This is a work of art. Many people say it is a dark, depressing book. In some ways, that is true, but the beauty of the relationship between the father and son creates a depth and richness contrasting the dire circumstances the characters are facing. Cormac McCarthy writes with ellegance. His text is filled with imagery and often reads like poetry. Quotations and tag lines aren't used and yet because the characters voices are so strong, you have no trouble determining who is speaking. You walk with them on their journey and become so immersed in the world the are in, you will cry when they suffer and wish you could somehow jump in and save them. I couldn't put it down and cried more than once while reading it. It is so powerful, you will feel like you've just lived through this tragic, poignant story yourself.
This is one of the most thought-provoking and well-written books I have read. Yes, it's dark. Yes, it's disturbing. But it's also a beautiful story of a father and son's relationship and determination to survive in a terrifying world. Some of the scenes in the book still haunt me, but this is one of those books that I know I'll read over and over again.
I couldn't put the book down even though it was one of the most depressing books I've ever read. I kept waiting for something good to happen. The end was not as uplifting as I had hoped for. I would not recomend this to a friend. That's why I'm posting it.
A plodding book, with no point as far as I can tell. No character development, no explanations for the situation, nothing. The prose is oddly structured and stilted, perhaps in an attempt to be more like prose poetry than story telling. I finished it, but I don't know why. I certainly didn't learn anything from it.
Update on 11/29/08: As I was scrolling through my previous posted reviews I came across this one and a new thought occurred to me. I suspect that if this book had been written by an unknown author it would never have been published, let alone selected by Oprah. The only thing that caused it to get noted at all - because it sure isn't the contents - is the fact that a major, published author wrote it. I suggest reading something else.
This book is dark and disturbing but, I just could not put it down. I read it in a day and am haunted by the images floating around in my head. The book is a testament to a father's love and the lengths a person will go to when faced with the most desperate situation. It will make you think of things you never want to think about.
I was really surprised by this one. It had a lot of hype and it was an Oprah Book Club pick, which usually means I will be bored or disappointed, but this one exceeded my expectations.
Great story! I couldn't stop reading this because I needed to know what happened next. It is written in short scene breaks that bothered me at first, but it made sense for the telling of this story and I think it added to the can't-put-down-yness.
It was bleak and sad, but hopeful. Some parts were scary and I actually got so into how creepy the bad guys were, that I was paranoid walking around my own house in the dark.
Good stuff. I highly recommend it even if you think it's not your kind of book.
I know that some people were bothered by the writing style, but I thought that it was perfect once I got into the rhythm of the prose. It felt authentic, like it was being told by someone who was there, someone who wouldn't waste words. As though the words to tell this story are as scarce as everything else is in the setting. I really thought that it was brilliantly written, in the very best way to tell this story.
This is the most depressing book I have read since I read Blindness by Jose Saramago. But like Blindness, I will never forget The Road. I could not stop reading it even though I wished that I could. Perhaps this is the mark of a great book: When it grips us, and tears at us, and we can't put it down, and we will never, ever, forget it.
This book is a wonderful, horrible story of a father and son going through the unthinkable. I loved it. I was thought provoking and intense. As a parent it made me think about things I wouldn't want to go through. I would definately suggest reading this.
I really enjoyed the book as I read it. His writing style is different but makes for great story telling. When I was done I wanted to throw it across the room. I guess I kept waiting for a flashback to explain the bleak circumstances that this man and son found thereselves in. It was like coming into a really good movie 30 minutes late.
Talk about a POINTLESS book!!!! I don't get all the craze and rave reviews about this book!!! Absolutely nothing much happened in this book and the somewhat notable things that did happen have been done over and over again in many other books.
The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. Something awful has happened to the world and only a few scraggly survivors remain. The story is about a father and son who are left and really only have each other. They are traveling along 'the road' to get to the coast...for some unknown reason. The dad just thinks going to the coast is a good idea for some reason. They trudge along finding abandoned shelters and left behind supplies that they gather together and push around in a cart. The son seems pretty young, maybe about 10, so he gets tired and sick a lot. Sometimes along the way they run into other survivors, some good, some bad. They make it to the coast eventually and then towards the end the father dies and the boy is left on his own for like a day until another group of people comes along and takes him in. And..that's pretty much everything. Luckily this book has very little description so it was a quick read.
I guess the story was supposed to be about the father/son bond and relationship during hard times, but I didn't really care about them. This whole end of the world BS has been done over and over. Even Stephen King did a much better job in The Stand making the reader care about his characters. I'm glad I'm done with this book. It was lame!
I know it's wildly popular, but I hated this book. I found the premise completely unbelievable - anything that could concievably kill off plant life on Earth would have killed humans long before, and even if plants were killed, there would be generations' worth of mushrooms and other decay organisms to eat. The language was suppossed to be compelling in its simplicity, but I just found it stilted and bathetic. The father was suppossed to be a tough survivor, but what kind of idiot can't stay warm in a forest full of dead trees to burn?
And this may be a pet peeve, but it struck me as creepy that the author postulates killing all life on the entire planet, and then focuses on getting this one little boy to survive. He doesn't touch on anything other than *human* deaths, and the characters don't even seem to notice that every other living thing is gone too, or miss any aspect of the natural world (except for a briefly mentioned family dog). Don't get me wrong - I value human life way above anything else - but to completely ignore the fact that whatever happened (however implausible it may be) killed an entire world of richly diverse species that would also like very much to survive is a wierd ommission.
This book has to be one of the best pieces of fiction in a long time. His writing is pared down to the essentials, it really adds to the starkness of this story. A father and son traveling to the sea after nuclear holocaust. It is awful but the love between the father and son is the story. Their attempts to survive where there is no hope is a lesson for all of us. This is the ultimate story of hope where none should be. I will be thinking about this book for a long time. Excellent Excellent story. I read it in 3 hours!
I've waited a few days after finishing to write something about this book, hoping to achieve a fair and balanced opinion of this Pulitzer-prize winning novel.
And trying to figure out WHY it won said prize.
I think it's a Harry Potter thing. I may have mentioned this before, but a friend told me a story about her non-fantasy-reading friend, who read a Harry Potter novel. Said person was like, "Wow! It was AMAZING! It's like the author created a Whole Different World!" The concept had never occurred to her, let alone that there's a whole genre of novels that "create whole new worlds."
Likewise, I think the people that are impressed by "The Road" have probably never read a post-apocalyptic novel.
Maybe it's just that I read the 1965 novel by John Christopher "The Ragged Edge" just a couple of months ago, and it's fresh in my mind... but, IMHO, "The Road" verges on plagiarism. It's the SAME EXACT STORY. OK, so "The Road" takes place a little bit further after the disaster, and the kid travelling with the man through the post-apocalyptic wasteland is his biological son, not an adopted orphan, and "The Ragged Edge" has a few more characters thrown in. But they've even got nearly the same scene on a ship! How likely is that?
Basically, I think Cormac McCarthy probably read the other novel at some point, said, "I can do this better," and threw in some religious allegory, made it clear that Man was responsible for the disaster (although that's hardly original, either), and wrote it in poetic language. But you know what? I LIKE full sentences and punctuation. OK, occasionally sentence fragments can be used effectively. But the whole book is sentence fragments! And leaving out apostrophes from contractions is just distracting, annoying, and serves no poetic purpose.
Ah well; I am sure many readers out there will disagree with me, but that's my honest opinion!
This book is dark and distrubing but so, so amazing. This was the most important book I've read in years, by far. A father and son search for hope and humanity in a future where the Earth is suspended in a nuclear winter and the end of the human race seems inevitable. A hauntingly beautiful book that will stay with you long after you finish the last page.
This is a good example of a book that will pump you up for suicide. It's sad, then sadder, then bleak, then dismal. The relationship between the main character and his son seems stilted at the same time it's affectionate. Mourning, I would say, is the theme for this book; mourning for the way life used to be, mourning over those dead and gone, and mourning over the inevitable.
McCarthy's odd style of writing actually worked here - the short, episodic scenes served to mimic the quick desperation of a day-to-day existence. The sparse language mirrored the silence that had to happen in order to survive. Recommended for those who love sad books.
This is the saddest book ever written. The father figure is in the most hopeless situation of all time. There has been some kind of nuclear catastrophe. The air is largely unbreathable. His wife has comitted suicide. There are no more animals or plant life. And the remaining humans are either banded into cannibalistic hoardes or pitiful wanderers. The father and the son survive day to day on whatever canned food they can gather from hidden stores in vacant households. All the while moving toward the unknown seashore. The father carries a gun to kill himself and his son should they be captured by cannibals. Did I mention that the situation was hopeless? The brilliance in this book is in describing the relationship between the father and son. I have never read anything like it. As the father of an 8 year old boy, this book affected me.
Color me obtuse but I just couldn't see any point of this book. Here is a plot synopsis as I remember it:
apocalypse of some sort occurs
father and son are together
good people die
bad people live
All told in pretty much the same sparse wording, which is supposed to be meaningful (I guess?).
Far too simplistic for my liking. I read the whole thing but I'm not entirely sure why - I think I was hoping for this book to suddenly have a point. It didn't. Mercifully, it is a very quick read, so I didn't waste much time on it at all.
This is one of the best-written books I've read in a long time. McCarthy's style is different, but after a chapter or so, you realize it's the best style for the subject matter. Lyrical but terse descriptions of the world the two protagonists travel in---absolutely no fat. Every word is essential. Not a book to read if you need to be cheered up, but definitely a book to provoke thought on the human condition. I couldn't put it down.
Well, wasn't this a cheerful little book? People roasting newborn babies over campfires. Charred burned corpses littering the highways. Hopelessness and despair and impending death. Yup, a real hoot.
Lots of readers found this book uplifting and inspiring. To me it was just so depressing and gruesome. I couldn't take it and had to set it aside for several months. I don't need to be hit over the head with a brick, which is exactly what this book does to the reader. Not to my taste at all.
I found this story to be dull and slow-moving. I was disappointed with the lack of character development and the back story of the cataclysmic event. I also found I could skim large paragraphs without missing any part of the story. There are no chapters and the dialogue is without punctuation, so it would get confusing on who was doing the speaking. All and all I was bored.
This is story that challenges the reader. There are many things that are left unexplained - such as what exactly happened to create this post- apocalyptic world (and when did it happen?). The writing style is unusual, with sentence fragments, frequently omited apostrophes, and no quotation marks. And it is, frankly, a bit of a downer because McCormac does such an effective job of painting a picture of this bleak world where the man and his son (no names are ever given) fight for day-to-day survival.
BUT, if you can get past all of that, this is a compelling read that, at its heart, is really a story of survival BECAUSE of love (what other reason could there be to go on in a world like this?). And perhaps a story of the determination of mankind to "carry the fire" - no matter what.
