If you want to spend some time meditating on what in your life is extraneous, this is a good book. It follows a man and his son struggling to survive in a post-apocalypse world. This man wants food, fire and for himself and his son to not be cannibalized. In a post-apocalypse world, how much of my life would look vain, wasteful, or just plain unnecessary?
The father really wants more than that, though. He's trying to protect the light in his son - his belief in goodness and his yearning to walk upright in a world devoid of hope. The child wants to be a "good guy" and to help the few bedraggled survivors they encounter. The father wants to guard and protect that light in his son but is also saddled with the burden of their day to day survival.
It's painful to read but also thought provoking and beautifully written. Here are some excerpts...
"He knew only that the child was his warrant."*
"Creedless shells of men"
"By day the sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp."
"The world shrinking down about a raw core of parsible entities. The names of things slowly following those things into oblivion. Colors. The names of birds. Things to eat. Finally the names of things one believed to be true. More fragile than he would have thought."
"Do you wish you wish you would die?No. But I might wish I had died....Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave."
"There is no God and we are his prophets."
Concerning the boyOther survivor: "Maybe he believes in God."Father: "I don't know what he believes in."Other survivor: "He'll get over it."Father: "No he wont."
Father to son"You have my whole heart. You always did. You're the best guy. You always were."
*I had to look up the actual definition of warrant.
warrant - something that serves to give reliable or formal assurance of something;guarantee, pledge, or security.