road. He pushed the cart and both he and the boy carried knapsacks. In the knapsacks were essential things. In case they had to abandon the cart and make a run for it. Clamped to the handle of the cart was a chrome motorcycle mirror that he used to watch the road behind them. He shifted the pack higher on his shoulders and looked out over the wasted country. The road was empty. Below in the little valley the still gray serpentine of a river. Motionless and precise. Along the shore a burden of dead reeds. Are you okay? he said. The boy nodded. Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other's world entire.


They crossed the river by an old concrete bridge and a few miles on they came upon a roadside gas station. They stood in the road and studied it. I think we should check it out, the man said. Take a look. The weeds they forded fell to dust about them. They crossed the broken asphalt apron and found the tank for the pumps. The cap was gone and the man dropped to his elbows to smell the pipe but the odor of gas was only a rumor, faint and stale. He stood and looked over the building. The pumps standing with their hoses oddly still in place. The windows intact. The door to the service bay was open and he went in. A standing metal toolbox against one wall. He went through the drawers but there was nothing there that he could use. Good half-inch drive sockets. A ratchet. He stood looking around the garage. A metal barrel full of trash. He went into the office. Dust and ash everywhere. The boy stood in the door. A metal desk, a cashregister. Some old automotive manuals, swollen and sodden. The linoleum was stained and curling from the leaking roof. He crossed to the desk and stood there. Then he picked up the phone and dialed the number of his father's house in that long ago. The boy watched him. What are you doing? he said.


A quarter mile down the road he stopped and looked back. We're not thinking, he said. We have to go back. He pushed the cart off the road and tilted it over where it could not be seen and they left their packs and went back to the station. In the service bay he dragged out the steel trashdrum and tipped it over and pawed out all the quart plastic oilbottles. Then they sat in the floor decanting them of their dregs one by one, leaving the bottles to stand upside down draining into a pan until at the end they had almost a half quart of motor oil. He screwed down the plastic cap and wiped the bottle off with a rag and hefted it in his hand. Oil for their little slutlamp to light the long gray dusks, the long gray dawns. You can read me a story, the boy said. Cant you, Papa? Yes, he said. I can.


. . .


On the far side of the river valley the road passed through a stark black burn. Charred and limbless trunks of trees stretching away on every side. Ash moving over the road and the sagging hands of blind wire strung from the blackened lightpoles whining thinly in the wind. A burned house in a clearing and beyond that a reach of meadowlands stark and gray and a raw red mudbank where a roadworks lay abandoned. Farther along were billboards advertising motels. Everything as it once had been save faded and weathered. At the top of the hill they stood in the cold and the wind, getting their breath. He looked at the boy. I'm all right, the boy said. The man put his hand on his shoulder and nodded toward the open country below them. He got the binoculars out of the cart and stood in the road and glassed the plain down there where the shape of a city stood in the grayness like a charcoal drawing sketched across the waste. Nothing to see. No smoke. Can I see? the boy said. Yes. Of course you can. The boy leaned on the cart and adjusted the wheel. What do you see? the man said. Nothing. He lowered the glasses. It's raining. Yes, the man said. I know.


They left the cart in a gully covered with the tarp and made their way up the slope through the dark poles of the standing trees to where he'd seen a running ledge of rock and they sat under the rock overhang and watched the gray sheets of rain blow across the valley. It was very cold. They sat huddled together wrapped each in a blanket over their coats and after a while the rain stopped and there was just the dripping in the woods.


When it had cleared they went down to the cart and pulled away the tarp and got their blankets and the things they would need for the night. They went back up the hill and made their camp in the dry dirt under the rocks and the man sat with his arms around the boy trying to warm him. Wrapped in the blankets, watching the nameless dark come to enshroud them. The gray shape of the city vanished in the night's onset like an apparition and he lit the little lamp and set it back out of the wind. Then they walked out to the road and he took the boy's hand and they went to the top of the hill where the road crested and where they could see out over the darkening country to the south, standing there in the wind, wrapped in their blankets, watching for any sign of a fire or a lamp. There was nothing. The lamp in the rocks on the side of the hill was little more than a mote of light and after a while they walked back. Everything too wet to make a fire. They ate their poor meal cold and lay down in their bedding with the lamp between them. He'd brought the boy's book but the boy was too tired for reading. Can we leave the lamp on till I'm asleep? he said. Yes. Of course we can.


