Having heard the buzz about this book and having seen the plethora of positive reviews, I felt compelled to write my own if only to be that voice of reason in a wilderness of pretentious insanity Cormac s McCarthy s The Road, I can honestly say, is the worst book I have ever read I am stunned to find such a critical following for a novel that is so clearly bad that I have yet to meet a flesh and blood person who does not hate it, or cannot, even after the most mild inquires, explain its appeal beyond the latent thought that they ought to like it To do otherwise would mark them as uncultured and ignorant Modern art had Duchamp s toilet, and now literature has its own case of the emperor s new clothes in, The Road.
What sets this novel apart from all others in its genre of ill conception, is the totality of its failure There is nothing good that can be said of it Some virtue can be found in every book, as in the old adage but she has a nice personality The Road breaks this rule, and soundly From the plot and characters to the writing style and even the cover design, the book is abysmally uninspired and a black hole of skill Much has been made of the writing quality Alan Cheuse, of the Chicago Tribune, and book commentator for NPR calls it his huge gift for language Let s look at that for a moment It is universally accepted that the first few sentences of any novel are the most crucial the words which a writer labors over the most to get them just right Here are the first two sentences of The Road When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him Nights dark beyond darkness and the days gray each one than what had gone before I once presented these two sentences to an amateur writer s forum and asked their opinion Several members politely replied that the sentences were badly in need of work Not only were they not grammatically correct, but they were awkward, confusing, used several unnecessary words and had all the rhythm and pacing of a dog with four broken legs Nights dark beyond darkness, has got to rank up there with, it was a dark and stormy night This is not at all an isolated example It is merely the beginning literally Other laudable narrative sentences include The Hour Of a sudden he seemed to wilt even further A lake down there Lest you think I am selectively picking the worst, here is the passage Mr Cheuse used in his own review as an example of genius tottering in that cold autistic dark with his arms outheld for balance while the vestibular calculations in his skull cranked out their reckonings An old chronicle To seek out the upright No fall but preceded by a declination He took great marching steps into the nothingness, counting them against his return What McCormac is describing here is that it is dark and the man can t see where he is going The author is clearly a master of communication Let s also pause to consider his brilliance of dialog, and his mastery of the monosyllable conversation that make the screenplay dialog of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger on par with Shakespeare Nearly every conversation has the word Okay, which appears so often I began to think it was a pun, like a ventriloquist routine One might conclude McCarthy is attempting to reflect a realistic vernacular into his work, except that the conversations are so stilted and robotic, as to lack even the faintest aroma of realism There is no slang, no halted speech, no rambling It is Dragnet First dialog in the book I ask you something Yes Of course Are we going to die Sometime Not now And we re still going south Yes So we ll be warm Yes Okay Okay what Nothing Just okay Go to sleep Okay.
You ll note that I did not use quotes in the above excerpt That is because neither does McCarthy There are no quotes anywhere in the book, nor are there any tags designating the speaker, which manages to successfully make determining who is speaking quite a dilemma at times Moreover, McCarthy never provides names to his characters this forces him to use the pronoun he frequently which very often leaves the reader bewildered as to whether he is referring to the father or the boy McCarthy doesn t stop with quotes He rarely uses commas or apostrophes It doesn t appear as if he is against contractions as he uses the non word, dont quite frequently Nor is he making the statement that he can write a whole book without punctuation as he does, on rare occasions, use a comma or an apostrophe, as you can see from the dialog segment I listed above, as if he is going senile and merely forgot As the lack of most of the necessary punctuation s only result is to make it harder to read, I can only conclude that McCarthy, or his editor are the most lazy people I ve ever heard of although I am certain no credible editor ever saw this book If they had I am certain we would have heard about the suicide in the papers One might overlook the shortcomings of writing skill if the novel s foundation was an excellent story Sadly, this is not the case Not that it lacks an excellent plot it lacks a plot Often times writers anguish over distilling the plot of a novel into a few sentences that might fit on the back of a book cover It is often impossible to clearly convey all that a book is in such a short span The Road does not suffer this Instead I would imagine that if it were possible to put this book in a microwave and evaporate all the extraneous words all you would have left is one sentence A boy and his father travel south in a post apocalyptic United States, then the father dies I wonder if the blurb writer for the, The Road, realized he was also providing a spoiler for the novel so comprehensive, no one need read the book What the book lacks in plot it clearly makes up for in even less characterization The father and the boy that is about as much characterization as you will get McCarthy doesn t even provide names from which readers might glean some associative characteristics We know the boy is afraid, because he says so approximately every four pages, always with the same robotic level of emotional intensity, backing it up with his many reasons, regrets and concerns as in the passage I am scared Likewise, the father is equally a pot bubbling over with emotional angst and frustration so vividly expressed in his response I know I m sorry.
