Parenthood and Apocalypse

I just finished "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. I am in despair. It's about this man and his son who wander around after some kind of nuclear holocaust. Think "Grapes of Wrath" meets "Schindler's List," with a hint of "Road Warrior." The bleakest thing I have ever read — horrific and hopeless and beautiful, without being at all maudlin.

So this dad ("the man" is the only name he has) has to find a way to protect his kid ("the boy") from cannibal marauders, feed him as they wander along a "cauterized landscape" where nothing grows, and foster hope in the boy even though there are maybe like five living nice people left in the world and no birds or sunshine or fresh air. And oh yeah, the dad was homeschooling him at one point. Or rather, roadschooling him.

I am still too stunned by the book to understand what it means to me, except that if Jason is Superdad, "the man" is the Mad Max of dads. Despite all that I have just said, I recommend the book. It makes me want to stockpile water and happiness.