Friday, December 4, 2009

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road
by Cormac McCarthy

Published: 2006
Genre: Dystopia
Paperback: 304 pages
Rating: 5

Description from the amazon:
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 the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love.

Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.

My two-bits:
In-a-word(s): the good guys

While reading the start of this book I was thinking dystopia = depressing.

Also, I'm finding this genre as scary as reading horror. The future is not looking good.

With the holly jolly season upon us, I'm taken aback. Dystopia is making me reflect on humanity and myself in it.

This road takes us to the extremes.

One path shows us the absolute worst of humanity.

As the father and son travel to warmer climes and hopefully to better living conditions, we see what it takes to survive.

Because of this extreme, I am swayed to wait for the DVD of the movie instead of watching it on the big screen. I'm sure the desolate landscapes of a grey world will come out with such impact on the big screen. But its the other scenes in this story, I'm not too keen on seeing larger-than-life. brrrrrr.

However, the other extreme depicted is hopeful.

The best in us - in the human spirit - shines through.

*part of my Dystopia challenge


  1. How good is this book? I got so teary in places. "What would you do if I died, papa?" "I'd want to die too." "So you could be with me?" "Yes, so I could be with you." *sob* But there were also some humourous moments, and a creeping horror as I realised what the "bad guys" actually were. The last paragraph of the book just blew me away.

  2. I really really want to read this (and watch the movie)! The dystopian genre is very very depressing, but I still love it to pieces. :)

  3. I have this, but have yet to read past, "Each the others world entire." I don't wanna be depressed for Christmas, but you made a good point about the human spirit and stuff, so maybe it's more seasonal than you'd first think in that respect. I'll read it soon, though, because my #1 New Year's resolution is, "Read everything on your TBR list before adding anything else!"
    Nice review, V!

  4. I think this is easily the best book of the decade.

    There is such an overwhelming sense of sadness in the book that you feel for humanity as a whole.

    I think the power of that book stems from fact that as the reader, you are forced to feel all of the things the main character refuses to let himself feel because he must concentrate on surviving. He can't allow himself to feel the sorrow around him or to feel sorrowful for the boy...the reader, safe and warm in the world can't help but feel those things as a surrogate.

    It's an amazing book. I want to see the move so badly, but alas it's not playing around here.

  5. I'm with you - the future is looking like such a scary place.
    I can't help but wonder if I should go back and re-read it, as I actually didn't like it the first time around. But reading all these positive reviews of it lately, I can't help but think that I must have missed something.

  6. I have this one sitting in my pile, and I think I'd better get to it soon. You've described a book that I think will probably depress me in the extreme, but Christmas may be the perfect antidote for it, and I'd like to read the book before seeing the film. Great review!


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