We might as well burn all our copies of Grapes of Wrath now that we have this tour de force As amazing as it is, with only an eggshell of plot, McCarthy manages to run afoul of logic The boy and his father come across shelters packed with food and water, and yet the father insists they move on Why Because they must keep moving so as to avoid encountering others Clearly staying in one place is the best plan to avoid meeting others, hermit do it all the time Yes, other people might wander into you, but you double that equation if you too are roaming The only argument for pressing on with the journey is to find others I am certain I am being too kind here, but given that this is a Pulitzer Prize winning, Oprah Pick, National Bestseller, I don t want to ruffle too many feathers Of course, Duchamp s toilet Fountain was once voted the most influential modern artwork of all time.
I m a terrible person because I didn t really like The Road and I m not sure how I feel about Cormac McCarthy Honestly, I think there s something wrong with me I just finished reading The Road today it only took a couple of hours to get through, because it s not that long a book, and I think it was a good way to read it because I felt really immersed in the story, which is told like one long run on nightmare of poetic import The characters don t get quotation marks when they speak, and for some reason McCarthy also does away with the apostrophes in words like couldn t and shouldn t I m still not really sure why that was necessary, it seemed a little unjustified The story is set in a post apocalyptic world but the apocalypse itself is never really described or explained I still don t really know why the world is the way it is as the story begins, other than that everything suddenly started burning and there are few survivors What survivors remain are generally split into good guys and bad guys the good guys are just trying to get by and the bad guys usually kill and eat people and steal their things A man and his boy are walking south, yet we never really know why to get to what Even the man, whose plan this is, never explains the rationale than once when he thinks that it will be warmer there We re meant to think that they re in America, I think, only there s little indicators of an American world or otherwise At one point, near the end of the book, most of the artifacts they find are written in Spanish, which led me to think they had made it to Mexico possibly, but it still snows there, I think, which would be unusual In other words, there are few concrete details, and a lot of small conversations between the man and the boy the man usually says we have to keep going or we have to stay and the boy says i m scared or don t leave me and the man says Don t be scared or Okay That was probably my biggest frustration with the book the mundane repetitiveness of the dialogue While many will argue that that criticism is exactly what the author intended along with the amorphous location and lack of details in order to bring about the black ethos of the novel s post apocalypse, I just felt like it made for an uninteresting read The language is definitely poetic and it s peppered with abstract observations about the world or life or death, but I wasn t very moved by them or the story I didn t feel like I got to know the characters any better as the story went along they remained distant to me emotionally, endless travelers that I could empathize with as you would empathize with any soul wandering a post apocalyptic desert but I didn t really feel close to anything that happened because the narrative s disjointed and abstract tone just pushed me away as much as it made me reflect on apocalypse I read Jos Saramago s novel, Blindness a year or two ago and, to be honest, felt that it dealt with mass epidemic of an apocalyptic nature in a much convincing, original and powerful way It contains language of stunning beauty, dialogue that lacks distinction and punctuation, and dire situations but the characters are infinitely real, compelling and the situations far disturbing What McCarthy only hints at, Saramago dares to depict throughout Blindness.
So, like I said, I m sure I m a terrible person and there s just something that I m not getting, but I was really disappointed by The Road and generally find McCarthy and unenjoyable read.
I really feel compelled to write up a review of McCarthy s The Road as this book really worked for me for those of you who haven t read it, there are no real spoilers below, only random quotes and thematic commentary I read it last night in one sitting Hours of almost nonstop reading I found it to be an excellent book on so many levels that I am at a loss as to where to begin It was at once gripping, terrifying, utterly heart wrenching, and completely beautiful I have read most of McCarthy s other books and am already a big fan, but this one is different, perhaps his best in terms of lean, masterful prose, plot presentation, and flat out brilliant storytelling.
