On The Road

On Oct 24, 2010, at 7:57 AM, Susan Newman wrote:
Hey Jana,
Guess you finally got Leslie home (she called us). We missed you at bookclub last night, could have used your comments about the book, I didn’t think it was a book that provoked a lot of discussion…but we managed. The funny thing was how the Dallas airport messed everybody up. Judy was stranded there on her way back from FL because of the weather. Overnight! Poor thing.  Sue
Jana emailed a few questions about the meeting about the current book, The Road, and Sue answered above. Then Jana asked if maybe the answers were in my blog. Well, they weren’t yet, and still aren’t. (At 12:30PM, they almost are.) Based on my track record they might not be blogged for weeks. It’s 11:07 Sunday AM and I haven’t read the paper,  yet I’m progressing through the talk shows pretty well. I made the omelette this morning with the spinach dip we like so much so I’m fueled pretty well, but only slightly sleepy from a full belly. So due to the impetus of the Jana inquiries I launched into the blog only to find Spaces was going away,  migrating to WordPress looming ahead! This meant a lot of extra stress, but I forged ahead, and here we are! As Sue mentioned, and Jana knew only too well flights were delayed in Dallas. Affecting not only her, but Judy as well, was extraordinary. Well we talked about the flying experience. Coming back from Milwaukee we were given a bus voucher to O’hare, and the bus driver just wondered what went wrong, but didn’t seem surprised! Bob was willing to drive 900 miles to avoid flying. Flying works, but is erratic, and we look to alternatives.
What if the alternatives were to walk down the road finding what we could to eat and avoiding becoming someone else’s lunch? That’s the world of our book. We considered one of the central themes to be the morality of continuing to struggle for survival under those circumstances.
Cormac McCarthy wrote many times of the father considering the decision to kill his son to spare him the pain of chances for life to turn very bad. Since we showed the Road movie we discussed that too, and there were references to the mother’s feelings about suicide to avoid the life that they faced. Overall the movie was wildly more optimistic than the book, with the people finding the boy at the end having a dog, and seeing birds flying. None of that in the book. We discussed Catavinos recent book offerings: last week there was  a JFK assassination author, and today Alan Jacobson who writes well researched mysteries. Sue made spinach dip, we had cheeses, and veggies, and crackers, and grapes, and M&Ms, which we chased down with chardonnay, and rose’. Sue also made a cheesecake. That’s the atmosphere we need to discuss starvation, and avoiding cannibals.
Jana asked a few questions in her email:
“Yes, she did make it!  I didn’t pick her up until about 7:45 p.m.  I am so sorry I missed Book Club.  I would have liked to discuss the book and had quite a few comments, especially about the writing style, descriptions, what was the event that set the action in motion, hopeful or not, religion, and on and on.  I suspect you covered all of that.  I will have to get the discussion details when I walk with Jackie tomorrow morning.

So Judy did not make the meeting, either?  How many people were there?
Jana” Leslie called us and we put her on speakerphone before her tiring day ended. She wanted to say she liked the book. Nice of her to call us under the circumstances, and she could hear us – we are a bonded group, so we enjoyed each other over the miles.
We discussed the ambivalence of the cataclysm that caused the problems in the Road. The causes we saw could have been nuclear due to the dust, or volcanic, or meteoric too. Though radiation sickness was less evident nuclear war was possible. Jim remarked about the author’s skillful writing. We’ll probably have to discuss other issues at a later meeting. Despite the grim subject matter we felt that you never know it’s over until it is, and even though our lives look pessimistic and diminishing day by day it’s an individual choice, and we are privileged to have a choice. The summary here is no substitute for the real thing, we miss bookclub at our loss – another choice thing.
We’ll see how this new wordpress thing works out. I notice a few good things like the links below. It’s public, so we’ll await scrutiny anxiously.
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