Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

6 Apr

Random House Canada, 2007

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.

From Random House Canada website

I heard mixed reviews of The Road before I read it.  It seems to be one of those books that people either love or hate.

I’m one of the readers that loved it. I had no interest in reading this book until I heard about another Random House book, The Passage by Justin Cronin. In an article about The Passage, it was compared to The Road and Stephen King’s The Stand. Since The Stand is one of my all time fave books, I figured I should check The Road out.

This was in no way a light or fun read: in fact, there were a few times I wanted to put it down because it was so depressing I wasn’t sure I could handle it. But I kept reading and while there were more than a few times I cringed, I’m glad I finished it.

Because there were basically only two characters, the dialogue was very minimalist. But the descriptive writing was so rich and detailed that it didn’t matter. McCarthy pulls you into the story and makes you feel like you are right there.

This was a bleak story, yet there were moments of happiness, even though they were few and far between. It was these moments of contentment and the hope of even a slightly better future that kept the man and the boy going. And, I guess in a way it’s what kept me reading. I really wanted these two to survive. Hell, I wanted them to thrive.

This was a slow book, both in action and in reading time. It definitely isn’t a one-nighter. It’s one of those books that you have to take your time with. Not because it’s boring or the story is hard to follow, but because it is so heartbreaking at times, you need to take a break.

I know the way I’m describing it might make it seem like I didn’t like this book, but I did. I liked it very much.  A good book doesn’t always equal an easy book.

Browse inside The Road.


3 Responses to “Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy”

  1. Cathy Marie Buchanan April 6, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    So many people list this as a favourite. I will crack the cover one day. Waiting until I’m feeling very clever.


  2. Tricia April 7, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    I liked this book too – the relationship between the boy and his father was heartbreaking.

  3. MarthaE April 9, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    I listened to this last year on Audible. It wasn’t easy but I really liked it too!

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