Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Book Review - The Road

I actually read The Road by Cormac McCarthy shortly after it was first published in 2007 because Robbie read it and we were planning to see the movie. I remember that I thought it was a long drawn-out story that didn't have a great ending. The movie, too, was dark and dreary and somewhat of a downer.

However, since I'm challenging myself to read all the Pulitzer Prize winners in fiction as part of my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50, I checked the book out of the library and re-read it on our flights to and from Ohio for a recent vacation

There were quite a few things that I didn't remember about the book: there are no chapters, simply extra space between sections; some of the sections are simply a two-sentence paragraph; and, there's no punctuation for dialogue. While I'm not fond of this format, I must admit it works really well with this story.

This postapocalyptic story follows a man and his son as they trek south to the coast. The country is burned and they have to scavenge for food and shelter and clothes as they avoid gangs in this lawless wasteland. I did remember correctly that the story just goes on and on as they slowly make progress south, defending themselves with a pistol when necessary, running out of food, eating whatever is available, sheltering under a tarp to avoid rain, and covering with ratty blankets to keep out the never-ceasing cold because the sun can't penetrate the gray ash that covers everything and floats in the air all around them.

What I didn't remember, however, was the desire to keep reading, the hope that (even though I already knew the ending) they would somehow find the answer to how to not only survive, but to begin to rebuild and restore the world that was lost. I also didn't remember how sensitive the boy was and his desire to help others, despite the fact that he was starving and never sure who was a "good guy" or a "bad guy." [Spoiler Alert!] The story doesn't really end, it just stops and leaves the reader wondering how the boy fairs as he continues on after his father's death. Yet, honestly, despite the dreariness of the book, I like to think that he grew up and somehow found sunlight and happiness.

Have you read The Road? Please share your thoughts about it in the comments.


  1. My son challenged me to read this book as it's a joke between us as to just how much I hated the film, it was so dreary. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at what an easy read it was, much preferred it to the film!

  2. I've not read it - have had several friends give mixed reviews and haven't been tempted. Glad you were pleasantly surprised with the reread tho', it is always nice when that happens.

  3. I haven't read this book. I'm not sure I really want to after hearing how dreary the story is! Interesting to hear that you enjoyed it more on the second reading. Well done for reading the Pulitzer Prize books, that's a great goal!


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