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)
It was so-so. The story is silly. It's so over-the-top dark that it's ridiculous at times. Yes, people can be horrible, but the level of horrible in this book is totally overdone. It was not believable, at least to me. And the story becomes highly predictable. The prose is also over the top. It's adjective soup. I'm stunned that this overwrought piece won the Pulitzer. I must be missing something here.
Least interesting was its predictability. I'm trying to think of what I thought was most interesting, but can't.
The ending, albeit predictable. Can't tell whether I liked it because I was glad the story finally came to an end and I could buy a different book, or because I enjoyed the exchange between the good guy stranger and the boy. Probably a bit of both.
If you're looking for a good Pulitzer winner, I'd suggest The True Story of Ned Kelly or Olive Kitteridge, but not this. Either I'm off my nut (entirely possible) or the Pulitzer committee was off its.
The narrator was very good. He kept the tone of the book: dark, undramatic even in dramatic circumstances whch suited the whole world as it was in the book: grey, unflinching, plodding. I have listened to it two times. Apocolyptic stoires are my favorites. Stephen King's The Stand for example. If any readers have any other suggestions I would welcome them.
Well I sort of liked the story, it was a little sad and depressing for me but having said that it still kept my interest... even though nothing realy ever happens in the end. I think a better plot line would have made this book ten times better IMO. Not a book I would read again.
Yes, if you can handle the concept. It is not for the faint of heart.
Watching the characters evolve over a short period of time. The boy is an unshakable source of good, and will keep the flame alive.
Every scene is memorable, but it is hard to shake the picture of a gutted human infant roasting over a campfire by desperate people.
The man. His selfless devotion to the boy is a classic.
McCarthy is the American Dickens. His use of the language is incredible. I hope he sees the Nobel Prize during his lifetime.
Struggle, empty, existence
Absolutely incredible performance. He brought the characters to life in that way that draws you in and makes you feel like you know them.
The book created a feeling of emptiness which made even the touching & tender moments less compelling & emotional. In a world mostly void of care in almost any regard it makes it difficult for a reader to connect. However, that being said I DID get somewhat emotional a few times.
The writing is creative and at times poetic. However the writing is trumped by the unbelievability of the setting & story. There's almost a Mad Max feel to the story. There's nothing wrong with that, but I felt torn as to how I am supposed to view where this world came from.
It was depressing and heart-wrenching, but the story is told so wonderfully. Tom Stechschulte really brings the father-son relationship in this story to life. The author tells relates a simple fictional story, but the way he does it makes it seem like you are there, experiencing it with the characters. It really drew me in. I usually listen to books during my commute and one morning I found myself sitting in my car in the parking lot at work, sobbing, not just crying, but actually sobbing out loud. I have not cried like that for a long time. I had to sit in my car for a while and compose myself. It makes me tear up a bit as I write this. I would definitely recommend it if you think you can handle the emotions it invokes.
On a side-note, the movie is really good too!
Having seen the movie first.
The good guys wins.
Beware those who urinate in the woods.
Yes. I enjoyed the end. (No spoilers here)
While I enjoyed the story... I loved the movie ten times better and will probably never listen to the book in it's entirety again. I'd rather watch the movie twice for the use of those SIX PLUS hours. I'm a big fan of both Cormac as a writer and of Stechschutle as a narrator but unfortunately this was not their best blend and endeavor. I can't in good conscience recommend the book over the movie. Try No Country for Old Men to find them both at their best and use your credit in a much more fulfilling and spectacular manner.
Bleak Sublime Prose
The last paragraph of the book is so beautiful and haunting, as are all the recollections of a beautiful world unappreciated until it is gone.
His clear characterizations of the various characters add to the storytelling.
If parts of this book do not move you to tears, then perhaps your heart is made of stone? Complex it is disgusting and beautiful.
This is a powerfully moving story of bleak sadness but the main characters evoke empathy in a world of death and cruelty. It is an existential meditation on life, even a life that no one would want, but that we may ourselves create in our lack of appreciation of this beautiful living world.
This is not a happy book. It's written so concisely that you don't even know the characters' names. That's OK. It adds to the dreary, hopelessness of the situation. If you can take the sad subject matter, it's a good read.
A very raw moment when a child sees something no person ever should
too many to mention
Excellent book - had a few concerns about teh performance at teh beginning but thoroughly excellent performance!
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