He was a long time going to sleep. After a while he turned and looked at the man. His face in the small light streaked with black from the rain like some old world thespian. Can I ask you something? he said.

Yes. Of course.

Are we going to die?

Sometime. Not now.

And we're still going south.

Yes.

So we'll be warm.

Yes.

Okay.

Okay what?

Nothing. Just okay.

Go to sleep.

Okay.

I'm going to blow out the lamp. Is that okay?

Yes. That's okay.

And then later in the darkness: Can I ask you something?

Yes. Of course you can.

What would you do if I died?

If you died I would want to die too.

So you could be with me?

Yes. So I could be with you.

Okay.


He lay listening to the water drip in the woods. Bedrock, this. The cold and the silence. The ashes of the late world carried on the bleak and temporal winds to and fro in the void. Carried forth and scattered and carried forth again. Everything uncoupled from its shoring. Unsupported in the ashen air. Sustained by a breath, trembling and brief. If only my heart were stone.


He woke before dawn and watched the gray day break. Slow and half opaque....

内容简介
灰色的雪寂然落在荒芜、寒冷、黑暗的冬日,一对父子穿越地狱般的废墟,往南方海岸走去,寻找温暖、适人的可能地方。那是恶霸横行、甚至吃人维生的恐怖世界,男孩的母亲选择自杀,她不愿生命将以被强暴或谋杀告终。选择生存真的是最好的吗?人性在地狱里还剩下多少?还有什么值得活下去的理由?这是一条没有终点的路,所有事物逐渐凋零、死亡,父子俩唯一拥有的,只有对彼此的爱。McCarthy营造了垂死的冷酷现实,一个没有“然后呢?”的故事。

“《路》揭开了隐藏在悲伤和恐惧之下的黑色河床,灾难从未如此真实过,麦卡锡仿佛是这个即将消失于世界的最后幸存者,他把未来发生的那个时刻提早展现给我们看。” ——《TIME》

自出版以来,不但入选美国华盛顿邮报、洛杉矶时报、时代杂志等十数家媒体推荐为年度好书,入围国家书评人奖,更摘下普立兹奖桂冠。

某日的夜半一点十七分,核子大战让整个世界由国家建立的秩序毁于一旦,人们仰赖的国家与组织瞬间湮灭,不仅如此,自然在核弹爆炸后的末日,灰蒙蒙的天空无法滋养任何的植物,也无法供养任何幸存的人类。在这场末日浩劫中,一对父子活了下来,他们仅剩了一只手枪与仅有的一发子弹,父亲告诫儿子不能轻易使用子弹,如果遇到了危险就用仅存的一发子弹自杀,当时他们的母亲却利用这最后一发子弹自尽。他们带着火种希望能从新开始生活,他们面对着未知的生计与人性的邪恶面,却抱持着光明乐观的态度,直到他们遇到了一个被遗弃的婴儿,生命开始有了延续。作者Cormac McCarthy甫以此书获得今年年度普立兹奖最佳小说奖,评审认为这本小说是他最平易近人也最优秀的作品。得奖之前这本书才获得「欧普拉读书俱乐部」青睐获得选书,让该书作者Cormac McCarthy登上了生涯创作的最高峰。

McCarthy自一九六○年代创作迄今,共发表十部长篇小说;在台湾最具知名度的作品,或属曾改编成电影《爱在奔驰》的《All the Pretty Horses》。获奖的○六年最新创作《The Road 》,讲一场超级浩劫后,文明崩毁,人类生活几乎退回弱肉强食、互为仇敌的原始状态。一对父子带着购物推车在美国徒步行走,希望到南方避冬;作父亲的在生命最困顿的时刻,依然不放弃教导孩子关乎美与善的信念…
  
这位七十三岁的文坛前辈在 《The Road》一书中,以一对父子为故事主轴,徐徐开展一路延续,将细腻的写作技巧展露无遗,漂亮地戴上桂冠。此描绘天灾、人祸共同酿造的末世景观作为「后911」的时代寓言。


Book Description
NATIONAL BESTSELLER

PULITZER PRIZE WINNER
National Book Critic's Circle Award Finalist

A New York Times Notable Book
One of the Best Books of the Year
The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post, The Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York, People, Rocky Mountain News, Time, The Village Voice, The Washington Post

The 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. 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.

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.

