Earlier this week I finished reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Literature (and purchased by me for 50 cents at a used book sale). It is an intriguing novel that raises questions most people don’t ponder at length (if at all). Perhaps the most obvious one is this: How would I (the reader) react if faced with eking out a miserable life in a post-apocalyptic world?
As somebody who gets easily annoyed by bad grammar (especially when it appears in print after allegedly being edited), I initially had to get past McCarthy’s writing style, which clashes loudly with much of what I learned in English classes and newsrooms. But I suppose bad grammar and lack of proper punctuation usage is all the rage during these text message-heavy, Twittering days, so perhaps I am a throwback in that respect.
Anyway, once I became accustomed to McCarthy’s writing style, I was drawn by his description of bleak, post-apocalyptic survival. The Road has a lot of potential in its next incarnation, a film adaptation starring Viggo Mortensen. The movie is tentatively scheduled for release in October.
* * *
I’ve begun reading my next book, Richard Wolffe’s Renegade: The Making of a President, about Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Judging by the first chapter, it will be a good read for a political junkie like myself.
Wolffe, who covered Obama’s presidential campaign for Newsweek, probably is best known as a political analyst for MSNBC. When he appears on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Wolffe typically begins with the greeting, “Good evening, Keith,” delivered in a soothing British accent. (Well, at least I find British accents soothing.)
Wolffe’s usual greeting made me think about how he can personalize his books. Imagine being greeted by Wolffe when you crack open his book at night: “Good evening, Craig.” The book’s publisher (Crown, a subsidiary of Random House) could set up a way to order the personalized books through a Web site. Of course, the personalized books would cost a little more money, but they sure would be unique, eh?