You Win This Round, Oprah

June 27, 2007

The missus & I have had a long standing disagreement around our mutual entertainment consumption preferences.  She is of the opinion that “if something’s going to put negative thoughts in your head, why do you even need that?”  And to a point, I agree.  Like, if there’s a news article about a guy strangling his children or a bunch of kids torturing a puppy, I usually just don’t read those stories, and in fact would rather not have even seen the headlines. 

But when it comes to books and movies, I can & do choose to understand, it’s all just fiction, so something like Children of Men, which is a great movie, doesn’t really trouble me all that much.  It’s just a movie, and a damn good one.  And sure, if it’s some bit of torture porn like Hostel or Saw, I can just skip it, largely because I’m not 14 anymore, and fake blood isn’t as entertaining as it once was.  But I think I finally found the piece of legit, high brow entertainment that pushed me into the same camp as the missus.


Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road is set in the aftermath of a nuclear war, and it follows a father and his roughly six year old son, born shortly after the bombs were dropped.  Nuclear winter has stripped the earth of all vegetation, and consequently of all animal life as well.  A few humans have eked out a survival of sorts, scavenging tinned & canned food as they wander in small groups from city to city.  Some fall to canibalism, hunting the others for food.  There’s no hope from the very start of the book that the end will work out, that a paradise will be discovered where food grows, where life is possible.  All you do is wait for the cancer, which has riddled the father’s lungs, to finally overtake him, and for the boy to beg his dad to “take me with you, take me with you.”

Screw you & your book club, Oprah, if I could go to the clinic from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I’d have this book erased from my memory.  So bleak & depressing.  I know McCarthy wrote it to illustrate a father’s love for his child, but in the absence of any hope whatsoever, why bother?


  1. You’d erase this book from your memory? Really?

    Did it make you cry?

    I know! Maybe your wife should read this, to see if she likes it. Maybe this is the piece of entertainment that will bring her to the other side, with the rest of us miserable, cynical assholes. Then things will be back to their normal, disagreeing selves and all is right.

    Oprah picked this book for her club? Now THAT’S bleak and depressing.

  2. I’m not reading that book! I read to be entertained. Our world is filled with enough tragic stories and depressing events, why would I need to seek it out in a purely fictional book?

  3. Maybe the book would be better if instead of a child the “Jonson” character was trying to keep his precious iPhone’s battery* alive?

    *Note that the iPhone would probably be dead due to the bombs EMP pulses, but who cares.

  4. hush your mouth! How DARE you speak ill of my beloved jesusphone?!?!?!

  5. See that’s why I stay away from reading books all together.

    As a matter of fact I may give up reading, listening or writi

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