Monday, October 11

Book Review: The Road

Title: The Road

Author: Cormac McCarthy

Pages: 287

Summary: A father and his son walk alone through burned 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 grey. The sky is dark. Their destination is the 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 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 the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, The Road is an unflinching meditation in the worst and best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.

My Rating: 9.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: It’s hard to put into words, how I feel about this book. It was an incredible read, very depressing, but still and incredible read. It had this tragic beauty to it, which kept me reading and almost impossible to put down. The story of the father and son, their love for another as they struggle for survival, while trying to keep their morals and humanity in tact was, well almost breathtaking at times. How the two managed to keep up their journey down the road, grasping the faint hope something might be left out in the vast emptiness of the land is beyond me. But that is what makes the book so beautiful and sad at the same time - the characters strength in continuing on in what appears to be a hopeless case for there own (and humanity’s) survival.

The images the author paints creates the perfect mood for the book, the emotions pretty much pour off the page. Unfortunately, most of these emotions are depressing, dank and dark - which is a good thing, in that the author has created a perfect setup to get the reader into the right mindset, but did so without long descriptions or giving to much history on what had happen to the world. He managed to create a very believable post-apocalyptic and its aftermath affect on the world, and most importantly the characters, without the reader knowing what had happened. It is such a bleak book, and heart breaking watching the characters continue on with life, but knowing there is little that can be done to save them, yet some how they don’t lose hope and don’t lose hope in each other. It was such a beautiful relationship here, it really left an impression on me. They may not have been the most exciting characters, but they are both two very memorable characters.

The only issue I had was the ending. I both loved and hated it. I loved it in that it fit with the rest of the book; the reader doesn’t really know what happened, what will happen, or what might happen. It just ends. I like it, because it fits with the mood with the book. But I hated it because I want to know what happens; I wanted some hint of what may happen. Not just, the end.

I found the writing style to be well done as well, although the lack of punctuation took a while to get used to, I found it didn’t bother me as much as this style normally would. Part of me wonders if this was done to fit into the theme of having no names for the characters and the world. It worked for me here, and the plot and story, really captivated me from start to finish. Amazing book, but fair warning, it does make one very depressed. I suggest having a very up lifting book to read afterwards.

Would I recommend it to read: Yes, this book was fantastic! And fantastic, really doesn’t sum it up. There is so much to get from the book, and so much that can be left to the reader’s imagination. I can see how some people wouldn’t like the book, it is depressing, and the prose can be something I cab see a lot of readers would take issue with, but it is worth at least trying. It shows such a beautiful example of love and never giving up hope that it is worth at least an attempt to read.

What to read next: Life of Pi. I’d also suggest reading other books by the author. Similar post apocalyptic books would be a good idea too.

Challenges: Read ‘n’ Review, Pages Read, 10/10 Challenge, 100+ Challenge, A - Z Challenge, Countdown Challenge, RYOB Challenge


  1. It's been a few years since I've read this one but I still think of it often. It was so haunting and tragic. I still have not read anything else by him, though.

  2. I really wanted to know more about what happened after the ending, too. It left me kind of frustrated. Such a gloomy and hopeful book altogether.

  3. I bought this book a few months ago, and haven't gotten the chance to read it yet. I have been hearing amazing things about it and about McCarthy's work in general, so this is one is on my short list of books to be read this year. I am so glad to hear that it was such a good read for you and that it moved you so deeply. After reading your review I am excited to get started with it!

  4. Shelley - It does stick with you, and you are right, haunting and tragic story, that haunts you. He did a fantastic job. I think he intended to make sure the book stuck with you.

    Jeane - It left me frustrated, but I was also okay with it. Does that make sense? It is both, maybe that's why he choose to end it the way he did, so the reader can decided if it ended happily or badly.

    Zibilee - I've also heard amazing things about his work, and finally read the book. It was so worth it, the gems that sit on your shelves. I hope you get a chance to read it, and you enjoy it as much as I do. The book is well worth bumping up on your TBR list.