Amazon.com
Best known for his Border Trilogy, hailed in the San Francisco Chronicle as "an American classic to stand with the finest literary achievements of the century," Cormac McCarthy has written ten rich and often brutal novels, including the bestselling No Country for Old Men, and The Road. Profoundly dark, told in spare, searing prose, The Road is a post-apocalyptic masterpiece, one of the best books we've read this year, but in case you need a second (and expert) opinion, we asked Dennis Lehane, author of equally rich, occasionally bleak and brutal novels, to read it and give us his take. Read his glowing review below.
                                 --Daphne Durham

Guest Reviewer: Dennis Lehane
Dennis Lehane, master of the hard-boiled thriller, generated a cult following with his series about private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, wowed readers with the intense and gut-wrenching Mystic River, blew fans all away with the mind-bending Shutter Island, and switches gears with Coronado, his new collection of gritty short stories (and one play).

Cormac McCarthy sets his new novel, The Road, in a post-apocalyptic blight of gray skies that drizzle ash, a world in which all matter of wildlife is extinct, starvation is not only prevalent but nearly all-encompassing, and marauding bands of cannibals roam the environment with pieces of human flesh stuck between their teeth. If this sounds oppressive and dispiriting, it is. McCarthy may have just set to paper the definitive vision of the world after nuclear war, and in this recent age of relentless saber-rattling by the global powers, it's not much of a leap to feel his vision could be not far off the mark nor, sadly, right around the corner. Stealing across this horrific (and that's the only word for it) landscape are an unnamed man and his emaciated son, a boy probably around the age of ten. It is the love the father feels for his son, a love as deep and acute as his grief, that could surprise readers of McCarthy's previous work. McCarthy's Gnostic impressions of mankind have left very little place for love. In fact that greatest love affair in any of his novels, I would argue, occurs between the Billy Parham and the wolf in The Crossing. But here the love of a desperate father for his sickly son transcends all else. McCarthy has always written about the battle between light and darkness; the darkness usually comprises 99.9% of the world, while any illumination is the weak shaft thrown by a penlight running low on batteries. In The Road, those batteries are almost out--the entire world is, quite literally, dying--so the final affirmation of hope in the novel's closing pages is all the more shocking and maybe all the more enduring as the boy takes all of his father's (and McCarthy's) rage at the hopeless folly of man and lays it down, lifting up, in its place, the oddest of all things: faith.
                                --Dennis Lehane

More about the Author
Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island. He attended the University of Tennessee in the early 1950s, and joined the U.S. Air Force, serving four years, two of them stationed in Alaska. McCarthy then returned to the university, where he published in the student literary magazine and won the Ingram-Merrill Award for creative writing in 1959 and 1960. McCarthy next went to Chicago, where he worked as an auto mechanic while writing his first novel, The Orchard Keeper.

The Orchard Keeper was published by Random House in 1965; McCarthy's editor there was Albert Erskine, William Faulkner's long-time editor. Before publication, McCarthy received a traveling fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which he used to travel to Ireland. In 1966 he also received the Rockefeller Foundation Grant, with which he continued to tour Europe, settling on the island of Ibiza. Here, McCarthy completed revisions of his next novel, Outer Dark.

In 1967, McCarthy returned to the United States, moving to Tennessee. Outer Dark was published by Random House in 1968, and McCarthy received the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Writing in 1969. His next novel, Child of God, was published in 1973. From 1974 to 1975, McCarthy worked on the screenplay for a PBS film called The Gardener's Son, which premiered in 1977. A revised version of the screenplay was later published by Ecco Press.

In the late 1970s, McCarthy moved to Texas, and in 1979 published his fourth novel, Suttree, a book that had occupied his writing life on and off for twenty years. He received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1981, and published his fifth novel, Blood Meridian, in 1985.

After the retirement of Albert Erskine, McCarthy moved from Random House to Alfred A. Knopf. All the Pretty Horses, the first volume of The Border Trilogy, was published by Knopf in 1992. It won both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and was later turned into a feature film. The Stonemason, a play that McCarthy had written in the mid-1970s and subsequently revised, was published by Ecco Press in 1994. Soon thereafter, Knopf released the second volume of The Border Trilogy, The Crossing; the third volume, Cities of the Plain, was published in 1998.

McCarthy's next novel, No Country for Old Men was published in 2005. This was followed in 2006 by a novel in dramatic form, The Sunset Limited, originally performed by Steppenwolf Theatre Company of Chicago and published in paperback by Vintage Books. McCarthy's most recent novel, The Road, was also published by Knopf in 2006.

Book Dimension
length: (cm)17.6                 width:(cm)10.4

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