Take this passage for example The blackness he woke to on those nights was sightless and impenetrable A blackness to hurt your ears with listening Often he had to get up No sound but the wind in the bare blackened trees He rose and stood tottering in that cold autistic dark with his arms outheld for balance while the vestibular calculations in his skull cranked out their reckonings An old chronicle Happy times The word choice and imagery is classic McCarthy yet is leaner and honed, tighter and in turn intense The whole book follows this pattern No word, not a single one, is extraneous This is perhaps my favorite single sentence in the book By day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp I just love that.
Clearly this book struck a chord with me due to the two protagonists and their predicament, a father and his young son struggling in a post apocalyptic world To say I could identify with their interactions would be a huge understatement McCarthy absolutely nails their dialog, making me marvel at how well he has mastered presenting on a page the way we communicate it isn t exactly how we talk, of course, it just seems that way Through some sort of magic, he writes dialog that comes across realistically than actual dialog Witchcraft for sure The young son was especially well done and was most certainly the most complicated character in the book McCarthy presents him as a sort of supernatural being Christ figure , of only the best sort, full of goodness, a thing not of the world in which he finds himself He is effortlessly drawn down the path of the righteous throughout the book, as if he is God s right hand man The reward appears, at least superficially, to be key moments of luck.
It almost wouldn t work from a literary standpoint if it didn t serve so well as a vehicle to reinforce the central theme of the book the undeniable power of love over all else The theme of love, mostly presented through the bond of the father and son, is so well done as to evoke strong emotions, even now, as I consider how to present its keen development throughout the novel To be so desperate, in every way and at all times, and yet to survive and at times thrive, to persevere through terrible events of unbelievable horror think Steven King s The Stand on steroids would strike feelings of great, sad compassion in even the most tempered soul But it is much than that of course Consider this passage, a speaking passage from father to son, spoken during one of the most tense and horrifying scenes in the book You wanted to know what the bad guys looked like Now you know It may happen again My job is to take care of you I was appointed to do that by God I will kill anyone who touches you Do you understand In this one passage, McCarthy shows the great contradiction in this theme of love, the idea that violence and beauty can spring fourth from the same well, can come from the same fountainhead Interestingly, the father often resorts to violence in his role as a servant of love he sees it as his duty, in a religious sense, as stated in the quote Yet the boy never does and appears better for it, in so many ways, even in that terrible place He is the embodiment of pure goodness, and sets up the other, better side of love, the side that is unsullied by the world, that never resorts to baseness and violence, that finds beauty in even to most unlikely of places Like seeing a picture better when you hold it up to the light, the contrasts between these two sides is masterfully provided, page after page, in only the most well written and considered prose.
The often repeated promethean phrase carrying the fire, agreed upon by the two protagonists as pretty much the whole point of their continuing, embodies this central theme The boy is carrying the fire for us all, and is perhaps the most important survivor in that shattered world, bearing the torch of love for humanity to share when it is again ready Not to belabor the point, but the way McCarthy handles this, all the way until the end, is nothing short of genius Can you tell I liked the book yet I am amazed that I missed this book for so long, me being a huge McCarthy fan and placing him squarely at the top of the big four with DeLillo, Roth, and Pynchon The book is so it s own that as soon as I felt myself feeling an influence for example, I swore I smelled Hemmingway s Old Man and the Sea in terms of prose theme, and the terrifyingly cruel parts at times rang so much like Kosinski s The Painted Bird , McCarthy would insert the perfect McCarthyism, solidly planting the flag so to speak of a phrase or sentence into the passage to claim it forever for himself, like a prosaic explorer figuratively pushing out into the unknown through deft assemblages of words and phases impossible to all but him ok, that metaphor was way too much.
time to wrap it up Of course I have to say but am beginning to risk actually have already thoroughly risked repeating myself and sounding like some deranged, McCarthy stalker type Check this one out It is superior literature.
He palmed the spartan book with black cover and set out in the gray morning Grayness, ashen Ashen in face Ashen in the sky.
He set out for The Road, the book in hand Bleakness, grayness Nothing but gray, always.
He was tired and hungry Coughing The coughing had gotten worse He felt like he might die But he couldn t die Not yet.
The boy depended on him.
He walked down The Road, awaiting the creaking bus It trundled from somewhere, through the gray fog The ashen gray fog.
