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Re: Nuclear Winter.



dianearbus wrote:
I think that McCarthy left it intentionally ambiguous. When I read though I felt it was the result of nuclear warfare. Why were some people using masks? gas masks? What made the air difficult to breathe?




I think he just uses the worst available imagery...to get to teh effect. As if it was necessary to amplify, duh.

ziki
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Re: Early Reading: The Cause of the Catastrophe



PaulH wrote: What do you think caused America to become "a ravaged landscape"?



I actually think the question is irrelevant in the context...is as is. CmC seems to be busy with what is, not why it is if you know what I mean.
ziki
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strange

In the first link bentley gave here there was a review day on Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy
* Review Date: 1/17/2007


:smileysurprised:
ziki
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Re: Nuclear Winter.



LuvReading wrote: Also, the nuclear blast could have happened many miles away, maybe even on the west coast, which could result in nuclear winter, but not the immediate effects of ground zero. If there were many bombs that went off in various areas, those outside of those areas would be affected, but not as badly.





hmmm...plausible explanation IMHO.
ziki
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Re: Man's Illness



sharpd0307 wrote: I'm a little disappointed at the lengths to which people seem to be going to explain the cause of this catastrophe, when it is certainly not a critical part of the novel.





Agree, it is really not the main point. However, it is a symptom of fear to get busy with trivia. This is a scary subject after all and we (humans) tend to phaze it out of consciousness and perhaps even from conscience.


ziki
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bentley
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Re: strange



ziki wrote:
In the first link bentley gave here there was a review day on Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy
* Review Date: 1/17/2007


:smileysurprised:
ziki




Went back to check and there it is: (1:17 seems to be showing up everywhere..a coincidence but an interesting one).

Causes:
The causes include:

Accidental exposure to high doses of radiation, such as in certain occupations
Exposure to excessive radiation for medical treatments (may include excessively high doses, excessive time of exposure, or excessive body areas exposed)

Radiation therapy


Review Date: 1/17/2007
Reviewed By: Eric Perez, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York
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vivico1
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Re: Early Reading: The Cause of the Catastrophe

I read all the posts about causes and it really could be either, manmade or natural. To say if it was nuclear, everyone would be dead of radiation poisoning in weeks isnt quite accurate. We learned that from the bombs we dropped in Japan, people lived years and died of cancers such as lukemia. Also, I lived in the west most of my life and I dont know how many people know this but after we created the bomb and clear up to the early 60s I think, they were doing underground tests AND above ground tests in Nevada and southern New Mexico. The worst tests to me were the ones where they would explode one above ground (on a low wind day, big deal) and then march our own soldiers towards it to see how close they could or would get and function. They measured problems with them after and each time get them a bit closer, telling them that getting to this spot or that would still keep them in the "acceptable range" of radiation exposure. People in Las Vegas could even see the flashes at times and then felt the ground concussions. When i saw a special about this happening back then and all the cancer rates for years and years afterwards, they said it was estimated we killed over 250,000 of our own soldiers in these test before it was all over.
It sounds like a nuclear winter, but it also sounds like a meteor of extinction level which will also cause a similar winter and soot and ash for a long long time. After all, one killed the dinosaurs. As for the fathers illness, could be radiation poisoning, tho the son doesnt seem to be affected by it but it could also be that with him doing the heaviest of the work, he inhaled way too much ash and stuff in the air and his lungs were weakened and damaged. That can happen from either event too. What I do find interesting that is missing from the discription that might give more of a hint to which is, they travel a long long time and everything is grey and dead and few people around but enough to be afraid of (still could be either cause) but what I didnt read or I missed was, with this magnitude of distructions, and I dont think it was just America because of the state of the ocean and the skies never clearing....for all the death and grey, you dont read about any destruction of buildings or roads or anything from even one missle strike! All the actually property damage is done by humans and all the landscape by fires, but no big holes from where bombs hit, no huge town where the structures were described as destroyed in the way you would think bombs would do. The concussions they felt cold be from either cause too. Even the blindness could be from the filth in the air getting in their eyes, he even talks about having to clean his eyes from the flakes falling into them.
It really could be either. I dont know if the author will say in is interview but it would be interesting to know. Yes, i agree thats not the point of the story, the cause, but at the same time, how can we not be curious about it and also, when something is written this powerfully that rips at your heart, doesnt it make you want to know if it was manmade, a war? Wouldnt that be a good point then of the book too? To say look at what is because of what was, and now what will never be again, if we dont stop now.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Nuclear Winter- dialectics



dianearbus wrote:
I believe we are talking about a nuclear winter, not something that happened because of a malfunctioning of nature. And my reasoning is not based on their physical reactions or descriptions of setting. It is based on the theme of the book.

This is about man's inhumanity to man and about how seeds can grow from ashes. It is about how even when man has regressed to his most animalistic state, there is the possibility of rebirth. So it makes sense to me that the cause of this devastation is the same soullessness that we see throughout the novel. There is a nuclear winter outside and inside the characters. That is why the boy is so important.