Wow, I don't even know how to describe the way I feel about this book. For the first 50 pages or so, I just couldn't get into it and kept thinking I was going to quit reading it, I just couldn't get used to the type of dialect that was being used in a "futuristic" book. To me the dialect was elegant, but definately more suited for a more historical type of book. Then the further involved in this book that I got, the harder it was to put down and I ended up finishing in one evening. I honestly don't know if I loved it or hated it. There were times that I felt it was just plodding along and at other times I felt so involved that I could feel their pain. However, I was somewhat disappointed when I finished reading it because I never did figure out what the plot really was, yeah, they were trying to get to the coast, but why, and all the stuff about the "fire inside", what was that? It just felt incomplete to me at the end. It was definately an experience...just not sure yet weather or not it was one I want to remember or one I want to forget! Yet, maybe that is what makes a true classic....
I must confess that I had never read a Cormac McCarthy book before and only read this because I kept seeing it everywhere and it seemed to get so much praise. So, without really knowing what it was about, I bought the book and began reading. (Though I must admit, the book jacket did intrigue me.) At first, I was a little put off by McCarthy's writing style, but then it pulled me in and I couldn't put the book down. Very haunting and touching. If you have a child, it adds another layer of feeling as you begin to imagine what you might do in a similar situation (God forbid). As I was reading, I really began to "live" in the world he was describing....like I could see it happening in my mind. Whenever you get that experience when reading a book, you know you are reading a great one. Although I sometimes didn't understand all the words (the author seems to have a huge vocabulary that took me out of the story a few times) and some parts left me a bit unsure about what was happening/happened, this was one of the best and most affecting books I've read in a long while. Highly recommended.
This book was a really hard one to read, due to the content, but I couldn't stop reading it at the same time. It gives amazing insight as to what extent people will go to survive. It's dark, but very compelling.
I thought this book was going to be a lot better than it actually was. I found that the entire book is the same thing over and over. I actually lost my page at one point and it took me forever to find my place again because every page has the same thing on it. Everything's grey and black and covered in ash and they're starving all the time. Very anti-climatic and boring book.
This is a story about a father and son traveling thru a post apocalyptic world, but it's really about the love that they share and the lengths a parent will go to in order to protect a child. It's about the human condition in general (the good guys vs. the bad guys) and the reasons people choose to be one or the other. It's not a cheerful story but is very touching.
This is a very strange book. It is written as a continuous tale-there are no chapters and no quotation marks when people speak. It is of a father and son surviving each day in a dangerous post-apocalyptic world. It is somehow mesmerizing and kept me reading, though always tense with what would come next. It does not have much depth-no real explanation of how it became a post-apocalyptic world, you never even know the main characters' names. It sticks to the journey of this father and son in a hopeless world and their relationship and their differences in how they see the world, and also their love for each other. One thing this book does is make you appreciate things we take for granted everyday. One example is the father finds a canned coke and gives it to the boy to drink and he asked "What is it?" It was worth reading, but not especially satisfying.
It was a very slow read for me. Up until I reached the middle, I considered putting it away and not finishing it. Not that it picked up in the middle, it's just that by that point I wanted to know how it ended. Although I don't recommend it because it was that boring, it WAS a subject that stayed with me after I finished reading it and gave me much thought. So, you be the judge!
A post-cataclysmic world, dark and raw, reduces humans to simple forage eating. Father and son walk an old state highway through nature destroyed seeking what was lost. We see violence. Urges for dominance/control reign due to scarcity of resources.
Important is the father's need to define and maintain for his son a sense of what is the transcending good. Especially now, evil and cruelty are pervasive in the surrounding world; a fallen society seems to say all things are relative and only a matter of immediate necessity.
In this respect, McCarthy's father/son dynamic works to show the anxiety any father might feel in preparing his son for all unknowns of a quickly changing world. Guidance is especially needed in this post-apocalypse world because society is no more. The father has only so much time to prepare his son; childhood innocence is fleeting, failure means destruction; and the son needs hope.
Against all reason and despite the odds, will these lost souls still find some hope for the future?
As others mention, story does not really have a plot to give away, it lacks closure, and we never learn what causes the disaster. But that does not mean THE ROAD is without merit, the story's experience is in the journey of McCarthy's prose and not the ending.
McCarthy's spare prose and vivid imagery create an all-too-real vision of a post-apocalyptic America, and one of the most touching and real father-son relationships I've ever read. By turns horrifying and heartbreaking, this book is absolutely amazing.
Yep...just gonna lay it out there. It was sooo depressing. I found nothing redeeming in this book whatsoever. I'm glad so many people liked it, I wasn't one of them and I'm sorry I wasted my money on it. Good luck to those of you who have it wishlisted, because someone is going to get lucky.
I've read a lot of books but this one is definitely Top 5 of all-time in my opinion. Such a haunting, sad story, one that I thought many times I couldn't bare to read more of. People have criticized it for its lack of punctuation and its near-absence of dialogue, but I found myself forgetting about all of that just a few pages into the story. It's a bleak story about the end of the world, where conversation and punctuation no longer matter; literally nothing matters except survival, yet the protagonists manage to hold onto a fundamental moral code. At first I couldn't wait to find out what happened to the world but then I realized, it doesn't matter what happened. Nor does it matter that almost nothing is mentioned of the world before its end. I'm the kind of person who wants to know everything but I literally stopped caring what happened.
McCarthy's depiction of the world is flawlessly consistent and horrifyingly believable. He pulls the reader right in. Through all this darkness and utter despair, there is this story of unyielding love between father and son. I've never read a story of such genuine love before. I finished this book months ago but I still think of it off-and-on every few days. I ask myself, "could I have survived? Could I have kept my sanity and morals? Could I have sacrificed so much for my own child?" It literally affected my outlook of the world; it made me greater appreciate life and what we have. It can all be gone in an instant with little explanation.
The best moment of the book is when father and son meet a fellow traveler on the road, an old man. The old man asks the father, "how would you know if you were the last man on earth?" Man, that's deep. READ THIS BOOK!
I read this in a day because the author is so skillful at weaving his tale, but because it was such a horribly depressing and bleak portrayal of the post-apocolyptic world, I would not recommend it. I saw absolutely no beauty in the relationship between father and son (though the love is evident) because as a parent nothing is more terrifying than being unable to protect and care for your children. The end is depressingly inevitable.
This is one of my favorite books. It is definately my favorite McCarthy book. I'm a fan of end of the world literature and this is one of the best. I love that he doesn't slow the story down with lots of backstory information. His writing sometimes takes getting used to but this story moves along pretty clearly.
I really enjoyed this book. I believe that it would be a great choice for a book club as the themes and questions about humanity would be an excellent discussion-starter. It is not a light-hearted book, but well worth reading.
I'm 42 years old and I've been an avid reader since I was about 7 years old. There have been a lot of great books go through my hands and even a few bad ones, but there are a few that make a very short list books that have truly moved me. Tim O'Brien, Ernest Hemingway and Pat Conroy are the authors of some of those books.
Now Cormac McCarthy earns a place on that list. I read No Country for Old Men first because the movie was so fabulous. But then I picked up The Road. For anyone who reads this book...if it does not move you, I mean really move you, then either you are not human, or you don't have a beating heart.
This book is definitely on the top 20 books I've ever read.
This is probably the most disturbing book I've ever read. It is the story of a father and son travelling across America after a holocaust. Neither my husband nor I could put it down. It is poignant, terrible, sad and deeply moving. Did I like it?? You can't like a book like this, but I won't ever forget it!
Although the context of this book may be viewed as depressing and dark, there has been no greater book that I have read to make me feel more alive and thankful for the abundance my life offers. Any man who would call himself a father would do no less for their son than the man in this book. Ending provides a hopeful outcome that the reader must determine.
After just a few pages I was thinking that I wasn't crazy about it, and wondering why it had gotten rave reviews. But I read on some, then more, and before I knew it, it was a pager-turner. Wow! Stunning work. Moving, and spare. Superb. I'm keeping this one for myself, just to see it on the shelf and remember the experience of it....
For some reason... I LOVED this book!! The writing style is crazy but the storyline kept me thinking "what if this happened to us?" The story left many things unsaid that most would've wondered why it wasn't explained. I feel for me, the anticipation if they would make it or not and the things they needed to do to survive surpassed any wonder to why things were left out.
Disturbing, dark, depressing, and doesn't deliver. I've read about 2/3 of it so far and seriously doubt that I'll be able to drag myself through to the end. I still have no idea at all about why the charactors find themselves in the position they are in. What happened? What caused them to be where they are, doing what they do? The book leaves me with questions, but no answers, and I don't care enough about the questions to search for the answers, to hunt down the meanings, to learn about the incentives. I know it got excellent reviews, but I also know that I am by far not the only person who feels as I do about the book. I have tried to force myself to finish it, but there are too many other books I'd like to give my time to. I may instead give the book away in hopes that it will find a more understanding reader. As a writer myself, I know how important and valuable readers are. I'd like to feel I've given the book a chance to hit THE ROAD and find some happy readers. I'm just not one of them.
Cormac McCarthy spins a languid, post-Apocalyptic yarn with âThe Road.â Personally, I found the story incredibly slow moving and actually not much happens along the road. They scavenge for food and try to avoid cannibals. This novel, to my mind, is very derivative of âI Am Legend,â although it lacks several layers of fundamental dramatic tension contained within that story. The strengths of this piece lie in its fascinating mix of sci-fi and western genres, and the ashy dreamlike quality of the prose.
Appallingly depressing. Well written but an awful and hopeless story. I forced myself to finish it thinking that at some point there might be some glimmer of hope, some tiny inkling of something remotely positive. But no.... just page after page of abysmally woe.
A chilling and realistic account of what might happen in an apocalyptic situation. The emotional journey of the boy as they make their encounters creates an ache to read on. I specifically enjoyed the way it was written. The lack of quotation marks and no names for the main characters helps to maintain the cold and distant feel, while the content sweeps you up in their personal struggle on a moment-to-moment and day-to-day basis.
Page after page of bleak, desolute, hopeless, horror, despair...then things take a turn for the worse. The fact that it managed to leave me feeling pretty good without selling out the apocalyptic premise that it drums relentlessly, and despite a sad ending, is astounding. All and all, it lived up to it's acclaim.
I casually flipped through this book last night before going to bed, and ended up staying up until 3AM to finish reading this! One of the few books to really scare me (I couldn't walk around my dark apartment afterwards) and also to move me to tears. Hard to really categorize this book; calling it an "apocalypse book" would capture the dark, disturbing atmosphere and brutal nature, but would not emphasize the beautiful father/son story. I cried at the contrast between the mother and the father in terms of being mentally strong enough to care for their baby. The book may not have much detail, background story, or even much conversation...but the terse, brief sentences only enhance the desperation of the situation. When one is starving to death, one probably doesn't have much time to compose long cohesive sentences!
