"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Oprah Picks "The Road"


Cormac McCarthy's depressing, apocalyptic novel of father and son trudging through the hell that earth becomes. Which has already sold 138,000 copies, and is due out in paperback soon. What timing, eh? The one thing that strikes me funny in all this is his publicist, Paul Bogaards, saying, "He knew who she was when she called." Well, it's nice to hear that the talented author isn't living under a rock. My favorite of his is still The Crossing, especially the first third, the boy and the wolf. I can't say I loved The Road, but I'm glad Oprah picked it. Most of her picks are not to my taste. They're not out there enough for me, but this is. I noticed, in the cover shot on Amazon, that there is already an Oprah's Book Club emblem -- wonder when that decision was actually made, and how they managed to keep it quiet, unless publishers can stick those emblems on at a moment's notice? Photo provided by Knopf via ABC News.

Correction: You can get the paperback online, but my local bookstore will be getting it soon.

4 comments:

cheryl said...

If for no other reason, this will make me watch a few Oprah episodes to see what the faithful think of this book. I don't think it's overly typical of him. I'm beating she'll pick up on the ending as upbeat and emphasize that over the whole rest of the book which is, yeah, pretty damn depresing.

Zen of Writing said...

I predict some PTSD among her audience.

Christopher Conway said...

I wonder if there are any studies of the demographics of Oprah's readers. I suppose the same for her show. I wonder if the book will strike a chord if for no other reason that it taps into our general disillusionment and dread over everything go to Hell in a handbasket. One of the scenes in The Road is one of the freakiest and most terrifying things I've ever read. When they go into that house and in the basement...

Zen of Writing said...

I'd think they'd do the studies themselves, to get advertising dollars.

That freaky scene, I couldn't help asking, what are the captives eating? Somebody has to be eating something besides each other -- that was the biggest drawback of the book for me, it didn't seem anyone could survive on the terms he set.