Saturday 16 August 2014

Review - The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The RoadThe Road by Cormac McCarthy
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 3 days

Publisher - Picador

Pages - 307

Blurb 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 the 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 scavanged food - and each other.

My Review

So many people loved this book and I really wanted to be one of them, but I just didn't like it. Most of the population are dead, those who aren't are either good guys or bad guys. Our main characters, the father and the boy are good guys, the bad guys are really bad and horrific. There has been a huge fire, or maybe fires and everything is pretty much ruined. Civilization is gone, food sources are scarce, it is freezing and every day is a battle to survive.

For me, I need a how and a why, there wasn't any. What caused the fire, what happened to all the people, where are the animals? Where are the two going to? Why don't they have names, why is there no punctuation. There was also no chapters although a lot of page breaks which I don't mind and I think the missing parts that I need actually added to the sense of desolation and hopelessness of the people and situation. I don't like that, I need the details, the familiarity, the content although it has been suggested my issue is an apocalypse and no zombies (I loved The Stand so this isn't the issue).

I felt bored for a lot of it, then something horrific would happen, then just back to the hopelessness of trying to survive. I would like to watch the movie and see if I can get a better grasp of what it was all about. Yes a father and son, trying to survive against the odds and elements is the majority of the story, however for me and this type of story I need more. I am definitely in the minority here as so many people seemed to love it so I would suggest trying it yourself and I would love to hear your thoughts. For me though, this time, 2 out of 5. Not too sure I would pursue this author but I would read their work if I came across it again, just to see how they do the next one.

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  1. I read this one a while ago and I enjoyed it, as much as you can enjoy such a bleak read. The authors writing style just added to the experience of reading this one. It's a sad story and like you mention, there really aren't any answers.
    Thanks for the honest review!

  2. This is a book (and film) that I have intentionally not read because I feared that it might disturb me. I mentioned it in my Books that Bugged Me post. From what I saw it seemed to be a realistic depiction of something very bad happening to the planet. I am afraid that the hopeless might be a little too much for me.

    I liked McCathy's Blood Meridian, though that was brutal and a bit disturbing.

  3. The Road made quite an impression on me when I read it. It was such an emotional read for me. I don't think it's for everyone though, and I'm sorry you didn't like it more.

  4. I found it really hard going and struggled to finish it. Like you, I wanted answers to questions and was frustrated when there weren't any!


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