Monday, June 11, 2007


Here's what I don't need to read next: Anything suggestive of the apocalypse. In the past two weeks I've read Don Delilllo's latest, Falling Man and, like the rest of the Oprah-instructed nation, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. (Hey, I was going to read it anyway. And now she's chosen one of my favorite books of the last decade or so, Middlesex as her next project. Please stop reading my mind, Oprah Winfrey.)

Both were excellent / terrifying. I just finished the McCarthy today and it's a vision of the world after some sort of apocalypse as pitiless as it is plausible. He never gets around to detailing what's made the sky turned grey and the buildings melt just enough to lose their bearings but it doesn't matter. It's a picture of the world gone off the cliff, the kind we always fear leaving to our kids. By McCarthy's relucant admission it was inspired by his relationship with his young son (McCarthy's 75 with an 8-year-old kid) and it's filled with a desparate need to preserve what's good and human in the face of times that's misplaced the value of such qualities. It's relentless until an ending that's a tiny bit of a cop-out. Thank heavens.

My review of the Delillo book posts Thursday so I won't repeat myself. But I'll add a couple of filmic references by saying that nothing's captured the tone of what it felt like in the days, and now years, after 9/11 so well since The 25th Hour. I wouldn't put Lee in charge of the film version, though. I think only Kubrick could have really caught the sense of unease stirring beneath cool surfaces that he does so well.

Now I need to read something about resource girls who raise money for animal shelters or something.

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