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Topic: For those of you that read The Road

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Subject: For those of you that read The Road
Date Posted: 9/10/2007 1:12 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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What did you think?

I found the book to be strange.  It was an easy read but went nowhere.  No descriptions, no names, nothing.

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 1:39 AM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2006
Posts: 80
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I was riveted by this book. The lack of light, the sparse descriptions, very little dialogue--all of it gave me the atmosphere of what it would be like to live in a ravaged world, robbed of all we have come to take for granted. I cried at the the end and during this book, actually. And i am not a crier usually. The book blew me away and the sun never looked so good after that. However, I do know many people who had a similar reaction to yours. I thought about that book for days after reading it.  

Jody  CR: Plain Secrets: An Outsider Among the Amish by Joe Mackall

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 4:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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I know most people liked the book.  But I thought it was strange that you did not know what happened.  There were no names.  I liked the book because of what it did tell but where were the other people that survived whatever happened.

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2005
Posts: 385
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The Road is our book club choice for February and I'm afraid it may be a bit dark for my taste-

Amazon Review-

Cormac McCarthy sets his new novel, The Road, in a post-apocalyptic blight of gray skies that drizzle ash, a world in which all matter of wildlife is extinct, starvation is not only prevalent but nearly all-encompassing, and marauding bands of cannibals roam the environment with pieces of human flesh stuck between their teeth.

If you have read it let me know what your impressions were...




Date Posted: 9/10/2007 5:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2006
Posts: 730
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I really liked it.  It just showed the drabness of a dead world.  I referred my husband to it and he REALLY liked it a lot. 

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2007
Posts: 1
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Some of my thoughts on The Road that I recorded after reading it earlier in the summer:


Is one of the requirements of "fine literature" that it not have a plot?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion on "literature" but I've yet to see anyone suggest why The Road qualifies as literature. Is it because he didn't use punctuation? What a rebel. I call that messy writing. I feel like I'm the only person who actually demands that literature be about great ideas and not simply anti-establishment writing that sacrifices traditional concepts like plots and dialouge to make the obvious and lame metaphor that the bland writing is supposed to enhance the bland landscape of the story.

IMHO, bland writing = bland novel.

All the reviewers think, "I heard that this is great literature, so if I admit I don't like it I'll be outed as someone who can't recognize great literature. Therefore I must praise it as great literature."

McCarthy doesn't appeal to any nebulous goodness that we all have. We see a compassionate young child that is only compassionate because he is still innocent and naive, and we see a doting father who is only doting because he lost his wife and has only his child left to care for in a completely barren world. As if any other father wouldn't care for his child that way in those circumstances?

I think to really show what is "really good within us all", McCarthy should have picked more unlikely characters who then acted against our expectations to reveal kindness and gentleness that could survive otherwise astonishing circumstances. Instead, he picked the two most likely types of people who we should expect to remain human, excepting perhaps a mother. (And he didn't even choose a mother/son story because he admittedly cannot write women -- yet still we praise him).

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 5/22/2005
Posts: 1,592
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ditto everything Jody said about the book.

a great  read.

Date Posted: 9/10/2007 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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As I am reading this book, my mind is thinking "where did all the other people go?"  How come so few good people survived?  I kept waiting for something to happen and didn't until the father died.

Date Posted: 9/11/2007 9:35 AM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2006
Posts: 871
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The subject came up in "Contemporary Fiction" subject area.  My review/thoughts basically.

As a father of young boys "The Road" can work as a metaphor for the anxiety any father might feel in preparing their son for all of the unknowns of a quickly changing world, especially in a society with no fixed rituals for bringing young men in to adulthood, a regular dog eat dog (man eat man) world, and the father has only so much time to do it, for childhood is fleeting and the father must pass on.  The father's need to define and maintain a sense of what is the transcending good verse the surrounding evil in a world that seems to say all things are relative and a matter of opinion.


Last Edited on: 9/22/07 11:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2007 10:06 AM ET
Member Since: 7/9/2007
Posts: 142
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I finished it last week and I'm still not quite sure what I think of it.  My reaction is somewhat similar to some of the other PPs.  I guess the lack of grammar and style of writing reflected the breakdown of society, but frankly, it made it difficult for me to read.  I had to go back over some sections a few times to decipher who was saying what.  That annoyed me to no end.
Can I appreciate what the author was trying to do?  Yes.  Did I enjoy the novel and will I ever read it again?  No way.

Date Posted: 9/11/2007 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2007
Posts: 94
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I read the Road w/ my book club several months ago..it was our least favorite so far.  I felt that there was very little character development which made me unable to become attached to the characters.  I also felt like every time I turned the page I was expecting something to happen, but it never did!!!  I was very disappointed in the ending. I thought you were going to get some closer but nothing!  I also could not take another minute of the boy saying the word.........OK! 

Date Posted: 9/12/2007 12:45 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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We all know that somethig catastrophic happened.  Was it a meteor?  What was it?  It definitely wasn't taken over by another country.  There was no knowledge or information in this book.  Nothing.  I came away empty-handed (or headed).  I did not like the ending.  There was no closure.  I can understand that it would be a book club's "least favorite" book.  But, at least, it gave you pause and also something to discuss.

Date Posted: 9/13/2007 12:29 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2005
Posts: 1,239
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I attempted to read The Road but I just couldn't get into it.  It was boring and I couldn't get into it. I thought it really sucked to be an Oprah book club book.!

Date Posted: 9/14/2007 12:00 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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I agree.