I guess since this book got labeled an "Oprah" book, it unfortunately got typecast to be of a certain genre. This book is neither happy nor does it have that "Oprah attitude" (you know, cheer for the quirky/odd character who overcomes her difficulties in life!). This book is blunt, brutal, and real.
This is one of the best books I have read in a very long time. I could NOT put it down it is very compelling...I intend to read his other books. This book made me think about things that I normally do not think about...great read.
This novel was recently named as the 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner for Fiction. It is a remarkable book that you won't be able to put down. Cormac McCarthy has a unique writing style (e.g. quirky punctuation)that you must embrace or ignore if you are to enjoy this book. Actually, "enjoy" is not the right word for reading "The Road." Gripping, terrible, sad, horrifying, the list of adjectives goes on and on . . . . this book broke my heart.
That a book can be so utterly wrenching with such spare writing and in (relatively) few pages makes Mr. McCarthy a genius, in my humble opinion. A must read.
I read this book in one day. It is highly disturbing, thought provoking and hence some people may hate it. It may one day come to pass where our world will end in scenery much like in this book, whether due to man made war or some natural catastrophe, pray we are not alive to see this. However, I saw this book as a metaphor for the road of life each of us is on. Some of us have it made with health and material wealth and some have a bleak and uncertain future ahead. And those of us who are on the bleak and uncertain road in life, what will they choose to do? Continue to hope against hope, struggle day to day living a hand to mouth existance..or choose the bullet?
I could not put this book down form the minute I picked it up. It is mesmerizing the compassion between the father and his son. Get past the lack of chapters, the punctuation,and limited dialogue,it truly was one of the best books I have ever read..... Hard to find one to read next it has left such an impression with me.... don't be afrain... you will be happy you read it!
Pulitzer winner, great reviews, and I was bored by the tenth page.
I have no problem with McCarthy's prose style, the run-on sentences and sparse prose aptly illustrate the landscape of a devastated, post-apocalyptic planet and the minds of those who inhabit it. Jose Saramago's Blindness uses similiar literary style to much better effect. It also worked in McCarthy's brilliant, morally ambiguous No Country For Old Men. McCarthy's prose has never been a problem.
My problem was that- for the entire book- nothing happened. The man and the boy travel south. The boy rarely speaks. When he does, he usually says "Papa, I'm scared, I'm scared Papa." The Man shows no humanity to anyone besides the boy, but they're the "good guys". Man and boy journey to the sea. At the sea, things suck as much as they do everywhere else.
There is no enemy to overcome, no joy, no hope, no anger at the misery the world has been brought to, nothing but apathy expressed throughout the entire book. The rest of humanity has apparently become depraved and degenerate, but the contrast doesn't make father & son any more heroic by comparison. I found nothing compelling about either the boy or his father. Their story was flat, repetitive and boring. For a truly brilliant tale of disaster and redemption look to Jose Saramago's Blindness... or Max Brooks' World War Z... or Stephen King's the Stand. All of which are more profound than The Road.
The Road is an extremely dark story about a boy and his father traveling to the coast after the planet has gone through a devastating event that has poisoned the air, killed most living things, and laid down a layer of ash across the countryside. For the remaining survivors, staying alive has become the focus of their existence. Although the story is a bleak one, once I began reading, I could hardly put the book down, finishing it in two days.
Very dark and depressing. Felt myself watching over my shoulder for days after finishing. It's the end of the world, and a father and son struggle to survive. There is no food, no son, few other people-most of whom try to kill them to take what few belongings they have. Some say this is a story of hope....I guess I would have none then!
At first, the first 50-40 pages, I thought this book was really depressing. A desolation of country, a father and his son walking, walking on the road to.....it was hard to tell where. But the deeper meaning of never losing hope finally poked through---The things that really matter....not money or more things than one can carry The love that is timeless and eternal. It was a pretty fast read, once I got into it.
My 16 yo son read this book and raved about it - we don't usually like the same genre, but I had heard good reviews about the book and decided to read it. I finished it in 5 days (I work full-time). I couldn't put it down. The book is dark, and I think brings to light what some fear may happen one day. The book would leave me feeling dually optimistic and scared at the same time. You are waiting for everything they fear in the shadows. I would absolutely recommend this book to a friend - it was a great, can't put down, book.
Wonderfully written and very heartbreaking novel. You can feel the desolation but the hope is still alive. Not a recommendation for light before-bed reading as it made me a little paranoid and depressed, but a good read.
Mixed review. Overall glad I read it. I enjoy thinking back on it. Makes me think.
- Different kind of book
- Quick read
- Memorable characters (dad and son)
- And I'll always remember the ending.
- Writing can be too much of the same thing.
- There is not much of a plot. Once you've read about 10 pages, just imagine that for the rest and skip to the last 20. You'll get the story and the feeling with the ending without having to read all the same stuff in between. (Although there is a scene that's worth reading in the middle where they are going to go in a house where other people are. Uh. Scary.)
It's terrible to think of a world as dark and despairing as what these individuals went through. The author did well in conveying the fathers love for his son and the faith the child had during the journey. Really makes you stop and think...
I describe this book as a coming of age story mixed with the strength of a father's love. Having no clue what this book was about when I picked it up, I can say that I was not disappointed in the least. I am not usually a fan the 'touchy feely' stories out there and having not been too impressed with All the Pretty Horses, McCarthy did a knock-out job of making me enjoy this book. It's just a good read.
This is one of the best books I've ever read, possibly the best. It was written in such an interesting way, with incomplete sentences and seemingly disconnected paragraphs, but that only added to the story's beauty. It just made it have a unique feel and added to the tension and calm when needed. The story was heartbreaking and creative. It was painful and scary at times, and had a heavy feeling to it. The father and son made for very understandable characters. I couldn't recommend this book highly enough! It is a modern classic and a nearly-perfect novel.
A lot of reviews claim how boring & repetitive this book was but I think they are missing the whole point. The characters are in a nuclear aftermath. The world has been reduced to ash & dust with very few survivors. It isn't like they can be doing a whole lot besides trying to stay alive. This dire simplicity of survival is what is so raw & beautiful about the novel. We have a man & his boy & the bond between them on their journey down a perilous road. Destination? Warmth. They are headed south. They encounter a lot of horrific situations. The are starving much of the time. They are cold most of the time. This little boy, who was born after the global demise, has never known anything but the dark & hazardous world in which he lives. Despite this, he is the most loving little boy who wants desperately to find other "good guys," who wants to share his precious food with other raggamuffin vagrants on the road. His kind little soul is a light in the cold, dark unknown. His light is what keeps the father going & what keeps the reader reading. I thought this was a fantastic novel.
This book was not at all what I expected, though I'm not even sure what my expectations were. McCarthy's writing style was really different, and at first it felt choppy. In the beginning, I felt as though I wanted more information or more detail. But, as I kept reading I got used to his language, and his vivid descriptions had me wrapped up in the story. I've never read a book with such an intense feeling of hopelessness. I was so caught up in the characters' desperate situation, that it didn't occur to me to wonder how they, and the rest of the world, ended up in such a state of desolation. The book was cold and depressing, and even though it seemed unlikely, I hoped for a happy ending throughout - especially for the little boy's sake.
I think it is through the darkness and desolation, however, that the relationship between the father and son is really emphasized. They are truly the only thing either of them have left in the world, and because of that, their love for each other is tangible throughout the story. Even though I sensed this burden of hopelessness throughout the novel, I was reassured by the strength and determination of the father and son.
This is a book you will not forget. I promise you that. The prose is sparse. The plot is not complex. We never really learn the names of the characters. The writing is simple. You'd wonder why this would be a memorable book. Taken as a whole the entire story is unlike anything else you've read. It's set in the future when a horrible calamity has befallen people. All animal life is gone. And most plant life is gone. There is no food. Think about it. When there is no food what do people eat? Then you'll understand some of the horror in the book. It's about the darkest impulses of human nature and what we're capable of doing when the thin veneer of civilization has vanished. There are some scenes in the book that although not described in great detail are truly gruesome. If you're sensitive then this is not the book for you. The ending is hopeful although some find it vague. I found the father's character to be irritating. (SPOILER) When he knew he was dying, I think the kindest thing he could have done to the boy was to kill him with the bullet in their gun. He had no way of knowing if the boy would find kind strangers (which it seemed like he did although it's vague) or whether the boy would end up as food or as a catamite.
This book is dark, emotionally difficult, and thought provoking. I would never want to survive a catastrophe like this. I could understand why the mother did what she did. It's such a bleak future. Why bother to survive?
Oh my god, I just finished this book about five minutes ago and I know it will stay with me for a long time! How vivid a description of world after devastation. The story of survival for a man and his young son was heart-rendering and touching as they traveled to the coast in search of God knows what on the other side. A story of the strength of love no matter what the cost. I would recommend this highly to anyone!!!!
I loved this tale of a father and son traveling, looking for relief or safety or salvation across a post apocalyptic America. It is a bleak and dark future. I was disturbed, but fascinated with his vision of the future. I highly recommend this book, but I doubt anyone could read it more then once.
I liked it.
Wasn't the best book I've ever read.
My creative writing teacher cried, I think this may be because he can relate more since he has a son.
Being an 18 year old girl...I didn't relate as much.
BUT I enjoyed the writing style immensely.
It's a quick read, no chapters, etc.
It's a little slow at parts, but interesting.
I would recommend this to my friends that appreciate good writing or are just a little weird.
If you take the time to actually think about what you're reading, it brings up some pretty profound or at least somewhat in depth ideas, about love, life, and so on.
Overall...I felt somewhat apathetic when I finished it.
"A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind." I could not put this book down! Interesting style of writing. You never know the father or son's names. They are scrambling to survive and we get to take the journey with them.
I loved The Road! It was very well written and kept me engrossed the entire book. It is about a father and son's love for each other and keeping the values of humanity despite what conditions one might face. I passed it on to a friend and she is putting it on her top ten favorite books list. It was a very fast read because it was short and I couldn't put it down!
Wow...a powerful, moving book. I was drawn in by the story. I got so emotionally involved that I had to stop reading in the middle of the story and find something to cheer me up - I was too depressed to keep reading. But I picked it back up the next day and finished it, and I'm glad I did. If you are like me and you're a speedy reader, it can be a little hard to read. Had to slow down. The writer's style was a little confusing. The author leaves so many questions unanswered, like what exactly happened to destroy the world and how long father and son have been traveling. He doesn't even tell you the characters' names or ages. The curiosity pulls you through the book, because you're searching for the details and the answers along the way. But it also makes it easy for any reader to relate to them and feel what the characters are experiencing along the way. They could be any father and son struggling to survive after any natural disaster.
