Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Road, a novel by Cormac McCarthy, is a post-apocalyptic story about a man and his son who are walking to the coast with only a shopping cart carrying a few things. The story not only demonstrates a perception of what the end of world would look like, but also the deep bond that the father and son have.
This novel is not written like most stories are. The characters do not change from the beginning to the end, the setting is uncertain, punctuation is purposely left out, etcetera. The first thing I noticed is that there are no chapters. It is broken up into scenes, either the past, present or a dream. Next, I saw that the dialogue is not written correctly. There are no quotation marks and McCarthy didn’t include dialogue tags. Not having the tags made it difficult to follow who was talking at some points. The Road is written very poetic-like. Although it is mostly just a man and a boy walking slowly and scouring for food, there are instances where it gets very lyrical and deep. I’ll admit that a lot of it went over my head so whatever the author was trying to prove with it did not work for me. What does work for me are amazing similes and uncommon metaphors which this novel is full of. One that stuck out to me was on page 48 when the burning trees in the distance are “like stands of heathen candles.”
The story gets somewhat dark and intense. The setting is always gray and cold and ash falls like snow from the sky. It’s heartbreaking that a small boy is always worrying about dying. The setting also seems so quiet that you might find yourself nervous that something bad is about to happen. Without spoiling anything, there is one scene in the novel that is extremely disturbing. I unfortunately read that right before bed and was almost too scared to fall asleep.
Cormac McCarthy published The Road in 2006. In 2009 it became his third book to be turned into a movie. This book has me stumped because I can’t decide if I liked it or not. I saw the movie when it was in theaters and did not read the book until now. I didn’t like the movie; it was boring and drawn out. I am not sure if I feel that way about the book. I will say that the book was better than the movie, as usual, but I don’t know if it was a good read. Regardless of whether it was good or not, I have a feeling that it’s a novel that I won’t soon forget.