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Topic: The Road - Have you read it?

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Subject: The Road - Have you read it?
Date Posted: 8/22/2007 9:24 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 29
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Has anybody read 'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy?  My husband saw the author on Oprah (his show not mine) and insisted I buy it for him for Father's Day.  He is not a "reader" so I bought it for him.  Of course, it sat there on his nightstand for weeks.  So, I picked it up and read it.  That's what I do, as I am sure you all can relate.  I guess he felt guilty or whatever so he finally read it.  He thought it was great.  Maybe because he doesn't read much - I don't know.  I thought it was so-so.  Sure, it was good and poignant, maybe that's a description.  I don't know.  But, he compared it to The Stand - No Way!  I will say that it was a very easy read and I am glad that I read it.

Any thoughts???

Date Posted: 8/22/2007 1:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,513
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I've not read it. I have to admit, when I heard the author compared to William Faulkner, I decided it wasn't going to be the book for me.  However, I did like The Stand.

Date Posted: 8/22/2007 8:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2006
Posts: 21
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If I had heard it compared to Faulkner, I wouldn't have read (listened, in this case) to it either; especially if I had seen the lack of quotes around the dialogue (drives me nuts!) As it was, in audio format, it was probably easier to digest.   I don't believe it compared to The Stand, but I found the prose very precise and economical.  Unlike The Stand, I more felt the desperation and the necessity to keep moving for survival.  I wish I knew what disaster happened, and I sort of wish that it didn't end the way it did.



Date Posted: 8/23/2007 8:33 AM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 29
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You're right there Robin about feeling the desperation and need for survival.  They seemed almost content in the stand when they finally all came together.  The only ones who felt the need to "do something" were the so-called chosen ones.  My husband said he thinks the disaster was some kind of nuclear something or other.  He said because of all the ash and grayness that the man described.   That is why I guess there wasn't alot of food growing.  No sunlight.

I don't remember if I have read any Faulkner, but I think The Road is definitely worth reading.  As I said, it is a really easy read.



Date Posted: 8/23/2007 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 9
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My husband and I both read this book and we liked it alot. It gave us alot to think about. It was a good read.


Date Posted: 8/23/2007 5:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2007
Posts: 28
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I recently read it and thorugh it was unlike anything I'd come across before. Worth reading!
Date Posted: 8/24/2007 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2006
Posts: 80
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I was completely bowled over by The Road. I don't think i will ever forget the stark images and the bond between father and son. I know alot of people, though, who just plain didn't like it. I loved the writing style, the sparseness, and the atmosphere McCarthy created. I look at life a lot differently now.  It's one of my top tens.


CR- A Thousand Splendid Suns

Date Posted: 8/30/2007 6:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2006
Posts: 871
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The writing was sparse and stripped down, much like the landscape of the road the father and son walked together. 


Last Edited on: 2/21/08 2:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/6/2007 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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 I've read them both and would never compare the Road and the Stand, except that they are both post-apocalypse books. The Stand is the only S. King book I ever liked.  And I also enjoyed The Road, although books with no quote marks are usually a red flag for me!

All his books are "sparse" like that, but I liked this one much more than his others. I just found it really frustrating because I wanted to know more about what happened.

After I read it, I went back and re-read "Alas Babylon," another post-apocalypse book, and that was much more satisfying to me. It was written almost 50 years ago, when the bomb was the big scare, but other than that, it holds up incredibly well even after all this time.

There is definitely there a lot to think about; especially if something like that were to happen today, how would we all survive, given that we are that much futher away from knowing how to get by without grocery stores!

Date Posted: 9/11/2007 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 798
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My daughter and I both read it, and decided that since it was so dark, her husband would love it. We both hated the end... didn't really get the end. We're waiting for her husband to read it and explain it from his dark sided point of view.

Date Posted: 9/17/2007 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2005
Posts: 64
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I read this book after the inital reviews and loved it.  The writing is spare and evokes basic emotions.  Putting oneself in the place of the father - seeking a place of safety for one's child - very touching.   Made me think about life choices and the power of hope.

Enjoy "The Road"!

Date Posted: 9/24/2007 3:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2007
Posts: 1
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I read this book a few months ago - I LOVED it.  It was so spare and so chilling - it took my breath away.  I wanted to know so much more about the boy's background, what happened to create such an environment everything - but that is part of what made the book so good - that you didn't know those things.  It made me so happy to go home to a nice warm house with  dinner ready to cook and plenty of water to drink.

I'd heard of Cormac McCarthy before but never read anything by him.  I probably wouldn't have bought this one either but I liked the simplicity of the cover and I had hear it was good but nothing beyond that. 

Date Posted: 9/30/2007 11:28 AM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2007
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My daughter is reading it right now for her senior honors English class.  Her first remark to me about it was about the lack of quotation marks.  It's keeping her interest so far.

