The narrator decides to take a road trip with his son, has many fascinating things to say about the desert landscape and people they encounter along the way (the most recent encounter: a group of “German bikers” in, of all places, Furnace Creek, Arizona) Nevertheless, this trip is no bed of roses. The son, Harun, is a stickler for procedure. He is a photographer, and setting up his shots is a complicated process.
Harun is frowning, because I’m slowing him down in his journey. I say: “Is there anything in the world more complicated than the father-son relationship?”
We both have frequent attacks of melancholy.My Heart, p. 87
The father is a pessimist. Not only that, he’s Bosnian. Sarajevo was pummeled by the Serbs, not too long ago. (“… when I think of my first experiences of unbearable desolation, I see an image of the autumnal dissipation of the world, an October forest smelling of decay.” It can be no walk in the park to go on a road trip with a father having such autumnal thoughts)