The Road – Cormac McCarthy

I picked up The Road after reading several glowing reviews. This may have led to raised expectations, as I found it to be a disappointment. It read as though it had been written for critics to like discussing and to win prizes, rather than to tell a story or convey anything of importance to the reader.

A post-apocalyptic look at human nature and relationships, a father and his son are crossing America after an unknown disaster followed by widespread looting has occurred. In the struggle for survival the pair have to balance morality with surviving in how they treat the strangers they meet. Papa has to come to terms with the loss of his world and wife, and the son with a world that does not make sense, nor compare to the world his father tells him stories from. This is combined with finding the luck to continue on their journey and find food as they hide from the nameless bad guys. The book slowly shifts from “he” being Papa to the son, neither of whom are named, as the son grows into independence and away from trusting and speaking to his father.

The book is written in a very sparse style, but still gives a sense of place in this devastated world. But with a weak plot and the staccato passages, I found it an unsatisfying read.

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One thought on “The Road – Cormac McCarthy

  1. This reminds me, I have yet to read his No County for Old Men loaned to me by my son — also made into a film, and very gripping. Though very much also in the vein of written for critics to like discussing!

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