Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When a Man Loves a Wolf

In a brief review of The Road (check out the new mass-market movie tie-in edition) on Amazon, Dennis Lehane makes the following assertion:

It is the love the father feels for his son, a love as deep and acute as his grief, that could surprise readers of McCarthy's previous work. McCarthy's Gnostic impressions of mankind have left very little place for love. In fact the greatest love affair in any of his novels, I would argue, occurs between Billy Parham and the wolf in The Crossing.

Interesting. Greater than John Grady's affair with Alejandra in All the Pretty Horses? Or with Magdalena in Cities of the Plain?

I hate to say it, but I think he's right, if for no other reason than that McCarthy spends more time developing the character of the wolf than either of Grady's love interests, conferring on the she-wolf more complexity and dignity than he can muster for either of these human females.

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