Posts Tagged ‘The Road’

The Night Eternal by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan – review (spoilers)

March 19, 2012

This is going to be short and sweet. The Night Eternal is the third, and final, installment in a horror trilogy about vampires, co-authored by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. If you’re interested in this (and haven’t already bought/rented it), I have to assume you have read the first two parts of the trilogy and you’re probably up to speed on Del Toro and Hogan’s take on vampires being the result of parasitic worms and nuclear winter being thrown over the earth.  This picks up two years after The Master nukes the origin sites of the other ancients, quickly picking up the strings of the resistance led by the fighters we have come to know in the first two books. The primary love story takes a step to the side a bit, which wasn’t all that unexpected, and The Master is having fun raising his new host, Ephraim’s son.

The world as The Master had envisioned it has pretty much come to pass. Anyone of any power or status has been killed, massive bleeding and breeding farms have been set up, and the human race has, by and large, acquiesced. Now, does any of this really matter? Not at all. truth be told, the end doesn’t particularly matter much, either.  In general terms, the end result for everyone falls roughly into line of what you would expect to happen for everyone. In my opinion, nothing really comes out of the blue in these regards.

But that’s also not the point of the story. The real point of the story is that it is an origins story. I  get the impression that Del Toro and Hogan knew there was only so much they could do with the characters moving forward. There are only so many ways a story like this can end, and really just one way (bad guy loses).  the real meat of the story had to come from something else, and that place was the history of The Master and the other Ancients. The idea of vampires having fallen from God isn’t exactly new, but tying them directly to angels, and then tying it into the mythical destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was fun and interesting. Then bringing that around at the end, with the death of The Master, was a nice way of wrapping up the trilogy.

Perhaps like any good trilogy, it also left us with the possibility of another sequal. The implications that vampires would no longer be around to pull the strings and push civilization in a direction that wouldn’t just careen out of control in an ugly death spiral was something that seems to have some legs, though it’s also ground that could just as well be covered by things like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Del Toro and Hogan do hint at a rosier outcome than the bleak trek to a dead sea that McCarthy envisioned, though.

So, if you liked the first two, go ahead, finish off the trilogy, it’s worth the few hundred pages. If you’ve held off on the trilogy and you’ve stumbled across this review, go, and check out the first two novels and get up to speed. To me, this is a pretty rare thing right now, a not-crappy horror series that manages to stay somewhat true to the genre and the subject matter, while also adding its own twists and innovations to make the work unique, special and a worthy addition to the field.

The Olivetti – Cormac McCarthy’s Original Laptop

December 1, 2009

i’m part of the last generation that might still remember the typewriter in any form. My mom owned both kinds in my life time, manual and electric, and helped type the majority of my school reports right up through high school on them – I would write them out long hand and then she would type them.  The click/clack of the keys on the manuals and the weird little hum of the electric is something that has a strange fondness for me. And, apparently, for Cormac McCarthy, too.

The NYT has a little story about McCarthy putting his portable Olivetti typewriter up for auction. The author of The Road, Suttree and other novels says the machine has probably seen upwards of five million words fall out of his finger tips and onto the page through the metal levers and letters of the mechanisms of the machine.

Thinking of writers of yesteryear, it seems the implements they used to hone and carry out their craft were as special and singular as their prose. I’m not a great historian of such matters. Other than McCarthy’s use of a portable Olivetti, I know Kerouac used an Underwood and it pretty much stops there for what I remember. But I do know I’ve heard more than a few stories of writers and their pens, their typewriters, their memo pads and everything else. It seems as if once these writers found a method for moving their thoughts from their head to the page that they never or rarely wandered from their ritual (McCarthy only agreed to give up his Olivetti when a friend of his found and bound a matching model in far better condition).

It makes me think of modern writers and our use of the computer. We might stick to a particular word processor program but we probably burn through four, five, six, or more computers over our life times and will probably bounce all over the map with who we buy them from. McCarthy mentions how young people don’t have any idea what a typewriter even is any more as a general comment about how society has moved on in the past ten years or so. But it’s also a sharper comment on the changing face of the author.