Despite lifetime shopping trips that probably number in the thousands (well, the high hundreds, anyway), I don't think I've ever really paid much attention to the book selection in supermarkets (except for that time in my teen years when, accompanying my mother grocery shopping, I discovered a copy of Frank Harris's My Life and Loves hiding behind the Louis L'Amours in the revolving rack near the checkout counters). As it turns out, if you're in the market for a romance, generic thriller, or late-period Stephen King, you're in luck. Otherwise, not so much.
Consequently, I was pleasantly surprised to find among the dross a trade paperback copy of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Its presence can probably be attributed more to the fact that it's "Soon to be a MAJOR MOTION PICTURE" than that it won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in fiction, but I was happy to snap it up.
So that evening I settled in for some serious reading. I made my way through the introductory pages of ecstatic blurbs and began to immerse myself in the book's grim world. But then, in the very second paragraph, I encountered:
Whoa! Pulitzer Prize winner. 25th printing. And a typo still makes it through? Talk about being jerked out of the author's world.
He thought the month was October but he wasnt sure.
But then I read the very next sentence:
He hadnt kept a calendar for years.
Uh oh. Apparently, the cataclysm that befell our planet not only incinerated our civilization, but all of the world's apostrophes as well.
But then, another two sentences on:
There'd be no surviving another winter here.
Are we supposed to assume that there were a few apostrophes down in the root cellar, or playing Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots in their mom's basement when the unnamed whatever struck? And that McCarthy had to apportion them throughout the book with the same frugality with which his characters have to ration their precious food supply? And that every time this happens (and it happens a lot), the reader is popped right out of the book?
In other words, what the fuck? No, seriously. What the fuck?