Well written, moving, but sad beyond measure and incredibly depressing. I kept reading, thinking that there must be some hope, not a "happy ending" so to speak, but something, some fragment somewhere. They weren't kidding when they put "world without hope" in blurb on the back.
As I started this book, I immediately felt the sense that I was rereading The Gunslinger and that wasn't such a good thing since I did not particularly enjoy that book. As the book progressed, however, I settled into McCarthy's sparse prose. His story is simple but quite compelling and the setting is truly the protagonist of this book. The post-devastation wasteland is horrific and fundamental questions of quality of life, human existance, spirituality float in and out of the dialogue between father and son that central to the book. I had so many questions that were left unanswered like HOW? WHY? WHEN? WHO? WHERE? But then it was clear that none of this really mattered to the characters - only survival and keeping on keeping on down the road were what mattered.
Excellent character development.. not through long wordy paragraphs about them or a complete history of how they got where they were, but through how they react to their present environment. A man and his son on "The Road", trying to reach warmer climate after everything has burned (I'm assuming nuclear war--although they never really hit radiation). The entire world is gray, ash filled, and nearly devoid of life. Starvation and freezing are as big a danger as the struggle to avoid those who remain alive by preying on others. There is no one they can trust except each other.
My only complaint with the book is it ends too soon... it could have kept going (because it was so good). Very enjoyable read... gripping, emotionally moving, it does a great job of putting you in the character's shoes and getting you to root for things to work out for them as they struggle to survive. Definitely read it before you see the movie...
When I took this book to bed with me early last night I thought I would begin it. Three hours later I had finished it. I fell into the story when I began the book.
We don't know exactly what took place but the earth as we knew it was gone and remaining in it's place was a veritable wasteland, few people, no power or communication of any kind. Of those who remained all were scrambling or hobbling along 'the road' in search of food, clean water, anything that they could find that would help them to survive. 'The man and the boy' are part of them. Trusting no one, for evil abounds in the godless territory, and ever moving Southward, the man and the boy journey along each day. The boy's childhood has been ripped from him though his father is devoted to him and loving with him. Living through one more day on 'the road' is all they have to look forward to.
When they hear others coming near them, they quickly hide until all danger is passed. The man tells the boy that there are good people out there somewhere and they will find them but until then, they can trust no one.
The man develops a chronic cough with bloody spittle that never completely leaves him. At one point the boy comes down with a fever and the man nurses him for several days before the boy rallies. When the boy regains his strength they once again take to 'the road'.
This is not really a story with a beginning and an end. It is written in a style simplistic to the reader. The way the book ended is my only critique of this one. Had it not been so pat, I would have given 'The Road' a 5 star rec rather than the 4 1/2 stars that I did give it. I highly recommend it and only wish that I had read it much earlier.
I thought this was excellent, but I'm not sure I liked it. It's a very dark piece of literature, but it's strangely beautiful at the same time. The stream of consciousness style is perfect for it's story. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys post-apocalyptic literature, but know that this is not a happy story.
Glad to see I'm not the only one who disliked this book. It was very repetitive. I didn't care about the characters...probably because I never knew their names, ages, or any background information. And the thing that bothered me the most was the lack of punctuation for dialogue. It made a boring book even more difficult to read. I never know what to expect when I read an "Oprah's pick." I had to finish it to find out if it was really as bad as I kept thinking it was. I was not disappointed.
There was no arc to the plot and little character development. If there were a a young father in my realm who I felt could do a better job parenting and needed to see what a an unconditionally loving relationship with one's children should look like, I might suggest he read it. But I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else. Too depressing. I kept reading because I kept wanting something to happen, to be revealed, but I was sorely disappointed. McCarthy's prose, however, is unique and sometimes beautiful. I liked the sentences more than the book as a whole, if that makes sense.
A dark, dark story that leaves the reader to decide if it ended well or not. Post-apocalyptic world in which a man and his son try to make it to the ocean, in the hopes that some life is left. They move through a world of ash, foul water, and oppurtunistic humans, occassionally finding a breif respite of canned goods.
I loved this book. It is definitely dark, but there is something very endearing about this post apocalyptic tale of a father and his child.It is probably the bare bones writing style of Cormac McCarthy. It fits perfectly with the setting. Although the world is a cruel setting, McCarthy makes the harsh road what it should be... a backdrop or accent for the main story, the love of Father for Child in the only way he knows how.
I suspect that this book only did as well as it did because it was published by an already well-known author and then Oprah took it under her wing.
I read it, and it was about as enjoyable and thought-provoking as a good bout of swine flu.
With stilted language, placing his his two tragic protagonists in a barren, harsh world, McCarthy attempts to creatively highlight the relationship of love between the father and son. Epic fail. I wouldn't mind hearing about the nuclear catastrophe that apparently caused the apocalypse, or the reasons behind the cannibal tribes on the roads, and I'm quite curious to know why the two insist on staying on the road when that seems to be the most dangerous place for them. However, it just goes on and on and endlessly on about the same two things. As a novel, this book does less than a satisfactory job.
An Oprah Book Club choice.....a story of fear and desperation; of survival in the face of insurmountable odds; of love - a father for his child and the child for the only person in his life who he can trust and depend upon; of choices.
This is a story of a journey made by a father and son, through an America that none of us want to ever see.
I've read a few reviews that stated that the reader just couldn't get into the book or that the writing style was off putting...well, I agree that the writing style is different. It is very minimalist: there is very little punctuation and it can be at times difficult to know whom is speaking. This, however, is done to convey the sence of desolation that the author is painting. The world is desolate, the writing is desolate. The book is very moving and enjoyable. It's is a world in total fear and death; mortal turmoil existing just to cease to exist. Lives are ruined and the world is ruined.
Even though it is never explicitly stated, the reader is led to believe that the world has been thrust into this state by the acts of men. I for one, hoped that is was some unseen cosmic event that forced death upon the world. I felt to me even more hopeless and frightening to believe that the state of this ruined earth was the result to waring nations.
This book is quite short and the page lay-out increases the book's size...the story is actually very short.
I really liked this book, even though it is SO dark and gloomy! It was still a great story about the bond between a father and child and the unconditional love that comes with it! Heartbreakingly wonderful!
Cormac McCarthy certainly has some serious writing chops, there is no denying that. And this story is a strong and at certain points disturbing, others moving. Yet, there did come a point where I felt that the author was just trying to be disturbing for the sake of disturbance. Not to be a spoiler, but why go to the effort of cooking food if you are not going to eat it? And if food is so valuable, why did they let it burn? It took them months to get that meal, and they left it behind on the fire, charred and inedible? That was when it when from the horrific to jumping the shark. Oh well, at least there weren't any vampires.
This is not the type of book that I typically read. I tried to read another McCarthy book and hated the writing style so much that I stopped halfway through. It takes a little while to get used to his writing in this book, but it was worth it. I couldn't put the book down once I got used to the writing. Do yourself a favor and finish this book.
This is an exceptionally well written modern classic. It is a story based on the fight of good versus evil, when the lines between the two are fuzzy. The post apocalyptic earth is a barren wasteland where the sun is shrouded in an ash cloud and no animals or plants have survived, but humans have. The good are the ones that survive by scavanging for food and avoiding crossing paths with the bad. The bad are those that have chosen to use humans as a food source.
The story follows the travels of a man and his young son as they fight to stay alive in a world with no hope and no joy. Yet these two trek on with a light of goodness inside of them. The author uses exquisite language to describe a dead earth and a beautiful bond between father and son. I am glad I came upon this book here on PBS and am looking forward to reading others by McCarthy, who also wrote No Country For Old Men.
It was a very dark book, but the relationship between the father and son was as touching as it can be in their circumstances. In regards to the circumstances, I wish they had divulged more about what they were, but I don't think that was the point of the story. The human spirit was the main theme, but parts were a little scary. Reminded me of the Will Smith movie, I Am Legend...
I would recommend it.
The similes became overwhelming at times...we get it, everything is gray and ashy and bleak. I was unimpressed with the detached writing style (i.e. 'the boy looked at the man'). I found it hard to connect with the characters and feel the love the love they supposedly had for each other. To me, their relationship was more a father's duty to protect his son than actual love.
I could not put this down. Written in a spare and achingly clear voice. But, oh so bleak. I didn't get the hope out of it that some readers do and it left me frightend and despairing. It is, however, a masterful telling of a difficult story. It stays with me despite myself.
While this may be an unpopular review, I was disappointed. I found the book a hard read. It was confusing. Not the plot or story in itself, mind you - just the writing. I found this book to be full of fragmented sentences and run-on sentences that made me re-read the same paragraph several times. I "get" the idea of no quotation marks on the dialog, but at times it was difficult to tell if the characters were talking to eachother or if the main character was just thinking/remembering/dreaming (take your pick).
Now, I liked the actual theme of a wasted and savage future America - it was refreshing. The ending, however, left me needing some closure that just wasn't there. It is like the author decided that he was rambling with thoughts and needed to wrap it up fast. That was the only part of the book that read quickly.
All in all, this was not my favorite book and I probably won't recommend it to anyone.
This was one of the most disturbing books I have ever read. It was also one of the best books I have ever read. It has a unique style the way none of the main characters have proper names. They are referred to by their roles. Also, I liked the fact that the author never said what happened to cause the devastation nor any real cities or parts of the country. Some parts of the book were horrific but it made the book even more intense.
5.0 out of 5 stars Grim and haunting, January 10, 2010
I rate books on how much of an impact they have on me and whether or not I will think about or want to discuss the contents after I've read the last page and closed the cover. The Road is a post apocalyptic novel that will stay with me a very long time. The bleakness of the journey that this unnamed father and son embark on is quickly evident -- they are going south but have no real plan and no endpoint or destination in mind. They traverse an unrelenting and very bleak landscape of ash and burnt out flora, fauna and civilization -- devoid of any life except for the occasional creature that bears little resemblance to what was once humankind. The man and the boy stick to the endless blacktop, the road -- the only somewhat permanent residual marker in a very changed world. They walk by day, pushing a metal grocery cart full of their meager possessions, avoiding the marauding bands of cannibals and even the lone survivors as trust is not a trait they can afford to have when it is survival of the fittest at stake.
Though the story is very grim, the love and protectiveness that the father has for his son is the only light in this otherwise very depressing narrative. They are all unto each other -- there is no one else and nothing else. Memories that the man has are soon discarded as his reality is faced with plugged determination -- a search for food, water, warmth -- merely to survive another day.
I'm eager to see the movie based on this book and hope it's a faithful adaptation. This is definitely a novel that I will think about time and again as it haunts me with its stark portrayal of whatever comes after "the end of the world as we knew it."
