Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 2007America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.
Bleak but brilliant, with glimmers of hope and humor, The Road is a stunning allegory and perhaps Cormac McCarthy's finest novel to date. This remarkable departure from his previous works has been hailed by Kirkus Reviews as a "novel of horrific beauty, where death is the only truth".
McCarthy, a New York Times best-selling author, is a past recipient of the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. He is widely considered one of America's greatest writers.
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"McCarthy's prose retains its ability to seduce...and there are nods to the gentler aspects of the human spirit." (The New Yorker)
"One of McCarthy's best novels, probably his most moving and perhaps his most personal...Every moment of The Road is rich with dilemmas that are as shattering as they are unspoken...McCarthy is so accomplished that the reader senses the mysterious and intuitive changes between father and son that can't be articulated, let alone dramatized...Both lyric and savage, both desperate and transcendent, although transcendence is singed around the edges...Tag McCarthy one of the four or five great American novelists of his generation." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
The book itself is as beautifully spare and desolate as the landscape it describes. The text is relentless, and sets the tone for their slow march to the sea.
The narrator did a superb job giving voice to the characters, and I am even more impressed with him now that I have heard him read No Country for Old Men, which shows off his range even better.
The style of storytelling was grey and bleak which built on the feeling of what the story was telling. I was disturbed by that sense of hopelessness; and at the same time, was totally drawn into the character's personality. It was fascinating to me to have an entire book be both intriguing and repulsive.
I was immediately drawn in by the father/son relationship which covers so many emotions that every adult who loves a child experiences. I was drawn in, too, by the need to return (how the characters are forced to return) to the basics of finding water, food, clothing, safety, and shelter on a daily basis--a need initiated by trauma (a country now unrecognizable) and also, I think, from the specter of possibly dying before one's time. Perhaps, too, this return to basics is found among some elderly, some who live to be very old. Again, most of all, it's the father/son relationship that evokes so much for me--love, joy, fear, hope, hopelessness, terror, horror, all that is found in an adult's heart when he/she worries about a young one.
This book did not grab me at first...never did in fact. Did I like the book? No! Am I glad I listened to it? Yes! Another reviewer commented that the ending did not fit with the rest of the book. I think it did because when God closes one door, he opens another or maybe a window. There is hope because of what the Boy was taught by the Man and what the Boy actually learned from the Man. What changes does the Boy take with him down the next few miles of "The Road"?
I agree with other reviewers that this book is well written and I was mesmerized. I think I wish I had not read it.
Too much horror
Too much pain
Too much truth
To say I love this book is a bit of an understatement.
It has touched me personally, haunted me really and not in a negative way.
I'm sure I'm not the only parent who has been touched by the simple beauty of the parent\child relationship that 'The Road' highlights. Maybe the sparse speech, the unnamed 'papa' and 'boy' allow the reader to easily slot themselves into those roles and makes the relationship so real.
Yes it describes a harrowing, bleak and absolutely horrific nightmare world no one wants to see. But it also wells in ones heart incredible feelings of hope and love for ones own flesh and blood that is hard to put into words.
I don't mean to be a fanboy as I do see how one would find McCarthy's writing style confusing and hard to follow maybe more so as a read and less as a listen. I did listen to 'The Road' first then read it. Perhaps my experience wouldn't have been so strong if it was reversed, the narration I feel is that good. Having said that I've read the book twice now and have become a huge Cormac McCarthy fan reading most of his other works in quick succession after listening to this audiobook.
I am not a big reader and i picked up this book at the bookstore and couldn't stop reading it...this has never happened to me with any book. in fact i like it so much that i downloaded it and listened to it again, and it still blows me away.
The world is destroyed, burned to ashes... Why? Not important.
The book seems to be about how to improvise footwear, the best way to piliage in a post apocalyptic world, and pushing a shopping cart with a bad wheel down the road to nowhere.
The boy, born and raised in a post apocalyptic hell, Seemed unfamiliar with survival and seemed to excel at whining so badly that on at least on three occasions I had to yell out loud to my stereo " OH JUST SHUT THE HELL UP! "
PAPA, I'm scared. Papa, I dont want to.. Papa..
Son, shut the hell up please.
Also, should you find a safe warm place to hide and recover, best get the hell out of there as soon as possible.
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