After an excellent run followed by a real funk, I temporarily abandoned 2666 and switched to Los Detectives Salvajes (as recommended by Sanjeev), but was still in the rut. Finally, I picked up The Road by Cormac McCarthy (thanks, Waya) and practically read the entire story in less than 24 hours. Although it is science fiction — in the sense that is post-apocalyptic — its minimalism gives the novel and its characters a haunting here-and-now realism.
Furthermore, there is something in The Road‘s story about a father and son trying to survive on the run after the general destruction of society that is probably not too unlike the realities of those displaced by war and war-induced famines in recent times in places like Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Cambodia, and China. It doesn’t have to be science fiction.
While reading the book, I kept thinking about how it could be made into a film (as were McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses and No Country for Old Men) and what that film would look and feel like. For some reason, Fellini’s La Strada immediately came to mind when I then realized that both McCarthy’s novel and Fellini’s film share the same name. Interestingly enough, The Road has already been adapted in a film of the same name to be released this year, yet it’s hard to believe that anything other than La Strada could capture the mood of McCarty’s book, even if the two stories are very different.
In any event, now I think I will turn my attention to some non-fiction before returning to Los Detectives Salvajes.