Newest Review: ... which roam this world and the problem of finding essentials such as food, water and shelter in this ruined world. Throughout the novel, th... more
A fairly good read.
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Member Name: Superjim03
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Advantages: A good read, widely praised by reviewers
Disadvantages: Don't read it if you want cheering up
This 2006 book by Cormac McCarthy charts the adventures and tribulations of a a man and his son travelling through the desolate remains of a future America. The book won the 2007 Pulitzer fiction prize and the James Tait Black memorial prize for fiction in 2006 and was highly praised at the time. It has since been made into a Hollywood film.
The book is fairly short in length, my copy was 256 pages although the paragraphs are quite short and the typeface quite large, I read the book in about three days but it could easily be read in one sitting.
The genre would probably be described as science fiction, but there is very little in terms of traditional science fiction and the novel is more concerned with the interaction between the man and the boy (who are described as such and never actually named). They are travelling towards the coast following some unspecified catastrophe possibly nuclear war, there is very little food or shelter available to them other than food they can steal from abandonded homes and shops which have already been heavily looted and they teeter on the edge of starvation. Almost all plants and animals are dead although there are a few other human survivors these are treated with caution as it seems canibalism, murder and rape are all they can expect from these fellow survivors.
The mans wife and boys mother has committed suicide some time in the past and it emerges that the boy was born around about the time of the world changing event.
The man carries a handgun but with only two bullets it is used more as a deterrent than anything else.
The man is also ill in some way and frequently coughs up blood and the boy is clearly not of an age where he can look after himself alone, it seems the man has resigned himself to killing the boy before he dies, I won't spoil the later chapters by disclosing how this resolves.
The novel is quite bleak and there are no moments of humour, this is not a lighthearted read and I would have been quite reluctant to persevere if the novel had been another hundred pages or so. As it is I did quite enjoy the book although it probably isn't something I would usually choose, (a friend gave me this copy). I wouldn't however rate it as highly as some reviewers, it has been touted as the best book of the last twenty five years which I would certainly disagree with.
Overall recommended but not if you want cheering up!
The book is available from Amazon for about £5.00 but I'm sure you would get a copy from a charity shop for less as the book has been around for a few years.
Summary: An American classic?