Review: ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy

OK, so many of you will have read this book or seen the movie. I’ll admit, I’m behind the times with this one. I’ve been putting off reading this book as I feared it would push me into a deep depression. It isn’t the most uplifting book for a lot of the time but I think it’s a really necessary read.

A man and his son walk through an empty America with the only thing moving for them to see is ash. The air is deathly cold, the snow that fall is grey and they have to keep moving to avoid freezing to death or worse. They’re aiming to reach the coast but have no idea what awaits them there. They have only a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless gangs that roam the road. The clothes on their backs and the shopping cart they push is all they own.

The journey that the man and his son undertake is amazingly imagined and beautifully written. McCarthy’s descriptions of scenery are so intricate that I felt I was on that road with the man and his son. Despite this desolate, apocalyptic portrayal, there is something hopeful in this book. Love is the only thing keeping the pair going some days and the beautiful idea of this book is that hope still remains. McCarthy’s writing is brutal and unflinching and the story benefits from his strength. ‘The Road’ is superbly written, scary and demonstrates the things that humans are capable of when tested to the limit.

‘The Road’ – as a concept and a piece of writing – totally deserves its Pullitzer Prize for Fiction.

Vic x


2 responses to “Review: ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy

  1. To Road is a hard book, how many ways can you describe grey destitution without being repetitive? But Cormac McCarthy is a master story teller and it’s an excllent read. I didn’t find it at all depressing, grim and unrelanting yes, but not depressing. I’m curious about why people find it depressing.
    I’ve not seen the film, but given the inherent simplicity of it, I’m sure it must be one of the few cases where the film can mimic the book faithfully, rather than just being a jumping off point for another story altogether.
    I have my own review of this book here:

  2. I think Cormac McCarthy has an amazing and unique style which he puts to great effect in The Road. I love this book. Despite the sense of hopelessness, it’s a very moving story – the relationship between the man and the boy is so well realised. When I finished reading it, I put it down for a few days and then read it again.

    The film was OK but didn’t live up to the strength of the book. McCarthy’s lyrical prose is missing, and it leaves the film feeling a little empty.

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