I gave this 5 stars, not because it was a pleasant story, but because of the impact it had on my psyche and my senses as I read it.
I can't really say I LOVED this book, but I did live it.
Awesome book. I read it in a day. It grabs your emotions and does not let go. It is a bummer of a book and will depress you...that's for sure. It made me think a lot of my little boy and what hell it must be to be in that situation. The tale of a man and his son on a walk to the sea after an apocalyptic event. I read this in a day. I couldn't stop. It was disturbing as I found myself wondering "what if....."
Horrifying, engrossing, provocative.....these are just a few descriptions that come to my mind. I could not put this book down! A very haunting tale that you will carry with you for a long time. A story of a father and his young son in the final apocalyptic days of the earth. THE ROAD is the path they struggle along daily searching for basic necessities in a dying world. Written in short paragraphs, the novel is a journal of flashbacks, dreams and conversations between the man and the little boy. They struggle daily towards an unknown goal, facing inevitable death. Their frank discussions of death are gut wrenching. This book will have you considering your own reactions if faced with similar situations. This is shocking concept and you will want to discuss this book with others after you have read it. I highly recommend this novel.
This is one of the best books I have read in the last few years. Cormac McCarthy's writing style took me a little while to get the hang of, but after that, I couldn't put the book down. This was his first book I have read, and the only Oprah book I have ever read. No Country for Old Men is next on my list.
I hated this book so much that I stayed up for four hours one night finishing it. I couldn't put the stupid thing down. It left me asking questions and thinking about life. Read this book only if you have the self control to put it down every once in awhile to tend to your own life.
This book was an intense read that scared the "you know what" out of me. I could not put it down. I've never read anything quite like it and it does stay with you after you put it down and the Possibility of such an occurance.
This book is just "ok". It is a very interesting and thought-provoking story, but not one to read if you like a book that answers all it's questions and ties up all loose ends at the end of the story. The story has no real clear beginning or end.
What I did like about the book is that I felt I was really there in the story. The descriptions of the environment are so detailed I felt like I was in the story. It made me a little nervous in the dark at my house!
This is definitely not a long read. It has < 300 pages and there are huge paragraph breaks, and the font is probably size 14. :) Don't expect to get much reading time out of this. I finished it in a day and a half.
Cormac McCarthy is one of my favorite authors. His prose in this book is so eloquent and weaves an incredibly wonderful, horrible tale. I found this book one I turned to with a morbid fascination, and could not have put down even if I wanted to. Definitely worth a read, but due to its chilling nature, not one I would pick up a second time.
A memorable, but not necessarily enjoyable read. The writing style is unusual - terse and often incomplete sentences; the main characters are referred to as "The Man" and "The Boy". The book is set in a post-apocalypse world where few remain alive and meeting the bare necessities is almost impossible. From that perspective, the book is a fascinating look at what it takes to survive in such an environment.
This is unlike any other book that I have ever read. It takes place in the aftermath of what must be a massive nuclear war. A father and a son surviving on the "road" that leads to an uncertain future. No politics, no international intrigue, no "I told you so", nothing but survival from day to day. I was a bit put off at first, the story never leaves the father and the boy ever! but as I got into it... I was just amazed at what a great job McCarthy does painting word pictures in my mind. A very good book.
One of the reviewers of this book commented about the only apparent life in the book being human. My sense was that McCarthy is describing post-nuclear war, i.e., nuclear winter because of the cold and ash.
If any numbers of humans survived, then it is logical to conclude that humans would eat all animals until extinction for are we not doing it now even without a nuclear war?
Everyone should read this book along with the book "Overshoot." This book may well be our already written future history. We have not been kind to each other or to mother nature and McCarthy may well be describing for us the results of our life choices in our overuse of all of earth's bountifulness, including petroleum and other energy sources. Is not the world gearing up for war over the last petroleum and whose to say, in the fighting over the last barrel of oil, someone won't use the nuclear weapons so prevalent. McCarthy's character of the young boy keeps running through my brain--"Aren't we the good guys?" As I drive about using the last of the petroleum for somewhat questionable needs with me thinking I am one of the good gals on planet earth.
This story is fantastically told. There is a sense of dread which emanates from the pages. I read this book with a feeling similar to the sensation of watching a horror movie.... with hands covering eyes, but eyes peeking through my fingers to see what happens next. "Enjoy" is the wrong word to describe how I feel about this book; "appreciate" is a better choice. This book is a testament to the power of the written word.
I'm sorry I wasted my time with this book. I was expecting more from a well-known author & Oprah's book club. No character or story development. I'm glad I got this one through PBS & didn't waste my money.
When it comes to The Road, I was dissapointed. I read all of the reviews people posted and all the hype it was givin, i thought it couldn't be bad. Well, I got to page 60, and just decided it wasn't for me.
The writing style was different, which is fine. Thats not why I stopped reading the book. I felt like there was no direction in the book and leaves a lot of questions, like what happened to the world? Maybe he deliberatly left it that way so the reader could use their imagination. I dunno. I felt like it was just going in a way with no real direction. Maybe if I read it all the way through , i would see what the hype is all about!
WOW, what I book. It's about a nameless man and his young son, wandering through a world gone crazy; bleak, cold, dark, where the snow falls down gray; moving south toward the coast, looking somewhere, anywhere, for life and warmth. Nothing grows in this blasted world; people turn into cannibals to survive. We don't know if we're looking at the aftermath of a nuclear war, or maybe an extinction level event -- an asteroid or a comet; McCarthy deliberately doesn't tell us, and we come to realize it doesn't matter anyway.
Scary picture of what are world could come to if we could on of path of self destruction.
This was one of the strangest books I have ever read. I was always trying to figure out what had happened to get the man and the boy into the situation they were in. This is a real thought provoker with great visual immaging.
Synopsis: A man and a boy push a shopping cart with a bad wheel down a road. The road is covered with ashes, though there is no explanation as to the origin of the ashes. It rains. The man coughs. The little boy whines. They have bad shoes.
After a couple pages, the man and boy push the same shopping cart with the same bad wheel down the same road. They're hungry. It rains some more. The think they see someone else on the road. They see a house. They build a fire in a ditch. They wrap their feet in cloth. They pass through a town. There are lots of ashes.
After a couple pages the man and boy have trouble pushing the shopping cart with the bad wheel down the road. It's cold and wet. They avoid someone. They wrap their feet in coats. They see a house and find something disgusting to eat. It snows. There are ashes everywhere.
A ragtag army comes up behind the man and the boy pushing the shopping cart with the bad wheel down the road. They get off the road. They kill a man. They run away. The man thinks he knows where they are on the map. They wrap their feet in a plastic tarp. They return for the shopping cart with the bad wheel and push it down the road in the rain. Not so many ashes, but they will be back. They build a fire in the woods.
They build a fire in a fireplace in an empty house. The man tries to fix the wheel on the shopping cart so he and the boy can push it down the road more easily. It works better for a couple pages. They build a fire under a bridge. The man isn't sure where they are on the map. They are hungry but refuse to kill and eat anyone, though that's what everyone else seems to be doing. The rain and ashes are back.
The man finds a trove that would last months, maybe years. They don't have to build a fire because they have a stove. The man has no idea where they are on the map. The little boy fails to close the gas valve properly. They don't build a fire beside the road. They load their shopping cart with the wheel that's gone bad again and leave everything behind them that they can't carry and push the shopping cart down the road. They have bathed. They have new shoes. It's raining. They are ash deep in the remains of a fire.
The wheel gets worse as the man and boy push the shopping cart down the road. The man coughs. They build a fire in the road. The man knows where they are on the map. They avoid some people they see. They avoid some people who aren't there. The boy whines. They meet and feed someone on the road who says his name's not Ely. They continue down the road.
They go through some towns. They see some houses. They push the shopping cart. They get a wheelbarrow. It rains. The earth quakes. Lightning flashes. They build a fire under a bridge again. The ashes make things tougher. Did I mention their shoes? Their shoes are worn out by the ashes and the rain and the snow and pushing the shopping cart down the road. They wrap their feet in layer upon layer of whatever the author can think of. The man isn't sure where they are on the map. The shopping cart has a bad wheel.
They reach the ocean. The man ransacks a beached sailing ship. He coughs. The boy loses their pistol. They find the pistol. It's dark. It rains. The ocean isn't blue. There are ashes as far as the eye can see. Someone tries to rob them. The man forces the robber to strip naked and they leave him. The boy whines. They return to succor the naked thief. He's not there. The boy whines again.
The man coughs and dies. Another man shows up. The boy goes with the other man.
Now you don't have to suffer through 241 pages of rain, ashes and pushing a shopping cart with a bad wheel down some stupid road.
I read a fair amount. I have pretty good reading, writing and speaking vocabularies. The above words are in The Road. Two of them I could not find even in the OED. The ones I could look up mostly had mundane meanings. I like books that stretch my vocabulary, but not books that stretch my vocabulary to no end. Why is "chary" better than "wary," which is what chary means. Why is "gryke" better than its preferred spelling grike and why return to the 18th century to tell me there was a crevasse in the limestone cliff. I don't find stumbling over unnecessary obscure words conducive to my reading pleasure, nor am I impressed by big words.
I understand that The Road has been favorably compared to Stephen King's "The Stand." "The Stand," in one of its editions, is more than 1300 pages long. It's a brilliant book. "The Road" couldn't hold "The Stand's" jock. That being said, "The Stand" is not the best end-of-the-world book. King got his idea from George Stewart's masterpiece, "Earth Abides."
"Earth Abides" is the quintessential end-of-the-world book. It reflects reality. It is a great story, It invites the reader to think. In its most recent edition it is 368 pages.
If you are looking for the best in post apocalyptic literature, no one will ever be able to top "Earth Abides!" (This message brought to you by Post, the official Cereal of the Apocalypse!)
If you are looking for a book with little punctuation, no attributions, no chapters, etc. stick with "The Road" If you want to read a real book, read just about anything else. Maybe if enough people buy "The Road," McCarthy can buy a typewriter that has a working comma key, apostrophe key, quotation marks, etc. That's not enough of an incentive for you to spend any amount of money on this book. I am ashamed to have to tell my wife I paid money for it.
This is worse than a bad book.
There was one noteworthy moment in "The Road. On page 145 an old man notes, "Where man can't live, gods fare no better." You just dodged another bullet. I told you the story above. You know the one vaguely insightful line. Don't send me any money, but next time you're in a book store and you see someone considering this book, warn them. That will be thanks enough.
Dark...mesmerizing...I could not put it down. I read it in about 2 hours and I imagine this book will stay with me for a while. Very disturbing premise and the visuals that you will collect while reading this may haunt you. Although it is a very dark book, I am glad that I read it.
