Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Book Review: The Road

Last weekend while camping I had the opportunity to read some fiction and selected The Road  by Cormac McCarthy to read. I was sitting round the camper in the early mornings when I wasn't fishing and read this novel. I am a fast reader and I devoured this one in about three hours total and I will spoil the review by telling you up front that this was an amazing book. I am thoroughly looking forward to the film adaptation. Unfortunately in most cases the movies never do the books justice.

I will tell you this is the first book I ever read by Cormac McCarthy and I am thoroughly impressed with the writing style. The book is dark, when I say dark I MEAN dark. The desperation and desolation the characters in this book experience almost brings tears to your eyes.

Without giving too much away regarding the plot, the story revolves around a man and his son that appear to be the survivors of some "global disaster" which had occured in an earlier time...years in fact. They live a meager existance and are trying to migrate south following "The Road" which in actuality is the network of inter and intra state highways we all know and love. They fight for their very existance scraping by on what they can find and on their wits and love for one another.

The book is extremely violent and graphic and I for one am curious to see how that translates to film without over shadowing the excellent story. The father and son encounter bandits, "Road Agents", other survivors as well as victims...these encounters sometimes reveal just how far mankind has "fallen" after the disaster which has reduced the world to ash.

I love Cormac McCarthy's writing style. The entire book is a conversation between the boy and his "Papa" with some description thrown in by the man; including some very vivid and disturbing flashbacks and dreams. The book is well written, light on punctuation and nonsense and extremely readable. There is no "the boy said" or "the Father said" just know who is talking and it really works.

If you are in the market for a post apocolypse novel with a bit of survivalism thrown in I highly recommend this novel, hell...even Oprah got on the bandwagon for this one. Check it out before the movie comes out because we all know that the book is always better and you don't want to be tainted by seeing the movie first.

...that is all.

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  1. yes, it's one of my all-time favorites! really excellent reading. bleak, but amazing. no country for old men is good as well.

  2. I read all his books, they are all good.

  3. i currently have a copy of that book,need to get around to reading it.btw if your interested in more of mcarthy's work I recomend No Country For Old is also a good read.

  4. Just finishing up & not a bad afternoon's read.

  5. Because of a lot of good reviews, I just read no country for old men and the road. I'd have to say that I was disappointed in both of them. The road had multiple problems, namely, that the number of rounds he had in his pistol changed with no explanation from 1 to 3, and his discription of the weather in the mountains in November/December during a nuclear winter scenario were pretty lame. Plus quite a few others... But the bottom line you can learn from both books is that you don't want to be a refugee, you don't want to be unarmed, and you better have a plan. - Steve