Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Title: The Road

Author: Cormac McCarthy
# pages: 287
Date published: 2006
Genre: dystopian fiction

Challenges: Read Your Own Books Challenge, New Classics Challenge, Book Awards II, Countdown Challenge, 999 Challenge, New Author Challenge, Raved-About Reads Challenge, 100+ Challenge, Pages Read Challenge

Rating: (good)

First sentence:
"When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him."
What's it all about? A father and his son struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic America ravaged beyond recognition. There are no animals, the plants and the land have all been charred, water sources are clogged with the ash that constantly rains from the sky. It is bitterly cold and there are very few people--none of which the boy and his father can trust.

Random thoughts: The language certainly complements the story--it's very sparse, bleak, and dark and, in spots, it can be very beautiful. But honestly? I didn't like this book very much. I didn't dislike it exactly, but for all the hype I expected to feel a little less indifferent about it. It did intrigue me enough to read it until the end, but once there I felt a little let down (I wanted more information and I never got it).

Favorite quote(s):
"The soft black talc blew through the streets like squid ink uncoiling along a sea floor and the cold crept down and the dark came early and the scavengers passing down the steep canyons with their torches trod silky holes in the drifted ash that closed behind them silently as eyes. Out on the roads the pilgrims sank down and fell over and died and the bleak and shrouded earth went trundling past the sun and returned again as trackless and as unremarked as the path of any nameless sisterworld in the ancient dark beyond." (p. 181)
Fun tidbits:
  • It looks like there is to be a movie of The Road coming out later this year. I think the story could lend itself to a very visually interesting movie (although you'd lose a lot of the beautiful language of the book because there's not much dialogue). The actors are about what I had imagined (although I pictured the boy a little younger). Doubt I'll go see it, though. Too depressing for me.
  • There is a Cormac McCarthy Society
Recommended for: anyone who likes their fiction dark and hopeless, but beautifully written.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you, I did not like this book very much. I kept reading because I wanted to know what had happened, but as you know- the reader never learns a darn thing!! Frustrating! And the dialogue was ridiculous.

Jeane said...

Every review I read of this book makes it sound so depressing, and yet so intriguing it's remained on my list. Someday I'll get to it. I didn't know they were making a movie version already!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I really liked The Road --very dark and disturbing, but good.

The Bookworm said...

I've been wanting to read this one myself.
Sorry to hear you didnt enjoy it too much.
Great review.

Anonymous said...

Ditto! It was beyond depressing!

samantha.1020 said...

I've heard a lot of mixed reactions on this book. Looks like I am going to just have to pick it up and see for myself :)