Pushing the trolley

November 19, 2009

In Cormac McCarthy’s latest but hopefully not last novel, The Road, (2006) the action follows a father and son navigating the shell of an annihilated America. Each day, day after day, they push a shopping trolley with their handful of possessions, through unimaginable devastation. The landscape is bare. There is no encouragement but what warmth they can find inside themselves. The father drills the boy: “We are the keepers of the flame”. The boy takes this as law, and continues the journey, finally reaching help, family and hope.

When we set out to write, we face the same journey. Everything seems to stand opposed to us. But our job is not to find shortcuts. We simply push the trolley, until we reach the place we were destined to.

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4 Responses to “Pushing the trolley”


  1. Nice one, Ben.

    Pushing the trolley is an image that works very well for those of us committed to completing the journey and getting the job done. Powerful book, too. It’s one of the few books that I’ve read twice in a row.

    Great to see you posting.

    Best, Robin


  2. Finally visited your blog after reading your comments at Robin’s fine blog for ages. Don’t know why it took me so long. Heaps of great tips for aspiring authors like myself and also relevant to a brilliant business idea I have. I have a lot of them but haven’t followed up on any of them yet:)

    Just subscribing to your feed now:)


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