He stepped aboard, spartan book in hand No one spoke They were all ghosts Tired, wrinkled, rumpled, going wherever Not knowing why Just going.
He opened the book and read He began to see a pattern, a monotonous pattern of hopelessness Chunks of gray hopelessness Prose set in concrete, gray Gray blocks of prose He read.
He recognized images from films long since past, and books from authors of yore Many science fiction writers, many movie makers He thought he saw a flash, something familiar Perhaps it was only one of his nagging dreams A dream of what once existed, but he did not know Wasn t there once, he wondered, a story called A Boy And His Dog, by, who Ellison, maybe Was that the name It seemed right, but his mind was unreliable It had not been reliable in awhile People forget Yes, they forget And here, a fragment, The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man, Dawn of the Dead, Planet of the Apes, The Day After, The Twilight Zone Yes, that one, the one about the man and the books The broken glasses Cannibals, people in rags, charred bodies, emptiness, grayness On the Beach popped into his mind His gray, dulled mind The Andromeda Strain Dessicated bodies Dusty, leathered, ashen bodies The rain, the snow, the white, the cold, the gray The endless white The endless gray Escape from New York The titles seemed endless, but they blended in his wearied mind Had he not read and seen all this a thousand times before What was he to make of this book he held, this spartan black book, this cobbling of all that had come before, all set forth again Was this original, he wondered He continued to read But he was tired, flagging Rain, tin food, wet blankets, shivering, twigs and fire and cold Always cold, and gray And walking, slowly Always walking down The Road And hiding Hiding and walking Ceaselessly And atrocities Savagery Road warriors, the bad guys Did this also not seem familiar The man wondered, but his mind, like those of most of the masses, often forgot He thanked an unseen God for this forgetfulness, for it made it easier for him to read, uncritically, unknowingly The author, McCarthy, no doubt also must have been relieved that no one cared any Plagiarism belonged to the dead past A quaint notion of a bygone day Not a concern, in these gray times The times of sampling Of plunder.
My concoction is out of a tin can, he might have thought But he did not Tin food, prepackaged Cans waiting to be plucked and plundered He opened the literary beenie weenies, and served them to the world And the world ate, hungrily ate And believed, that beenie weenies, on their empty stomachs, tasted like the greatest gourmet dish they had ever tasted For they knew not any better Their gray matter just did not know.
And they went on down The Road KR KY 2009, amended only very slightly in 2016 NOTE This review was written about, and during, bus rides to work while reading this book To date, it is my most popular review on Goodreads, and for that I thank everyone It appeared on the Publisher s Weekly website in an article on best parody reviews on Goodreads Thanks to everyone who agreed with me and to also those who disagreed and vigorously defended the book.
The view that there are two independent, primal forces in the universe, one good and one evil, is called dualism According to dualism, the good God does the best he can to promote good and combat evil but he can only do so much since evil is a powerful counterforce in its own right The ancient Gnostics were dualists with their scriptures emphasizing the mythic rather than the historic and positing our evil world of matter created not by an all powerful God but by a flawed deity called the Demiurge In contrast to the Demiurge, the good God of light resides above our earthly material universe in a pure, spiritual realm called the Pleroma.
I mention dualism and Gnosticism here since I read in Cormac McCarthy s novel No Country For Old Men the following dialogue between a good old Texas boy by the name of Sheriff Bell and his old Uncle Ellis Sheriff Bell asks Do you think God knows what s happenin Uncle Ellis replies I expect he does Bell then asks You think he can stop it To this Uncle Ellis answers No I dont By these answers, whether he knows it or not, Uncle Ellis is expressing Gnostic dualism Of course, McCarthy s worldview isn t necessarily the worldview of one of his characters, in this case Uncle Ellis, but my sense after reading No Country for Old Men McCarthy s worldview isn t that far removed from Gnostic dualism rather, the world and society McCarthy creates is absolutely soaking in evil The evil is so strong in this McCarthy novel, one could say evil is the primal force of the universe.
