Thursday, March 29, 2007

Oprah and McCarthy

The story's been popping up on just about every book-related blog I look at, but in case you didn't know the newest Oprah book pick is Cormac McCarthy's The Road.

I'm not an Oprah fan. In fact, if there's any one celebrity I'd love to see go away it's her. Not die, per se. Just go away. But she does manage to pick interesting books. The Road is a brilliant book, but All the Pretty Horses it's not. I can't imagine what the reaction to it will be from the typical Oprah crowd. It's set just after an apocolyptic event---you never find out exactly what happened----so it's pretty dark and, at times, grisly. But at its core The Road is really about the love between a father and his son and how they will endure anything for each other. The two travel together along a nameless highway, hoping to find a better life at the coast. Be prepared cry at the end.

The O-watchers are already working full steam ahead; in the last 24 hours the library I work for has received 180 requests for the book. And I'm sure bookstores are facing a similar situation.

I do wonder, though, how the O-watchers will react to the pretty graphic scene of starving people eating a bbq'd baby.



Christopher Conway said...

What you say about the library requests is amazing.

In spite of the horrors, The Road strikes me as ultimately very very tender. Maybe this is what will make non-Cormac fans really respond and embrace the novel. I'm a Cormac fan, so even when things are grim throughout (as in No country for Old People), I tend to still like him and cheer for him.

Hebdomeros said...

I agree with you totally. The central message is definitely very tender and moving, and I think that kind of emotion will appeal to Oprah's audience. I just don't know how they will react to the darker elements of the story. I hope they'll be able to see them as part of the whole and not feel they have to leave the book unfinished because of some grim sections.

Maktaaq said...

Hmm, I haven't read the road yet, but it's on my list and I was shocked the other day when I saw that it was an Oprah pick.

I don't hate her as much; I just detest celebrity period. I can't see why people are so interested in these obviously very boring people. I can't think of a single famous person I'd like to spend time with - it can't be just because I am misanthropic, can it?