“Don’t you remember what happens when a Knid enters the earth’s atmosphere at high speed? He gets red-hot. He burns away in a long fiery trail. He becomes a Shooting Knid. Soon these dirty beasts will start popping like popcorn!”
As they streaked on downward, sparks began to fly off the side of the Elevator. The glass glowed pink, then red, then scarlet. Sparks also began to fly off the long chain of Knids, and the leading Knid in the chain started to shine like a red-hot poker. So did all the others. So did the great slimy brute coiled around the Elevator itself. This one, in fact, was trying frantically to uncoil itself and get away, but it was having trouble untying the knot, and in another ten seconds it began to sizzle. Inside the Elevator they could actually hear the sizzling. It made a noise like bacon frying. And exactly the same sort of thing was happening to the other one thousand Knids in the chain. The tremendous heat was simply sizzling them up. They were red-hot, every one of them. Then suddenly, they became white-hot and they gave out a dazzling white light.” —from ‘Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator’ by Roald Dahl
If you have read The Road by Cormac McCarthy on purpose or by accident then you can read this comment. If you did not, this comment will mean nothing to you but go ahead, it’s not very long. It’s a slight spoiler, but I don’t recommend you read the book if you have made it this far in life without doing so.
I have a favorite, horrible, unreadable part, and I have a favorite, horrible, readable part. The unreadable part is when all those people are locked in the cellar waiting for the cannibals to come back and eat them. The favorite, horrible, readable part is when the wonderful father is standing at the window in his house—I think McCarthy comes back to this scene a couple of times—he is watching/processing the cataclysmic and unnamed event that causes the Earth to turn to shit.
There is only one moment in the entire book that allows the reader to relax and feel good: when the wonderful father and son find the bunker stocked with canned food and other provisions. The wonderful father even gets to drink some coffee.
It gets very grim again, right after that.
The movie really didn’t happen, did it? I feel like it was never even released. Maybe because the book was too close to the edge of being impossible to read.
It’s for the literary, horror crowd that actually hates horror. If I were a crowd, that would be me.