Lizabeth




Nicely put. The so called nuclear winter is a metaphor. The outer reality mirrors the inner reality (and vice versa).

ziki
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christyscmh
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Re: Early Reading: The Cause of the Catastrophe

Not to sound completely ignorant or that I'm trying to be funny - but on the back of the paperback cover it states that this is a "post-apocalyptic" novel. With that, I simply assumed the disaster was that of the apocalypse as it is stated in the Bible that God would not destroy the world by flood again, but that it would be by fire. Any thoughts on this?
Live as though there is no tomorrow; Love as though you've never been hurt, and Dance as though there's no one watching.
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vivico1
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Re: Early Reading: The Cause of the Catastrophe


christyscmh wrote:
Not to sound completely ignorant or that I'm trying to be funny - but on the back of the paperback cover it states that this is a "post-apocalyptic" novel. With that, I simply assumed the disaster was that of the apocalypse as it is stated in the Bible that God would not destroy the world by flood again, but that it would be by fire. Any thoughts on this?


there is a lot of religious symbolism here but usually post apocalyptic in secular terms means wide spread or world wide devastation or ultimate doom of a society or world, not usually to refer to the apocalypse of the Bible. That is usually more in terms of the millineum or millineal days. Or for those who believe in the rapture, then its called the last days or even post rapture.
Vivian
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maxcat
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Re: Early Reading: The Cause of the Catastrophe

I'm thinking a nuclear strike due to all the ash and burned buildings. Evidently this happened a while ago as references are made to rusy things left from long ago and rotting corpes. Food that the man and boy eat, they are careful with as it may be contaminated. But everywhere they go, any house or business they seek, everything has been taken, so there are other humans around. Including a band of militanta, if you will, with clubs who seem to be scaring the bejeebies out of existing people. I wondered why the man and boy were alwys looking back as they walked as if they were watching out for peole or thing to kill them. Question is, what caused this catastrophe? Was the nation at war and if so, it's a very chilling insight to what may happen to America!
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Re: Early Reading: The Cause of the Catastrophe

In reponse to vivico1:

Thanks for the clarification in general terms of the meaning behind post-apocalyptic description. Having done that though, I'm curious on your thoughts as to what caused the devastation in The Road?
Live as though there is no tomorrow; Love as though you've never been hurt, and Dance as though there's no one watching.
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vivico1
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Re: Early Reading: The Cause of the Catastrophe


christyscmh wrote:
In reponse to vivico1:

Thanks for the clarification in general terms of the meaning behind post-apocalyptic description. Having done that though, I'm curious on your thoughts as to what caused the devastation in The Road?


I think he leaves it ambiguous. Mostly it appears to be like a nuclear war but some things are inconsistant with when it would be, if the boy was born before it happened. Either they are all still dying, like would happen for a few years after, or it was a limited war, which since even the skies dont clear, doesnt seem to be the case but its way way to early for things to start to grow back that they could eat, well for anything to grow period if its not a limited strike. Or there is the possibility of like a meteor hit of extinction level that has happened. Ironically enough, there was a special on tv about a month ago about the most probable things that would end life on earth today and which would be most likely to happen first. In the top three, is what used to be science fiction, a meteor hit. There is one that will come so close in 2021 I think it is, less than 20 years, that is suppose to come so close it will actually come between the moon and the earth! Thats radically close and they said on its return trip around the sun, any variance could cause it to hit and it is big enough to be an extinction level event. Frankly, I think we will kill ourselves off, like in a war. We are constantly headed that way and this book seems like a wake up call to humanity if we dont find our "humanity" again. I think thats why you dont know for sure what causes it, because its not so much what causes it that he is after here but what will humanity by like, what will we do, after.
(Funny-the word humane, humans are actually in the realm of the animal world by definition, there is nothing supernal in the words "to be human". What we talk about when we talk about being "humane", our "humanity" are actually qualities of the spirit, the more divine and this seems to be the real theme of the book, not the survival of the "humans" but of "humanity".)
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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imacman0
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Re: Nuclear Winter.

The answer is with Carl Sagan and his findings on Nuclear Winter:

The reason for heading to the coast is in the research:

"The oceans, a significant heat reservoir, would not freeze"

Read the essay and most of the answers are there. There have been updated bits of research contradicting Sagan as to the duration of the cold and dark as Sagan estimated months the new studies indicate years.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Nuclear Winter.



imacman0 wrote:
The answer is with Carl Sagan and his findings on Nuclear Winter:

The reason for heading to the coast is in the research:

"The oceans, a significant heat reservoir, would not freeze"

Read the essay and most of the answers are there. There have been updated bits of research contradicting Sagan as to the duration of the cold and dark as Sagan estimated months the new studies indicate years.




Many thanks for the contribution. I know I'm in the minority here, but I still think the book concerns a natural disaster (meteor strike) as opposed to a nuclear one.
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Re: Early Reading: The Cause of the Catastrophe

The natural disaster was an early guess of mine but when reading "a series of low concussions and a rose red sky" I thought of multiple warheads.

I guess the method is irreverent and the result paramount.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Early Reading: The Cause of the Catastrophe

"I guess the method is irreverent and the result paramount"

Indeed!
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imacman0
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Re: Early Reading: The Cause of the Catastrophe

As a father of 2 young boys I found this a difficult read at times and could never imagine that world and I hope it never comes to that. I can identify with "the man" and could imagine every emotion. The cause of the disaster is open for debate but the humanity is something we should all agree on.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Early Reading: The Cause of the Catastrophe



imacman0 wrote:
As a father of 2 young boys I found this a difficult read at times and could never imagine that world and I hope it never comes to that. I can identify with "the man" and could imagine every emotion. The cause of the disaster is open for debate but the humanity is something we should all agree on.




Happy Father's Day, imacman0.
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Rdanison
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Re: Early Reading: The Cause of the Catastrophe

The cause of the devastation isn't important, it just happened.
What did happen is that a series of nuclear warheads detonated on the eastern Seaboard of the United States. We obviously retaliated. As the man gets closer to the coast, he witnesses Nagasaki and Hiroshima type vistas.
The Godspoke men are politicians who constantly refer to themselves as acting on behalf of God or heeding the Bible. Armageddon type stuff.
Natural disasters like a volcano are not to be heard or seen from inland America.
Asteroid impacts would not have produced the type of devastation that McCarthy writes about.
One of the central themes, Mans inhumanity to another man, is how the catastrophe starts.
And ultimately, unimportant.
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