Date Posted: 11/11/2007 2:38 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2007
Posts: 7
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I thought this book was probably the best book I've read all year.  I thought the writing style added to the whole experience.  It was tragic and heartbreaking, and emphasized the importance of hope like nothing else I've ever read. 

Date Posted: 12/4/2007 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2007
Posts: 6
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I read The Road and will have to say I won't recommend it. He certainly had a way with words and descriptive text...it did make you feel the desperation they felt as they traveled down the road.  It was too morbid and slow for me...although what do you expect from a book about the after math of the apocolypse? 

Date Posted: 12/17/2007 6:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2006
Posts: 791
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I thought it was ok but not very involved.I ddn't really like teh way teh author wrote and it certainly didn't make me want to add him to my list of new authors to read.I don't think it compares at all to The Stand.(if you like The Stand you may like Swan Song-it's great).JMTCW.


Date Posted: 12/27/2007 11:36 PM ET
Member Since: 11/30/2007
Posts: 3
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McCarthy is a heck of a writer! He doesn't use quotes around dialogue and it really adds an element to the tone of his stories and I find it odd that this lack of qm's is the take home point for some of the comments above. I'm not sure how that raises a red flag..  I agree with Betty, this and The Stand aren't very comparable. The bleak style is a great complement for the sad and sweet future McCarthy presents.

I almost think the best way to describe his stories is 'dusty'. If this is your first McCarthy book and liked it, check out the Border Trilogy: All the Pretty Horses, Cities of the Plain, and The Crossing.

Last Edited on: 12/27/07 11:46 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/14/2008 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 5,297
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I just finished reading this.  Not comparable to the stand, IMO.

I've read reviews about this book where people say the story left them feeling hopeful.  Personally, I don't think I"ve come across a book ever that has left me in this much dispair.  Hopeless.  So he ended up with a new family.  Why?  So he can keep wandering around, avoiding cannibals?  Scavenging for food?  The food will come to an end.  How long does oxygen hang around with nothing to produce it?  Doesn't seem very hopeful to me.

However, I found the bond between father and son truly compelling.  Nothing but truth in their love.  So much these days, we take eachother for granted.  Made me think about myself.  I truly looked at my son differently today. 

At first I kind of wished the author would have given more than subtle hints about what caused this, but having finished it, I see that would have complicated the story.  Taken away from what he was getting at.

It was a good book.  I am going to have to hurry up and read something else so I can stop thinking about it.  I keep looking out the window, expecting to see a bright flash.......

Date Posted: 1/21/2008 10:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2007
Posts: 188
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My book club is reading it for our next selection and I have to say, I LOVED it!  Read it in one sitting!  I know there will be some lively debate (probably the same as here - about what exactly was the disaster - why does it matter? And the lack of quotation marks, or names - again, get over it and focus on the reason the author did this).  Loved the sparse language, the motif of fire throughout (from destruction to survival, to hope = the fire within).  It's certainly an important novel, not the least because it was the Pulitzer winner for '07. 

Date Posted: 1/28/2008 9:11 AM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2007
Posts: 1,222
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Just finished reading this book yesterday. I loved this book and it definitely helped me expand my vocabulary. My dictionary wasn't feeling lonely the past few days! I found his writing poetic at times and it was definitely different than what I normally read.

I had no problems with the ending.  I found it hopeful because he found new people that were "nice"...he was so concerned with helping people that at last he found a group of people that helped him. We don't know what will happen to them after this, but I can only assume everyone will die because as Mindy said, "How long does oxygen hang around with nothing to produce it?" However, the last paragraph made me feel like there was hope for the world to heal itself....the "maps" on the backs of the trout...maybe that is pointing toward evolution and rebuilding the world after disaster.

I am trying to get my boyfriend to read the story now.

Last Edited on: 1/28/08 9:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/13/2008 3:41 PM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2007
Posts: 1,222
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Well, it appears this one will be made into a movie as well. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117979015.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

Charlize Theron and Viggo Mortenson to star.

One thing I noticed is that In this review it says "...story centers on a man who embarks on a nightmarish road trip after a nuclear explosion...". The book never states what happened. 

Date Posted: 2/19/2008 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2006
Posts: 871
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What would be Theron's role?  A take-out dinner or the suicide?

Date Posted: 2/20/2008 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2007
Posts: 1,222
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Date Posted: 2/21/2008 2:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2006
Posts: 871
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After reading THE ROAD, right?  I remember that there are nearly no woman characters in this book.  We learn the wife/mother commits suicide in a very short flashback.  There are women who are prisoners (cannibal food "take-out dinner," a joke) and there is the woman at the very end of the book but she has only a few speaking lines.  So what role would Theron play? 

Last Edited on: 2/21/08 11:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/22/2008 8:15 AM ET
Member Since: 11/27/2007
Posts: 1,222
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She is playing the wife.

Granted, it won't be a very large role......