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  1. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

    Friday, April 2, 2010

    From the Back Cover:
    A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save ash on the wind. They have nothing but a pistol to defend themselves against the men who stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food - and each other.

    My Thoughts:
    The Road just blew me away with its stark realism. McCarthy presents a post-apocalyptic America that is stark and desolate. The world as we know it is gone. Both the natural world and the man-made world are completely in tatters.

    There are no names in The Road, driving home just how much has been stripped away. The Man and the Boy scrounge for food among abandoned houses and shops as they head for the coast. They seek to avoid other humans at all costs for many have turned to cannibalism as food is scarce. Violence in The Road is not "in your face" but what is implied and what aftermath you do see is most certainly made very graphic and haunting when combined with McCarthy's writing style.

    "The world shrinking down to a raw core of parsible entities. The names of things slowly following those things into oblivion. Colours. The names of birds. Things to eat. Finally the names of things one believed to be true."

    McCarthy's writing style is sparse yet somehow lyrical. It did bother me a bit trying to figure out McCarthy's ruling on punctuation, though. I could not understand why "don't" became "dont" but "it's" could remain "it's" and why sometimes he would correctly place a comma and why sometimes there would be none at all. It certainly takes some getting used to.

    Punctuation aside, I found The Road to be truly moving and must confess that at the end it even got some tears out of me. Without even knowing their names I truly felt sorrow for the struggle of the Man and the Boy and horror for the things that they had encountered.

    The Road is a compelling and powerful book. I can see readers either loving it for it's moving and haunting nature or in contrast growing bored with the slight repetitive aspects of the Man and Boy's journey. More than likely, however, you will be completely drawn in by McCarthy's writing style, his desolate portrayal of a post-apocalyptic America, and the heart aching plight of a father who cannot bear the thought of holding his son dead in his arms.

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  2. 3 comments:

    1. taraSG said...

      I really loved this book. Have you seen the movie? I felt like it was good and kept to the feeling of the book quite well.

    2. mummazappa said...

      i loved this story, and has increased in its resonance for me since my son was born. i haven't seen the film yet but am very keen to, i missed it at the cinema so will have to wait for dvd now!

    3. Ky said...

      I read this when I was maybe 14? At the time the lack of punctuation and names drove me insane. Looking back on it though, I can appreciate what the author was trying to convey. It was a wonderful book. Great review :D And the movie didn't even come to my town! I was so pissed!

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