After reading yarn boy's guest blog post on "literary crack," I decided to buy a copy of The Road to take with me on the trip to Germany.
I found the book bleak beyond measure, yet completely engrossing. That's a tough combo to pull off, but Cormac McCarthy managed it with astonishing skill.
Meanwhile, the Netflix DVD of the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Man, based on McCarthy's book of the same name, has sat gathering dust next to my TV for over a month.
I've been afraid to watch it, you see.
On the one hand, this makes no sense. Both Darren and I are huge fans of the Coen brothers's work, and we own most of their movies. It's a rare day that goes by in our home without a quote from The Big Lebowski, The Hudsucker Proxy, or Oh Brother, Where Are Though?
On the other hand, I sometimes have a really hard time watching violent films. Images can get stuck in my head and haunt me far longer than I'd like. (For example, I've had nightmares about the movie Halloween since 1979.) I had a sense that there might be scenes in the latest Coen brothers opus that might linger with me too long and too vividly.
What to do, what to do?
When we got back from Germany, I decided to read No Country for Old Men to see if it would help me decide if I were up to watching film.
The novel was a total page-turner. It's brutal, gripping, terrifying, and I think it's a work of real genius. Once I started reading, I was half finished with the book before I put it down again. (I'll admit that I rushed through the last ten pages, and I should probably go back over those and give them the attention they deserve.)
I finished the last page, closed the book, and pondered how I felt. Now I knew exactly what I could expect to see in the movie. Not pretty.
Yet the plot is intricate, quirky, horrific, and intriguing, and I know that it's likely among the very best of the Coen brothers' films. In fact, as I was reading I found myself thinking at one point, "This would make a perfect Coen brother's movie!"
(Oh yeah... Right. Academy Awards, etc..)
But the truth is that I'm still afraid to watch the movie.
Any words of advice, dear readers?