Benjamin Percy writing about one of my favourite authors, Cormac McCarthy and The Road in The Atlantic:
As many have pointed out before me, he’s unafraid to stare into the abyss. He’s peering into the darkest corners of human existence, using a lamp with blood.
I’ve read The Road several times now, but the first time I read it was soon after my son was born. I was especially emotionally vulnerable in that moment because he was having some issues with his breathing: He ended up getting a severe case of croup that closed his throat. He was transported to the hospital by ambulance and was in the ICU for three days. They pricked him full of steroids and put him in an oxygen mask. I’ve never felt more protective, or helpless, or scraped out emotionally than I did then.
Reading this book around that time put me in a mindset that made me particularly vulnerable to the subject matter. The Road is ultimately about a father sacrificing everything for his son—keeping on and surviving despite a nightmare landscape, and only for his son’s sake…..
..And maybe this is the only time this has ever happened to me—but what is revealed is even more terrifying that what I could have imagined.