A world where evil is the primal force is given an even complete and deeper expression in McCarthy s post Apocalyptic novel The Road, where a man and his son travel south to avoid the oncoming winter cold Why am I saying this Let me offer a couple observations around two quotes We read a reflection of the man when he was a boy about age thirteen prior to the apocalypse, Standing at the edge of a winter field among rough men, watching while they opened up the rocky hillside ground with pick and mattock and brought to light a great bolus of serpents perhaps a hundred in number the dull tubes of them beginning to move sluggishly in the cold hard light Like the bowels of some great beast exposed to the day The men poured gasoline on them and burned them alive, having no remedy for evil but only for the image of it as they conceived it to be The burning snakes twisted horribly and some crawled burning across the floor of the grotto to illuminate its darker recesses As they were mute there were no screams of pain and the men watched them burn and write and blacken in just such silence themselves and they disbanded in silence in the winter dusk each with his own thoughts to go home to their suppers One can only wonder what brought about the actual apocalypse in the novel Perhaps, similar to these men, world leaders attempted to remedy the image of evil on a macro level.
Here is a typical scene the man and boy come upon Beyond a crossroads in that wilderness they began to come upon the possessions of travelers abandoned in The Road years ago Boxes and bags Everything melted and black Old plastic suitcases curled shapeless in the heat Here and there the imprint of things wrested out of the tar by scavengers A mile on and they began to come upon the dead Figures half mired in the blacktop, clutching themselves, mouths howling No quotes are needed as I am sure you get the idea a shadowy, menacing, ash filled landscape populated by humans hunting and killing and eating one another.
What creates the drama in this dark, sinister, stinking world is the love the man has for the boy, his son, and the love the boy has for the man, his papa Also, the compassion the boy has for those they encounter on The Road All through their experience on The Road, can we say the man holds a Gnostic like dualist view He experiences the intensity of the world s evil to be sure However, his belief in a Gnostic light realm is paradoxical Sometimes he reflects there is only this evil world of matter, harrowing and unrelenting and yet sometimes he recognizes the boy as a messenger come from that otherworldly realm of light.
Rather than attempting an answer, I suggest reading with these ideas of dualism and Gnosticism in mind as one way of contemplating and appreciating the philosophical dimensions of McCarthy s bleak novel.
Cormac McCarthy American novelist and independent spirit par excellence
The Roadis a truly disturbing book it is absorbing, mystifying and completely harrowing Simply because it shows us how man could act given the right circumstances it s a terrifying concept because it could also be a true one.
It isn t a book that gives you any answers, you have to put the pieces together and presume For whatever reason, be it nuclear war or environmental collapse, the world has gone to hell It is a wasteland of perpetual greyness and ash Very little grows any, and the air itself is toxic The survivors are made ill by their surroundings, physically, mentally and spiritually They cough and splutter, they struggle to carry on and lack the will to live Civilisation has completely collapsed, but its remnants remain The Roads remainOn this road there are no godspoke men They are gone and I am left and they have taken with them the world Thus, the man and the boy that s the only names we are ever given for them walk down them They communicate rarely, when they do it is bare and in seemingly inane phrases At times, especially at the start of the book, when no sense of history orr time were relayed, the conversation was highly reminiscent of that in Beckett s play Waiting for Godot.
The exchanges had little to no point and were totally lacking in any substance, as the two central characters longed for something that seemed out of reach.
It s a brave narrative device, one that seems to have put off many readers But it also articulates much about the psychological states of the man and the boy There s just not that much to talk about when you live in a world where you re under constant threat from roaming gangs of cannibals catching you, dying of starvation and perhaps even exposure along with the knowledge that you will have to kill your son should the said cannibals finally catch up with you Not to mention the sheer level of trauma and stress both characters are operating under Staying alive is all that matters, wasting energy on words in such a situation is fruitless where you barely have the strength to walk down The Road for another dayWhat s the bravest thing you ever did He spat in The Road a bloody phlegm Getting up this morning, he said A dark and seemingly hopeless story unfolds The farther and son are travelling to the beach, a distance of several hundred miles With them they push all their worldly possessions, and resources, in a shopping cart Such a journey seems like a fool s errand But what other choice do they have The two cling onto something, a fire, a hope, that life can somehow get better And then it continued to burn even after the mother has killed herself This, for me, captures a large part of the human psyche an indomitable will to surviveThe Road is suffocating it is claustrophobic and it is entrapping What McCarthy shows us, is that no matter how shit human society may become has already become it will always have the possibility of rejuvenation There is light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak The entire novel is an allegory, one that is not revealed until the final few pagesKeep a little fire burning however small, however hidden How to Write Like Cormac McCarthy1 Make sure the first sentence contains a verb.
