A very depressing read. The earth is scorched and there is very little trust left. The book is nearly devoid of plot.
There are some sweet heartfelt interactions between the two main characters but they are sort of classic "man" talk, where they don't really show a depth of emotion or a sharing that demonstrates the true nature of humanity. I choose to believe that is one of the few things that can never be destroyed by any razing of the Earth. Yes, yes, I know I should suspend my disbelief, but I should only need to do so, if the author is going to take me someplace useful with it. The story ends fairly predictably and I'm not sure how I am better for it, except I can say, I read that.
Some of the descriptive passages are good and strong, but there aren't many of those.
And finally, the Earth has been torched, for approximately 10 years as far as I can determine from the book. There is nowhere a sign of life. No plant life, no animals, no bugs, nothing... But somehow humans are still wandering around. I found this inconsistency very hard to swallow. In fact, I found it downright annoying. If even a cockroach can't survive, then certainly the soft shelled brain stems with limbs would be obliterated as well. Maybe I'm not very familiar with nuclear holocaust, but I have spent a fair amount of time outdoors and nature is very strong. She does not win quickly, but she triumphs over nearly everything given enough time. If a few humans are left to despairingly wander the Earth, surely a microbe can dance a jig upon a stone. Once there is a microbe, some other slightly larger beast will come along and have a feast upon it, and so on up the chain, manifesting eventually some observable life by bedraggled humans wandering around afflicted by nothing worse than hunger and a cough. Again, someone may need to check my biology, but if all life is destroyed, then I don't believe there would be any microbes to make food go bad. I guess it is possible they could go bad before the holocaust or because of the holocaust, but then it would seem that all canned items would be bad and humans would be dead.
This book really has no point, It starts out kinda strong but is a real Yawner with no purpose.
Spoiler: Nuclear war, walk around, look for food, stay away from other people, pretty much it
Im pretty sure if I would have read the paperback version of "The Road", I would have been drawn more into the story. The narrator was way off in determining how the father should sound, which by the way sounded like he was going for the cowboy approach and the voice of the boy sounded like a bad rendition of Michael Jackson, that totally through me off. It also reminded me of how important it is to not let go of "old fashioned reading" laying in my bed and being lifted up into story world with my own rendition of how the characters looked and sound.
Usually books with a simple plot or where nothing happens can easily be boring. Not this one. Its strength lies in the ties between father and son, in the desperation of staying alive, of asking yourself scary 'what if' questions. It grips you, especially if you are a parent and start to imagine what could happen, how you would react as a parent. It poses the question whether life is better at all cost. It shows the wisdom of a child and the guilt and love and hopelessness of a parent.
It's just simply brilliant and makes you cry.
"The Road" follows the journey of a man and his boy walking through a post-apocalyptic America in constant search of food and shelter. While they do face some interesting ordeals along the way, the only developments happen within these limited episodes and are soon forgotten. The characters never seem to evolve, and always end up in the exact same situation they were in the day before.
Much of the book is dialog between the father and son, and (perhaps because the son is young) is very limited. I can't count the number of times I heard one of these: "okay", "alright", "I'm sorry", "I'm scared". While these can be used smartly to convey deeper meaning, there's a limit to how far that will go.
The narration combines with this repetitive dreary dialog to make a very dull and repetitive listen.
I understand that this book is trying to have a sad tone, and many of the things that bothered me about it might be considered its strengths by people who enjoyed the book. It's possible that I just don't "get" this book. Unless you know that you are a fan of Cormac McCarthy's writing style, I would take this review to be a warning to seriously consider if it's the kind of book you would enjoy before purchasing.
I have read the book and I have seen the movie. Being a lifelong lover of literature of all genres and a teacher of literature as well, I can see art in most work. I looked, but I could not find it here. Yes, it's grim, dark, monochromatic and all the other adjectives that people have use to describe it. However, there's not much more to it than that. True, I'm not the one handing out the awards (fortunately for Mr. McCarthy), but this is my opinion: it's a lot of to do about nothing. I know some of you will be astounded that I didn't love it as, apparently, I had to. I was just as astounded by the number of people who found it compelling and spellbinding. To each his own. It was read well.
God awful, painful to listen to, and it goes nowhere (much like the characters in the book). I was dumbfounded when I heard this was going to be a movie. Like Seinfeld, it's a story about nothing...we don't know what happened, what is going on, or what happens when they get there. The kid is annoying, and the dad's constant "it's okay" response is overplayed. I actually liked the description of this book too, it seemed promising.
the story drags itself througt the same motive "it is dark and cold ..." in endless loops in a very weak string of events.
Four stars for the power that this book had to keep you on edge and the powerful emotion responses that it elicited I thought Stechulte did an excellent job reading. However I really wanted more from this book. I felt like I came in in the middle and was left with no ending. I would love to see a prequel & sequel.