I am not entirely sure why we seem to have a fascination with our own doom as a civilization. From the Bible to sci-fi there are plenty of stories about the end of the world and the doom of humanity. They are stories that spell out our deepest fears. Perhaps we tell them as a way to drive away the events, as if creating them as stories we would prevent them from actually happening since what is already fiction cannot be reality. Whatever our psychological reasons, they have generated a fair deal of good literature and a great deal of terrible movies.
The Last of Us is one of these stories about the fall of humankind. It is a masterpiece of storytelling with poignant performances and with impressive graphics. Yes, graphics for The Last of Us is a videogame! I was so impressed and moved by it that I decided to grab a book that had been on my shelf for three years . I watched The Road when it was launched but I still hadn’t had the courage to read the book because I knew that it would greatly affect me.
The Road is another masterpiece about the apocalypse, it is gripping, sad beyond sadness but still a statement of faith in humankind even if the face of certain defeat. For the biggest difference between The Last of Us and The Road is that in the videogame story there is still hope; in The Road, there is no escape, no hope, no possibility of a new beginning. In many other aspects the Naughty Dog’s tale for the PS3 shows incredible parallels with McCarthy’s novel. There is the journey theme where we have a capable adult accompanied by a special child that has to be protected but who is also the one that brings them some sort of redemption.
If you haven’t read The Road, I would strongly recommend it. If you have a PS3, do play the Last of Us for it is an amazing experience. A word of warning though: in both cases be sure you are comfortably at home with your loved ones near you when you finish any of them – you will need a couple of cuddles and a mug of hot chocolate.