The Road

The Road The Road by Cormac McCarthy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One might quibble with some of the convenient plot points of The Road (i.e. finding food just when they need it, repeatedly). But such quibbles would ignore the simple greatness that Cormac McCarthy has achieved here. Just a haunting look at human nature when all else is stripped aside. In short, The Road is the reason I read.

3 thoughts on “The Road”

  1. Man, I just thoroughly disagree on this. Now, granted, I listened to the audiobook and I may have been reacting to the annoying guy who read it, but I just thought it was super-repetitive.

    I just felt like nothing happened.


  2. I have had similar problems with other books. With the audiobook thing, I absolutely hated Saturday by Ian McEwan, but maybe I would have liked it more reading it, because it sounded well written, but it bored me listening to the stuffy British guy read it. Looking at the dialogue in The Road especially, there’s a lot of “Okay” and repeating what each other said, which would be annoying on audiobook.
    The ending, and what happened, reminded me of On The Beach, in which the characters kind of went about their lives while waiting for the nuclear fallout to come along and slowly kill them. That one drove me crazy because I didn’t feel like I got any insight into how characters felt about their impending doom.
    I think I liked The Road though because it was a well-written look at a post-apocalyptic world that didn’t focus on the how it happened or how humanity will “recover” or go on, but something more than that.
    I’m stealing this from the director of the movie, who I thought put it pretty well:
    “The apocalypse has been around as an idea since ancient times. It’s very simple, it’s humanity’s worst fear. What is it? It’s us dying, the world dying…. But that’s also why it’s not really about bleakness, it’s about fear. And actually there’s a morality tale about this. We see a man that we project on to, and we can see that his choices, under pressure, we see how he can, understandably, lose his humanity. And it’s actually the boy that gives him back that humanity.”
    He also said that McCarthy made him keep in just four lines of dialogue:
    The Boy: “What would you do if I died?”
    The Man: “I’d want to die too, so you could be with me – so I could be with you.”
    And that was the kind of thing that really stuck with me.
    The last line of my review should tell you something. This book has gotten more comments than any other review I’ve written in quite a while. And that’s what is great about reading, that people can have totally different opinions of the same work.


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