The Road was a very exceptional book. It tells the story of a father and son after the earth has burned and most of its inhabitants are deceased and gone. They search along the road for life. Your heart bleeds and you feel completely engrossed in their journey. I had a hard time putting this down and understand why Oprah chose this book for her book club!
Depressing. Even with the wonderful story of the love a father has for his son, this was a depressing book. I'm not saying it was bad -- far from it. This was a fantastic read, and very quick. Based on other reviews, I fully expected it to be rather dark, but I did not anticipate how much it would affect me emotionally.
I am not an emotional guy. I have never cried at a movie ("The Fox and the Hound" doesn't count -- I was in grade school) and I certainly have never cried while reading a book. Until now. I suspect that it had the effect on me that it did because I, myself, have a young son. I have no doubt that this book has been an important read for many people, but for all that, it is even more profound for a father.
Or maybe it's just me and I should lay off the late-night coffee...
Once you read this book, you'll never forget it. It's dark and sad yet beautifully written. A very thought provoking book. The most touching part of the book for me was the love between the father and son and the lengths they went through to stay together.
I think I understand what McCarthy is trying to convey: futility, despair, the nobility of a father trying to care for his son in a nightmare scenario. But the stripped-down style and flat, monotonous, droning narration strip the story of any emotional resonance it might have carried. It turns into a repetitious series of "walk/run, hide, eat, sleep" in a cold, grey, ashy world, related in a prose style that does as much to obscure as it does to illuminate. To me, at least, ultimately the road leads nowhere.
I picked this book up because I like reading dystopian/post apocalyptic fiction and because of the awards and accolades associated with this book and author. Despite these, this book with its lack of punctuation and its short sentences and paragraphs is almost unreadable. I, like the father and son in this novel, floundered and trudged through this book. Incidently, "trudge", "flounder" and "Ash" as in "everything is covered in ash", are the most commonly recurring words in this book. I get it, oversimplification, no chapter breaks and really short paragraphs were used as a literary device. At one point the main character is thinks about the uselessness of books when day to day survival is the main concern. Yet many books in this genre convey this urgency in an interesting way. I did not care about the father and son in this book I only wanted this to end one way or another. At least it was short.
This copy was actually a gift for someone but I have read this book before and I love it! It is not something I would normally think I would like but it it such an excellent book that I couldn't put it down.
Brilliant, mesmerizing and terrifying. This was, for me, the ultimate "couldn't put it down" book.
When the author talked about "cold" and "dark" I found myself imagining the world with no sun to warm it, with no lights, moon or stars to brighten it....it would, indeed be a cold, dark place. The only warmth in this story was the shared love between a father and son.
I had heard a ton about this book so when I saw it for sale on Audible.com for $4.95 I decided to download it and give it a listen. It is an okay book. The contrast between poignant landscape descriptions and the sparse dialogue is interesting. The ambiguity of the story adds to the mystery of it all. I didn't think there was much here that I hadn't read before though. Much of the story gets repetitive...especially where dialogue is concerned.
A boy and his father travel the Road South to escape the cold brought on my some horrible post-apocalyptic disaster. They struggle to survive and occasionally stumble upon the "bad people" who are basically cannibalistic cults.
The audiobook itself was very well done. The narrator did an excellent job distinguishing between voices of the characters and his inflection matched the mood of the story perfectly. I think I enjoyed this more as an audiobook than I would have reading it since McCarthy doesn't do a good job distinguishing between who's talking in the writing but the narrator did an excellent job with that.
There is a lot of ambiguity in this book. Some horrible disaster happened; it involved lots of fire and has ruined the air quality, it destroyed civilization as it was known reducing humanity to lone survivors and cannibalistic cults. You can only assume that the disaster was volcanic in nature because of the ever present ash, the occasional earthquakes, and the continuing growing coldness. I suppose it could have also been nuclear in nature or something like that. This is never defined well. I guess the point is the world has ended and all humans can do is survive.
The two main characters are a man and his son. Again lots of ambiguity here. We never learn either of their names or the boy's age. I was very curious about the age of the boy, he both seemed very young and very aged at different points in the book. McCarthy is careful not to give away the boy's age, not sure what purpose this had, maybe to make him more relatable across a wider age group.
Basically the whole story is the man and boy wandering South trying to find food and stay warm. It gets pretty repetitive. I stopped counting the number of time the boy said "I'm really scared" because pretty much that is the only emotion we get from the boy for the majority of the book. I also stopped counting the number of times the man said "It's really cold". I understand that fear, hunger, and cold were major driving forces in this book I just wish that more variations of language had been used to describe these themes.
That being said the language is stark and there is a lot of repetition; despite that there are moments of wonderful description where McCarthy paints an absolutely wonderful picture with the phrases he uses. These moments are all the more distinct because of the starkness surrounding them.
The relationship between the boy and the man is worth discussing briefly as well. They obviously love each other, but the man is a man of little imagination and few words. He loses his temper fairly easily and expects the boy to act more grown up at times. It is hard to judge how out of line the man's expectations are since we never learn the age of the boy. The boy acted much more mature than I would have expected any child to act in this situation; he has an innocence about him and a stoicness that is impressive, still he is more idealistic than the man. It was an interesting contrast in characters.
I would recommend this book for young adult and older because of some of the graphic violence. There is a lot of cannabalism in this book. One of the worst scenes involves a newborn baby being fried on a spit over a flame. There are also humans that are captured and held as food sources. The boy and the man skirt these evil communes, but manage to mostly stay clear of them.
Overall this was an okay read. It is kind of repetitive and there is a lot of ambiguity in the story that I didn't enjoy. It is a depressing read but makes an interesting statement about human nature in the face of apocalypse. I really don't think there is much here that you haven't read in other post-apocalytpic novels; this book deals with many of the same issues (food, weather, air quality) that you've seen in other books about apocalypse via volcano. The relationship between the boy and his father is somewhat interesting but pretty stark and it makes both of these characters somewhat hard to relate to. For those interested in post-apocalyptic reads I would recommend The Angels are the Reapers, Ashfall, Ashes, Blood Red Road, and Life as We Knew It over this book.
This is definitly a dark, creepy futuristic story. However, in a wierd way, it really captures the bond between a parent and child. The way the dialogue between father and son is written in the novel, provides the reader with a clear impression of the landscape and emotions experienced by the characters. Very unique
This book is amazing from start to end it does not let you go. The style of writing the author uses is perfect for this type of books, Post Apocalyptic World. I encourage everyone to give this book a try.
I read this book in less than a day, could not put it down, but could not read it without my kids around me, laughing and playing and being safe. I couldn't read it last night in bed alone, that was too too scary. I love how McCarthy writes so cleanly, I wasn't constantly scribbling down words I don't know that I'd have to look up later; he's just straightforward and raw and somehow strangely beautiful even when he's describing post-apocolyptic carnage. The love between these two characters "the man" and "the boy," was so powerful, so moving.
A beautiful, elegiac story of a father and son in a terrifying, post-apocalyptic world. There were times when I had to put the book down because I was so afraid something terrible was about to happen to the two, yet my six year old daughter insisted I read passage after passage to her (I skipped over the frightening portions of the story when reading to her), because the relationship between the boy and his father was so tender.
And the writing is wonderful; I may not be able to describe what differentiates good writing from bad, but I can recognize great writing when I read it. This is it.
Finally, the book has helped me prepare for the fact that my parents won't be here all that much longer. Thank you, Cormac McCarthy, for that.
I love Cormac McCarthy. This book was by far his most devastating --and most beautiful. Very intense. I had to force myself to put it down at times just to take a break! The imagery won't easily leave your mind."
Very bleak and harrowing postapocalyptic novel telling the story of a man and his young son trying to survive after a world-wide holocaust. This was a very moving story of the journey the pair take and their love for each other. In the novel, the world has basically been totally destroyed with no living animals or plants surviving. Many of the remaining humans have apparently resorted to cannibalism to survive. The novel does not say exactly what happened to destroy the earth, but you can conclude it wasn't nuclear because the water is drinkable and no one appears to be dying from radiation sickness. In any event, overall a very moving and profound story that I would recommend.
Cormac McCarthy is one of you best writers in the 21st century. This book will lead you to his other writings which are just as gripping and diverse. I can't imagine a more wonderful father-son story written in a worse time than this. TRY to put it down.....
I've never before gotten through a Cormac McCarthy novel. His writing style doesn't appeal to me; it feels a bit self-indulgent. In spite of this, I could not put down 'The Road' once I started reading it. Is it bleak? Yes: it's McCarthy, after all, and a post-apocalyptic setting to boot. Particularly impressive, though: it's a page-turner in which very little actually happens. And the characterization of the son is pitch-perfect. I am glad that I read it.
Very very good and very sad, dark and depressing. It was terrifying to see what human beings did to each other when faced with starvation and when there were no laws to abide by. The scariest parts of the book were when the father and son saw other people. The ending was so sad, I wanted to believe the boys life would eventually get better but the sad truth is that it never would. This is definately one of those books that stayed with me long after I finished reading it. I would recommend this.
Depressing and oppressive and made me wonder WHY someone would write such a sad and gut wrenching tale. I think the author wanted readers to consider how we deal love and faith in the most dire of circumstances. How would we protect what we love most -- and would that protection end up causing more harm? Great book for discussion, but certainly not something I'd recommend in general.
Suspenseful, thrilling....but disturbing in some places. You keep waiting for the 'light at the end of the tunnel'...but...well...you'll have to read it for yourself, but this book definitely builds inside us an appreciation for our children. It also outlines the issues involved in the aftermath a major disaster.
Long dark and arduous; you can feel the gray ash. Cormac has a unique way of phrasing his sentences; the future's equivalent of Old English. I finished this book in 24 hours, granted I had a lot time on my hands. Not sure if it was Pulitzer worthy but I enjoyed it immensely regardless. 4 1/2 stars.
I was hesitant about reading this book due to it's depressing plot, my husband gave it to me for a gift. However, once I did start to read it, I couldn't put the book down. It's more than just a survival story, it's a touching story about a father's love for his son and everything he is willing to do to see to it that his son lives on in dire circumstances. Well written and very believable.
This book is not about the end of the world. It's not about nuclear winter, man's inevitable murder of the planet, the inherent barbarity of man, none of that. This book is about the only thing that matters, a parent's love for a child, and what at the absolutely basic level of survival you can and cannot do for those whom you treasure most, what you will go through and what you must decide upon for them to have all they need and deserve.
id heard a lot of things about this book- and they were either really really great or really really bad. my mom bought it and loved it but she didnt think id like it....WRONG!!!
it's a beautifully written tale about a boy and his father who are travelling across the country looking for safety. the world has ended, everyone and everything is dead (though you have no clue when, where, why or how.) it's really interesting because the reader is given no information- how the characters came to be, their names, where they are from, nada. you just follow them on their journey- though they have no idea where they are going or why. they just must keep going, must find food, must find safety.
it's nothing like i've ever read before and i very much enjoyed it! yeah!