2 But neither the second.
3 Nor the third.
4 Repeat until finished 5 Or sooner deterred.
We ll Become Well EventuallyThe Boy Papa Papa Yes The Boy What s this Papa It s an apostrophe.
The Boy What does it do Papa It takes two words and turns them into a contraction.
The Boy Is that good Papa Years ago people used to think it was good.
The Boy What about now Papa Not many people use them now.
The Boy Does the world already have enough contractions, Papa Papa I hadn t thought of it like that But you might be on to something.
The Boy What difference would it make if we threw away all the apostrophes Papa Not much I don t think.
The Boy I wonder if we could get rid of the apostrophe, then maybePapa Yes The Boy You could say we ll be well.
Papa You re right You know But it could get confusing If you wrote it down Without an apostrophe Well be well The Boy But really, Papa, if we could take away just one apostrophe, do you think we ll become well Eventually All of us Papa We could The Boy Well, then, if we can get rid of all of the apostrophes, we will.
Papa But then there wouldn t be any contractions The Boy Papa Papa Haha I wish your grammar could hear you talking In Praise of the Verb to GrowOut of ashen gray Frequently grow sentencesOf colored beauty.
All Things of Grace and Beauty An Assemblage of Favourite Sentences Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world.
No fall but preceded by a declinationHe caught it in his hand and watched it expire there like the last host of christendom.
No one travelled this landEver s a long time.
Creedless shells of men tottering down the causeways like migrants in a feverlandThe sparks rushed upward and died in the starless dark.
On this road there are no godspoke menHow does the never to be differ from what never was By day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lampThe ash fell on the snow until it was all but black.
Paths of feral fire in the coagulate sandsThe day providential to itself.
All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one s heart have a common provenance of painWe re survivors he told her across the flame of the lamp.
A black billcap with the logo of some vanished enterprise embroidered across the front of itIn the darkness and the silence he could see bits of light that appeared random on the night grid.
The sacred idiom shorn of its referents and so of its realityThe dark serpentine of a dead vine running down it like the track of some enterprise on a graph.
A single bit of sediment coiling in the jar on some slow hydraulic axisa pale palimpsest of advertisements for goods which no longer existed.
The cold relentless circling of the intestate earthThere is no God and we are his prophets.
They are watching for a thing that even death cannot undoLike the desolation of some alien sea breaking on the shores of a world unheard of.
One vast salt sepulchreThere were few nights lying in the dark when he did not envy the dead.
I will not send you into the darkness aloneThe mudstained shapes of flooded cities burned to the waterline.
A living man spoke these linesTen thousand dreams ensepulchred within their crozzled hearts.
The ponderous counterspectacle of things ceasing to beThe sweeping waste, hydroptic and coldly secular.
There is no prophet in the earth s long chronicle who s not honored here todayNick Cave Warren Ellis The Beach The Road Soundtrack Dystopian Ending Haiku view spoiler In the silver lightOf the moon above the beach, A big squid ate them hide spoiler A 84% Very Good NotesDreamlike and deeply moving, it s thin on plot, with dialogue that s often genius, but also inauthentic and repetitive.
A Searing, Postapocalyptic Novel Destined To Become Cormac McCarthy S MasterpieceA Father And His Son Walk Alone Through Burned America Nothing Moves In The Ravaged Landscape Save The Ash On The Wind It Is Cold Enough To Crack Stones, And When The Snow Falls It Is Gray The Sky Is Dark Their Destination Is The Coast, Although They Don T Know What, If Anything, Awaits Them There They Have Nothing Just A Pistol To Defend Themselves Against The Lawless Bands That Stalk The Road, The Clothes They Are Wearing, A Cart Of Scavenged Food And Each OtherThe Road Is The Profoundly Moving Story Of A Journey It Boldly Imagines A Future In Which No Hope Remains, But In Which The Father And His Son, Each The Other S World Entire, Are Sustained By Love Awesome In The Totality Of Its Vision, It Is An Unflinching Meditation On The Worst And The Best That We Are Capable Of Ultimate Destructiveness, Desperate Tenacity, And The Tenderness That Keeps Two People Alive In The Face Of Total Devastation Front Flap