Friday, 16 July 2021

The Road

 The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Paperback, 307 pages
Published 4th May 2007 by Picador
(First published 26th September 2006)

Shelvesapocalyptic, books-i-own, dystopian, if-i-were-a-boy, read, read-in-2021

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other. 

The Road is a book that I have been meaning to read for a very long time. I don't know what encouraged me to finally pick it up (especially during a global pandemic!) but I did and I am glad that I've finally read this book which has quickly become a lauded modern classic. 

Initially, I wasn't entirely sure if I would enjoy this book. I do enjoy dystopian stories but that's all I really knew about this story - that it was about a boy and his father making a journey across an apocalyptic wasteland. It turns out that was what the book was about and quite frankly, that was all it was about. There wasn't much of a plot to this story, there wasn't many twists or turns, no real 'goal' to achieve by the end. The story was a journey - a journey across a dreary landscape. This experimental style isn't something that would usually appeal to me, but I am so glad that I gave it a go.

When starting the book, I was initially mostly surprised at the writing style. The writing seemed very strange and somewhat unnatural. The characters are never named and there is a distinct lack of punctuation (particularly quotation marks). I found these issues a little uncomfortable to begin with but I adjusted to the style surprisingly quickly. I swiftly became enamoured by McCarthy's writing and I thought that a lot of the prose was truly beautiful. 

This book is short and, on the surface, simple yet it is easy to see why The Road is considered to be a modern masterpiece. The characters are basic but well formed - vulnerability and strength both shine through the pages. The plot is uncomplicated - it is a journey from one place to another. McCarthy has managed to form a scarily realistic, bleak apocalyptic world. Overall, I really enjoyed the 'journey' of this book and became immersed in it easily which is why I would certainly reccommend it. I did find the ending disappointing and the child's choice to be bewildering, but everything that came before was absolutely captivating. 

1 comment:

  1. I read this book in college. It was so good. Dark, but good.


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