This is one heck of a depressing read, but not so depressing that you can't finish or don't want. The book is set in what would be post destruction of earth. A man and his son, whose names we never learn, are walking the roads just trying to survive in a world where everything has been burned. Not many people are left and those that are left will do most anything to get something to eat. Some have taken to eating humans just to survive. Food is scarce and what they do find is not the best. To me this scenario is scarier than any ghost, goblin, vampire, zombie, or werewolf could ever dream of being.
I read this book for my book club. We haven't met to discuss it yet but I am looking forward to the conversation. Difficult to say that I loved the book as the subject matter is so bleak but it was extremely well done. The prose and the subject matter meshed beautifully. The dearth of color in the book made me appreciate our colorful world the more. There was beauty in the love between the man and his son and beauty in the nature of the son. But I was hoping for just a sprig of green to give hope to the world.
This is an amazing book. I don't know what to say about it. In all its horror is a beautifully written survival tale. It is disturbing and depressing, and definitely not for everyone. However I was glued to every page. This one is going to haunt me. I will never forget this book.
I've never before gotten through a Cormac McCarthy novel. His writing style doesn't appeal to me; it feels a bit self-indulgent. In spite of this, I could not put down 'The Road' once I started reading it. Is it bleak? Yes: it's McCarthy, after all, and a post-apocalyptic setting to boot. Particularly impressive, though: it's a page-turner in which very little actually happens. And the characterization of the son is pitch-perfect. I am glad that I read it.
A terrible tragedy befalls the earth. Its aftermath leaves a barren world, where a man, ill, gtubbornly trying to make the best of a horrible situation, takes his young son on a seemingly endless journey on 'the road.'
This world is full of greys: grey sky, grey damaged earth, dark grey, useless trees...and the two survivors wander to find something better.
I have seen the film and read the book--neither gives much comfort. The only episode in the book that comforts a little concerns a bunker with a cache of food the man finds, and they sojourn there for a short while. It is the closest thing to joy I've seen in the book.
For those who can deal with tragedy on this scale, or as a cautionary tale of what could be, this is a good read. For me, though, both film and book made me sad.
I give this book four stars. The only part of this book I would reread is the passage about that brief sojourn. The rest would be left unread, and I would then imagine a better ending for the story....
This story is a long, bleak, gray colored tale of a world lost in destruction. The bond between father and son is explored in the most primitive terms. The depths of human depravity are always on tap. Heart-wrenching, grueling, and dark...yet always with a glimmer of hope. God seems to be far away, yet right there.
This was one of the worst books I've ever read! Each page was the exact same as the last with absolutely no character development! I kept waiting for something.... Anything to happen but the next page practically repeated the last. I actually threw the book away it was so not worth my time! Could anyone tell me what they possibly enjoyed about it?
It reminds me of the scene in Tom Sawyer when the townspeople were tricked into seeing the show of the two naked and painted men. The first night 1/2 the people were tricked and they were so embarrassed by bring tricked they said how great the show was and the 2nd night the other 1/2 was tricked. On the third night everyone showed up upset at being suckered and wanted to exact revenge only to be outwitted again! Boy was I suckered by all earlier reviews!
I am an avid reader of all types of genres. With that said, this book is very unimpressive. I have read so many reviews that are so negative and that say that I shouldn't finish the book because it is a waste of time. I really have to agree. The writing style, lack of plot, and lack of grammar are all good reasons why I chose to stop reading this book. There are lots of wonderful books out there- but this one isn't it. I can't find a reason to continue with this one.
I still can't figure out what all of the fuss is about.
As a story, this is a failure because it tells you nothing. You ask questions -- what was the great big apocalypse, who did it, where is everyone, how did these people manage to survive -- but you don't get any answers.
As a testament of how strong parental love can be ... well, I had difficulty "getting" this from the story because the language was so sparse that any great acts of love came off as sounding hollow. More details may have gone against the book's style, but it would have rung truer and had more of an emotional impact.
Mercifully, it was a fast and simple, yet unsatisfying, read.
I agree with a lot of the other reviews about this book on PBS, there are a lot of unanswered questions that left me a little frustrated, too. I also don't REALLY understand what all the hype around this book was about but, I still enjoyed it. It's a unique and fascinating story, even if you have to just kind of accept it without questioning how it came to be. I cried at the end nonetheless.
About 20 pages into The Road by Cormac McCarthy, I didn't think I was going to be able to finish the book. However, I had heard so many good things about the novel -- which features a theme that's right up my alley -- that I perservered. In the end, I'm glad I finished the book, but I know that I will never, ever read it again, and probably wouldn't recommend it to others.
My biggest problem with The Road was the author's use of language. I know that the lack of punctuation was for effect. I get that. But the inconsistencies drove me crazy -- I just couldn't turn off the inner editor in my mind. Why, Mr. McCarthy, do you only use commas in dialogue? (I mean, I have to guess that those sections were dialogue because you also don't seem to think quotation marks are important.) And why do you use apostrophes in some possessives and not others? Some contractions, but not others? In your post-apocalyptic world, is punctuation as scarce as food?
It's a shame that this device was so distracting, because in other ways, the writing is quite beautiful. McCarthy's word choice is surprising at times and very descriptive, helping draw the reader quickly into the despair felt by the story's nameless father and son, and painting a bleak image of the world they now live in.
The Road takes place years after a global disaster. Although it is never defined, I gathered that it was some kind of meteor event, based on the sooty air and the lack of concern over radiation. The story follows a father and young son -- each the other's whole world -- as they struggle to find food and resources by scavenging the scorched land. They are walking to the sea and to warmer climates, fighting a daily struggle to stay fed and to avoid contact with other survivors -- many of whom have resorted to cannibalism.
I know this was not supposed to be an uplifting story. But as a parent, I found it extremly difficult to read. The suffering is so palpable, and the love between the father and son is so compelling, even reading about their pain was almost unbearable. I considering closing the cover for good more than once.
Another problem I had with The Road was the naked and matter-of-fact horrors it contained. The gruesomeness of this new world was almost too much to stomach. For example, in one scene, the "good guys" encounter other survivors that are cooking a headless baby on a spit. I read horror, and expect to be shocked by authors when reading those books. But in this context, it was so grim and disturbing, I actually had nightmares about it.
Overall, I can't say The Road was a bad book. From a literary standpoint, I understand why it has received such acclaim -- McCarthy makes some very brave choices in his writing style and subject matter that really make the book notable.
But the bottom line is, I didn't like The Road, and I felt nothing other than a sense of relief when it was finished. I know Oprah recommended it, but I just can't do the same.
A wretched waste of paper. And it drags on and on, and I must be masochistic because I read it in its entirety. The Road is the penultimate of what I call the "Man Sucks" genre, i.e., man is evil, everything man touches will be destroyed, and yet, man is determined to persevere. If you read The Road you'll surely wonder why anyone in their right minds would want to continue existing in the dreaded wasteland McCarthy has coughed up. Why bother? What future is there for your child? Speaking of which, this whole "Man" and "Boy" nonsense gets old fast; it's an irritating affectation, but no doubt Cormac wants us to think this is Everyman and Everyboy. There is nothing subtle about Cormac. The man's determined to shovel down the reader's throat his message: Look at the devastation man has wrought, be horrified by the slavery and cannibalism, and yet, dear reader, note the tender love of a father for his son. I am rolling my eyes even now.
I loved this book. Cormac McCarthy is a pecular writer. But his take on navigating post apocalyptic world is very different. He doesn't explain how the world got this way and that bugged me for awhile but I completely got over it by mid book. If you like this sort of thing, I think you'll really enjoy this book.
I dont even want to use the word "depressing" because i have read novels of the sort and have loved them. This book was just plain depressingly BORING. I honestly don't know how it's a Pulitzer Prize winner. There was no explanation of how the world got this way...the ending was really the only way out yet parts of it didn't make any sense. To me, anyone could have written a bunch of fragmented thoughts and written this book. Punctuation, grammar and quotation were deviant also. How on earth (no pun)this will be a movie is beyond me!
Took this book with me on a recent trip to Las Vegas. Honestly I would not have finished it if I could have found an alternative but it was all I had and bookstores are unheard of on the strip. That being said, I did enjoy it although there were times I dreaded picking it back up. Haunting and being transformed to a place I'd rather not consider sums it up but does not begin to describe the trip. The hopelessness is almost unbearable and yet they go on. The father and son provide surprising reminders of the complexity of relationships and how they are ever evolving. Who is the protector and who the protected? Do you view the world as hostile or forgiving? Surprising answers if you are wiling to take the trip.
A scary, depressing book. This is the kind of story that will haunt you for months afterward. It doesn't have much of a point except to raise the question of 'how hopeless do things have to be before a person will give up life in favor of whatever peace he can find in the next world?' Although I liked Cormac McCarthy's other books I would not reccomend this one.
Most of the time when you read the word' "post-apocalyptic America" on the back of a book a few things flash through your mind. Mostly cheesy sci-fi movies from the 80's right? Well Cormac McCarthy's vision will forever huant you, if you dicide to give it a try. His display of the simple love of a father, and the greater gumption of humanity, will bring you to tears. I felt i was in the torn burned america, the father and son's small and great victorys were mine too as well as there heart breaks. From the first words to the last i was captivated, Cormac McCarthy writes with a dark poetry that flows of the page and sticks in your mind long after you've closed the book.
McCarthy is obsessed with dard road trip stories, obviously, and he is very good at telling them. I was fascinated by this post doomsday tale. His characters and stories are always tightly drawn, and I am fascinated that he can do this with such sparse prose, reminds me of Hemingway's style. The movie was excellent as well.
Another 2.5 book - and I can't decide if it's to be rounded up or down. I didn't like it, but I didn't dislike it either. A father travels with his son down the road in a post-apocalyptic world. More a portrait than a story, this paints a picture of a bleak world where life is all but obliterated after some unnamed cataclysmic event. I can see why it won the acclaim it did, but it's just not my type of book. More than the deliberate lack of punctuation, what really irritated me most was the prevalence of sentence fragments. I understand it's for the effect, but it took me several tries through months to pick it back up after I pretty much flung it down in disgust after reading a couple of pages the first time I opened it. I've read dystopia before so the depressing theme did not bother me, but the lack of a real story did. (Yes, I understand it's about the characters and their relationship, not what happens to them.) It did manage to catch my interest at last more than halfway through the book when a few things actually started to happen to the father and boy, but I found the end flat and disappointing after half-expecting some "Of Mice & Men" type of climax. While I'm glad I managed to get through it, I can't really recommend it except for an experience. Great book to read for an English paper, but not for pleasure.
