Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Explore Books - Fathers & Sons

So here we are then, my first book review, when I say my first I don't mean ever. Although it's been so long since my last one - which was probably at school - that it may as well be.
All the books I intend to review will be based on my level of enjoyment and in all honesty I don't think I can be bothered to waste my time writing up a review on a dull book, life's too short.

My first of today's two offerings is by the great Cormac McCarthy -

The Road – is the haunting tale of a father and son's struggle to survive in a stark and ruined future America. Where ash falls like snow and when it snows, the snow is grey as ash, they are cold, wet, and hungry, scavenging for food and shelter. Their only defence a small pistol with two bullets. Living with the constant threat of marauding gangs with cannibalistic intentions, they cling to their humanity and each other, they’re the good guys “they carry the fire!”

This book while being bleak and harrowing is at the same time both tender and intimate. You become lost in the father and son's struggle for survival as they cling to the hope that they can escape their living nightmare together, as the days pass, weeks, maybe months… this chapter-less story unfolds and although the ending may have been a little predictable, was no less powerful for it.

My next choice is linked to the last by a tenuous link of movie trivia…

The soundtrack for the motion picture – The Road - was worked on by Warren Ellis and Nick Cave.

…and Nick Cave is the author of

The Death of Bunny Munro – This is a wonderfully black comedy that follows our antihero Bunny and his son Bunny Jnr as they hit the road after the death of his wife (Jnr’s mother). Bunny is a salesman, and a soon to be dead man, he’s losing his grip on reality, his father (Bunny Snr) is dying of cancer, and his son talks to his dead mother. Bunny is a poor father, is/was a terrible husband, he’s a smoker, a drinker and an unremitting fornicator and if that’s not bad enough he drives a yellow Fiat Punto and on occasion beats one off into a sock that’s kept under his drivers seat.

It’s a credit to Nick Cave’s talent that Bunny is so damn likable. (Although I’m sure there will be a few ladies out there who will think he's a shit-bag). This book made me laugh and cry, it was so much more than I expected – apart from the ending of course (the clue is in the title).

I hope you have found todays reviews useful/informative/well... at least not as dull-as-dish-water.

Until next time...

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