Saturday, April 28, 2018

Ten novels that end their apocalypses on a beach

At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Ceridwen Christensen tagged "nine (and possibly 10) novels that find themselves on the beach at the finale." One title on the list:
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

We are introduced to the unnamed boy and father on The Road, heading toward the ocean. They’ve been living in a cabin in the wasteland the world has become; all life, down to the bacterial, appears to be dead. Their journey is a grotesque picaresque punctuated by all manner of horrors, but the dream of the sea and its redemption are forefront. The boy and his father are “the good guys.” But when they reach the sea, it’s just as dead as everything else, a slopping soup of iodine and salt. While the beach isn’t the place of salvation the two expect, it still gives the boy his next transition—maybe not precisely from boy to man, but something close and intimate, not unlike an adoption. “In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery,” McCarthy writes in the final lines. The image of trout in the water is a form of metonymy for the human spirit—cool and deep and hidden, less mercurial than the ocean, but just as vast.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Road appears on Steph Post's top ten classic (and perhaps not so classic) road trip books, a list of five of the best climate change novels, Claire Fuller's top five list of extreme survival stories, Justin Cronin's top ten list of world-ending novels, Rose Tremain's six best books list, Ian McGuire's ten top list of adventure novels, Alastair Bruce's top ten list of books about forgetting, Jeff Somers's lists of five science fiction novels that really should be considered literary classics and eight good, bad, and weird dad/child pairs in science fiction and fantasy, Amelia Gray's ten best dark books list, Weston Williams's top fifteen list of books with memorable dads, ShortList's roundup of the twenty greatest dystopian novels, Mary Miller's top ten list of the best road books, Joel Cunningham's list of eleven "literary" novels that include elements of science fiction, fantasy or horror, Claire Cameron's list of five favorite stories about unlikely survivors, Isabel Allende's six favorite books list, the Telegraph's list of the 15 most depressing books, Joseph D’Lacey's top ten list of horror books, the Barnes & Noble Review's list of five unforgettable fathers from fiction, Ken Jennings's list of eight top books about parents and kids, Anthony Horowitz's top ten list of apocalypse books, Karen Thompson Walker's list of five notable "What If?" books, John Mullan's list of ten of the top long walks in literature, Tony Bradman's top ten list of father and son stories, Ramin Karimloo's six favorite books list, Jon Krakauer's five best list of books about mortality and existential angst, William Skidelsky's list of the top ten most vivid accounts of being marooned in literature, Liz Jensen's top 10 list of environmental disaster stories, the Guardian's list of books to change the climate, David Nicholls' top ten list of literary tear jerkers, and the Times (of London) list of the 100 best books of the decade. In 2009 Sam Anderson of New York magazine claimed "that we'll still be talking about [The Road] in ten years."

--Marshal Zeringue