I was really, really excited to read this book and, honestly, was really, really disappointed by it in the end. The author never names his characters - they are simply "the man" and "the boy", a faceless father and his faceless son. They have no past, they have no future. A good idea, but only in theory (at least with this author's writing style). The fact that they could be just about anyone is interesting; however, it's really difficult to connect with these two characters when you know absolutely nothing about them. And their characters don't become any clearer, either. (I challenge anyone who read this book to name three solid traits for either character. I found it absolutely impossible.) There's a lot more I could say, but I'll just make one more important point. I was distracted all of the way through the story with questions about the disaster. There is no disaster, in my mind, that could have caused the situation described by McCarthy. And if there is one that I've missed, I wish he would have just come out with it. It's important. I hate being in a story where I spend the whole time trying to figure out the basics. And that's what The Road was all about. You end almost just where you start.
This was a book that I did not intend to read. I had read a number of raving reviews about it, but it just did not tickle my fancy. I am not into "futuristic" genre and thinking that was what this book was all about turned me away from reading it, regardless of its very good reviews. But...
I read it !! And I am really happy I did. I was intrigued by the writing style - not a lot of authors can pull this off. And the story was not what I expected either. There was not the typical futuristic advanced technology at work in this story, but just the opposite - a barren new world, barely populated, very dangerous, without all the ameities that we take for granted, seen through the eyes of a father and his son.
I would recommend this book to anyone. It is a very easy read and not like anything you have probably ever read before.
This is the story of a man, and his son traveling through a colorless, dirty, burnt out, post apocalyptical America. They encounter a number of "bad" people, and some fellow suffering travelers on their quest for the sea. The writing is excellent, with Mr. McCarthy painting pictures with words, and exploring the depth of emotions between man and son on this sad journey of survival. In the end, I was emotional, heart broken, and bouyant over the dedication, commitment, and love between this father and son.
TWO STARVING ROAD WARRIORS:
Actually I just watched the movie made from this book a few days ago. The movie is indeed haunting and stark. The problem was that there seemed to be no explanation for why the world was suddenly a ruinous wrack with civilization completely collapsed. The entire back story there was just left out. As for the journey of the father and son in the movie it was moving and interesting while remaining bleak. As another reviewer noted here there were basically no positive happenings in the story. The portrayal of the relationship and abiding love and protectiveness between the father and son was touching while offset against the horror of cannabilistic violence prone gangs of persons willing to harm anyone in the name of personal survival. If the book ended as did the movie, I too am left unimpressed... I don't see that much changed for the boy in his overall circumstances.
While many Cormac McCarthy fans love this book, I found it very depressing. The last paragraph is not enough to redeem his grim vision of post-apocalytic America. I also am personally offended by McCarthy's refusal to use apostrophes and commas correctly and find this just distracting. However, Orpah and many others found this book wonderful.
This book got my interest originally because it was written by the same person who wrote 'No Country for Old Men'. I had seen that as a movie, but had not read the book, and I wanted to read something by the same author without the preconceived notions you get from seeing a movie first. Once I started reading, I was pulled into the story of the two main characters and their journey on the road. I have seen criticisms of this book referring to the lack of punctuation and to the lack of clarity at times of which character is speaking, but for me it reflected the chaos of the world they are trying to survive in. This was one of those books where I found myself being pulled into the plot in the "what would I do in this situation?" kind of way. Ultimately, this book made me really think about what life is when all there is are the basics and the niceties are stripped away. And anytime a book makes me think when I am away from actually reading it, I think the author has more than done his work.
A more than worthwhile book!
This book was really good. I was unsure about it at first because it is not what I normally read, but I am so glad I gave it a try. I could envision the surrounding as the man and boy traveled down the road. It was a sad story, but so well written. I had never read anything by this author before and now I want to try one of his other books.
I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. The writing style is different, very sparse, but that goes along with the theme. I didn't find it nearly as disturbing as some others who've reviewed this book, but I tend to love dark and ominous stories. I read this book in 2 days which is super fast for me.
The movie was fantastic, dark and emotional, so I bought the book. The writing style is so awkward and confusing, I found it to be a waste of time. I put the book down after a few chapters. Not at all what I hoped for. It isn't often I say this, but skip the book and watch the film.
I love the writing style in the book. Poetic, and beautifully tragic. It was really short, but emotionally more difficult to read. Probably could be read in 6 hours. This is how every parent/child relationship should be-apocalypse or not. It gives perspective in the sense of simplification, survival and how those can be achieved with out certain sacrifices. I seen the movie before I read the book, and the book was well worth the read... way more detail and description, and subsequently, more explanation. Though it still remained perfectly anonymous, which is why this is one of the best end of the world books out there. The thoughts I had during this read, whether apocalyptic or just relationships kept going beyond the words on the page.
When I read other reviews of this book I wasn't sure I would like it due to the depressing theme. BUT once I started it I couldn't put it down. Just make sure you have a tissue handy to help you get through the end. Now I'm anxious to see the movie.
I've never before gotten through a Cormac McCarthy novel. His writing style doesn't appeal to me; it feels a bit self-indulgent. In spite of this, I could not put down 'The Road' once I started reading it. Is it bleak? Yes: it's McCarthy, after all, and a post-apocalyptic setting to boot. Particularly impressive, though: it's a page-turner in which very little actually happens. And the characterization of the son is pitch-perfect. I am glad that I read it.
The punctuation in this book drove me crazy. Don't is dont, can't is cant. Run on sentences abound. I had to read passages two or three times to get the meaning. Dark, dark, book. Don't know what Oprah was thinking.
Well, I liked it--thinking of it as a sort of sci-fi, in which genre, survival-after-the-end-of-the-world stories like Alas Babylon--have always fascinated me. I would have liked it better if it had at least explained how the hideous situation in the book had come about. Perhaps that would have been too much trouble for the author, with a bit of research being necessary to make the explanation plausible. Am I being too hard on him?
At any rate, it is a very dark story with little to redeem the mood, except the love of the boy and his father and the kindness of a couple of people at the very end, no character development, a extremely thin plot line... In fact, there is not very much to it at all, except evading dangerous people, finding food, reaching the sea, and the father's illness, and I find the way the conversations are handled irritating.
I did NOT like this book. In fact, I couldn't even finish it. There was nothing but despair and desolation and canibals. I know they are releasing a movie based on this book, and after forcing myself to read what little I did, I know I won't be watching the movie...or maybe this will be one that I hope is DIFFERENT from the book.
Not a light read. Not something to read before going to bed. Not pleasure reading.
This is one of the most disturbing yet starkly beautiful books that I have ever read. The relationship between father and son in this novel is at the core, and it is a story of devotion and sacrifice. Wonderful.
I honest don't see why this book was so popular. It even made the Oprah Book Club and sold millions of copies but it is as dark and depressing as anything I have ever read with no relief in sight. McCarthy paints a post apocalyptic world full of hazards, especially other humans. If there is any redeeming quality in the book it is the faintest glimmer of hope revealed in the protagonist and his charge in the face of the most dire of circumstances. If you love stories about a post holocaust world, seek professional help before reading this dark tome.
Slow to explain the origin of their circumstances it unfolds the paternal love and passing of knowledge from a "Man" to his legacy. Hardship and fleeting moments of joy and story telling that are so necessary in a young man's life. Hope springs eternal in even the bleakest of times. Worth the time and the gift of an oracle in this time of building for our futures. Food for thought that will keep the reader in hope and awakening thoughts of our heritage.
I think the story was poignant, but I did not like it. I read it to see if they made it to the shore. They did. There was a lucky ending for the boy and well since the first coughing fit the man had, we knew he was on borrowed time.
It was supposed to be realistic and gritty, but we never know what we are capable of until we are faced with that decision. It is of their journey on the road to the shore, no before and no after, just the medias reis, the middle of the story.
This is a chilling, creatively told tale of survival in a post-apocalyptic US. It is captivating in its intensity and its tenderness. Of course, images from post-apocalyptic movies i've seen came to mind, specifically "The Book of Eli" with Denzel Washington. A great book, albeit troubling.
A disappointment. Dark and depressing, this post-apocalyptic novel doesn't cover any ground not already trodden. The flat-affect style McCarthy uses in this one is totally appropriate to the story, but it's still a tough read.
Perhaps a bit too contemporary and drab to be judged one of McCarthy's best in my opinion. The opening pages introduce the reader to a quirky prose style, in my opinion, with paragraphs being very short and reading almost like a prose poem. The effect is a fast read and quick landscape and immediate access to the narrator's thoughts via characters; however, the flow never really takes me away.
Obviously a very rich read in terms of metaphor and allegory, the reader liking allusion and opaque themes will relish this read. A contemporary "Everyman" if you will here--I saw the film in the UK a few weeks ago and do feel it follows the story and a faithful rendition.
In the end, better McCarthy prose is out there such as "No Country..." and "All the Pretty..." for starters.
I have read this book. It is an easy read, and I did not much like it. I do not typically read these types of books, yet a friend recommended it. I felt the author was trying too hard to portray feelings and such, and used bigger words than necessary at times. The book was not memorable save for a few parts, a paragraph here or there. Otherwise, the book was a bit on the boring side to me, and sometimes confusing since the author used 'he' meaning the boy and the father... so I had to stop and think who the author was talking about, the boy or the father in the sentence. Though the book had some gruesome parts, I felt those parts were not detailed enough, as scary as that sounds. It was just a couple sentences, and then the author moved on.... maybe that was the intent. So to say, this book was not for me =)
A father and son walk alone through burned out America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is he coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food-and each other.
The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each other's world enitre", are sustained by love. Awesome is the totality of its vision, The Road is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: unltimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.
This story is so---"lonley", that's the word that keeps coming to mind after i read it. I try to stay away from stories that have small children, animals, and older people abused or or inharms way--but i keep reading them! Go figure. It always makes me feel depressed and this is how this book left me. I really don't know if it was the author or the fact of the small child being part of the story, i wanted to help him and the story left me wanting more explinations. The writing was very good but there is alot that wasn't told,I wish there were more explination about the beginning of this saga, it was quite suspensefull, but again it left me feeling--lonley.
This was an okay book. To bad it didn't tell what had happened to set this man and his son on the road. It was fast paced but I didn't care much for the style of writing. I guess I'd see if the movie was any better than the book. A tepid 2.5 stars for me.
This book was brillant. I think the people who found it had no point and were annoyed because no real explanation was given of why the world had come to be that way just want light reading with a happy ending and should stick to watching dramas on television that are summed up and solved in between commercials.