Waiting for “The Road,” reading prize winners and more


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The release of the film version of Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ starring Viggo Mortensen, originally slated for November, may be pushed back. The Hollywood Reporter says that the picture, which was shot mostly in and around Pittsburgh, is in post-production; an unnamed source says it is ‘decidedly not done.’ As you can see by the film photo above, Pittsburgh (where I attended graduate school) portrays McCarthy’s cold-and-gray post-apocalyptic America very well.

At London’s Telegraph, Sameer Rahim warns ‘Don’t buy the Booker winner!’ He writes ‘’The White Tiger’ reads like the first draft of a Bollywood screenplay (no romance or songs sadly). Every character is a cliché.... The humour is bitter and unsubtle; the writing forgettable.’ If you take his advice but want to purchase another prize winner, there are still the recently announced Nobel Laureate in Literature and finalists for the National Book Awards to choose from.


If you do decide to purchase a book post-nomination, you’re not alone. The blog Omnivoracious, which is part of Amazon, noted the sales ranks of the National Book Award nominees at the time of the announcement yesterday -- now, as of midday Thursday, all the fiction books have seen an increase in sales:

  • ‘The Lazarus Project’ by Aleksandar Hemon has jumped from #4,012 to #546
  • ‘Telex from Cuba’ by Rachael Kushner has jumped from #16,765 to #1,016
  • ‘Shadow Country’ by Peter Matthiessen has jumped from #6,413 to #701
  • ‘Home’ by Marilynne Robinson has moseyed from #191 to #143
  • ‘The End’ by Salvatore Scibona has catapulted from #497,039 to #696

Litblogger Corey Villhauer recommends Marilynne Robinson’s first novel, ‘Housekeeping,’ as an atypical favorite parenting book. He read it, he writes, when his daughter was very young.

In the weeks after Sierra was born, I would spend a lot of time rocking her to sleep. Long after she was out, I would continue to rock, back and forth, back and forth, simply holding her and feeling her warmth and weight and being amazed that she was real; a fully conscious part of our lives, not going anywhere any time soon. ... more than any other book, ‘Housekeeping’ best represents this period in our life. The dark, haunting story and beautiful characters were only accentuated by reading in this dim state, as if the world was turned down a notch in order to better serve the atmosphere of the prose. And I still remember it, completely, as if I was still reading it, as if I was still holding her and rocking her to sleep.

Although it doesn’t make his list, ‘The Road’ is also about being a father. A father in very different circumstances -- civilization destroyed, endless winter, cannibals, ash -- but a father nonetheless. Just to bring things around to where we began.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo of ‘The Road’ from Dimension Films