Rated of 5
by Sue Keehnen Wow!
This was a very powerful story. I think that McCarthy gets a bit edgier with every story that he writes.
A face-to-face group I belong to read this, the group is all women. I think I was the only one who really, really liked it.
Rated of 5
by Dan Humphrey Life's journey through hell
Trying to imagine a post-apocalyptic world where the only survivors left are bands of cannibals, their captives, and a few stragglers fighting for survival is not something that one can easily ask the imagination to partake in. Somehow though, Cormac McCarthy is able to lure you into his horrific nightmare in his novel The Road.
The book takes place quite some time after an unexplained catastrophe has wiped out most of the human race and America has become an ash-covered and barren landscape. Although it is not specifically said there are many hints throughout the book that suggests that this destruction is worldwide.
What really enticed me was the relationship between the father and his son and McCarthy tried very hard to emphasize this to the reader. With nothing left in this charred world but each other the two lean on one another as their fight for survival never ceases. They are each other’s conscience during this time and their love and compassion for each other is what makes this book so tantalizing. The father is the well traveled one who has seen the good and bad of mankind and acts as the voice of reason. The boy is the compassionate one who does not let his own needs get in the way of those who he wants to help. I must admit that I have never read a book that kept me on the edge like this book did and I could never put the book down, no matter how hard I tried.
The title comes from that of the road that they are journeying on. However, I believe that the title also refers to life’s journey across a road with many twists and turns and no one ever knows what is coming around that next corner.
When reading this book I noticed that there are many reoccurring events that unfold. This is not an action packed book where gunfire is an often occurrence, but rather it is a book about a constant fight of survival where one’s intuition and intellect are often their greatest allies. The man and the boy are continually battling the harsh weather conditions, starvation, and trying to avoid the cannibals that stalk the land. They are traveling towards the coast in the hopes of finding friendlier climate conditions, some sort of civilization, and maybe just maybe their salvation.
Another battle that transpires in McCarthy’s book is the battle that mankind has been fighting since the beginning and that is the battle of good vs. evil. In the book the man constantly reminds the boy that they are the “good guys” and the people that try to kill them and eat other people are the “bad guys.” In the end it seems that there can be no victor as the world that they used to know crumbles around them.
Although I struggled with it at first I grew to love McCarthy’s writing style. I love how he lets your imagination run free and explore its own possibilities. He allows the reader to create his own image of the world and what it has been reduced to and he forces you to wonder what sort of event could have occurred that left the world in such a mess.
There are a few quotes that really speak volumes to what the book is about. The father’s best advice to his son is “you must carry the fire.” He tells his son that this fire is inside him and it is my belief that the man is referring to the boy and his will to live. He must remain motivated in order to survive and that as long as he keeps that fire inside of him he cannot succumb to the darkness that the rest of mankind has fallen to.
McCarthy grew up during the Cold War and it is my feeling that the war was incorporated into his book. Everyone’s worst fear during the time was that nuclear warfare would destroy the world and mankind itself would cease to exist. It was definitely evident in the book. Although it is never said what catastrophe led to the annihilation of all life on earth it is my belief that it was a manmade disaster, possibly a nuclear war.
McCarthy’s message in this book is blurry at first but eventually it becomes very evident and the reader will definitely get something out of it. This book is a must for all readers who cherish the constant fight against evil and against one’s self.
Rated of 5
by James Murray The road book review
The road, by cormac mcarthy in my opinion is one of the greatest books ever written. Although its ending is a little offset and crappy it is to be expected when reading the book and noticing all the hints that the author throws out to you.
Cormac McCarthy’s book, “The Road”, is a mystery/horror. The setting was a post apocalyptic, burned to ashes world where billions have been either burned or murdered and a select few left to eat or be eaten. A father and a son are part of the few left on the earth and they are on a journey to the coast for a chance of better survival.
I believe that the book’s tone and setting all helped create the overall feeling that Cormac Mcarthy was shooting for. He got his point across with his bloody imagery and his grotesque way of putting things. “What is it? He said. What is it? The boy shook his head. O papa, he said. He turned and looked again. What the boy had seen was a charred human infant headless and gutted and blackening on the spit.”(page 167).
There are two main characters in this book. One is the father, stress ridden and worried about his child’s survival. And then there is the son, a young boy with a lot on his chest and a sick father to care for. Both of which I feel are honorable. I feel that I mostly connected with the father character in a sense. The boy is not careless and is intelligent and I admire that.
I liked the book all the way up until the ending. The writing style was like nothing I had ever seen before, kind of like poetry, it flowed and went well together. Not having chapters was a good way to keep the reader, me, flipping pages. The voice was third person and was like someone telling a story of a father and a son.
Cormac Mcarthy is a great writer and I hope he will continue to make books.
Rated of 5
by Brittany Miserable yet uplifiting
What if you were following a road, not knowing what you’d find, where you were going, or who you might meet? The earth as you once knew it has changed. It is cold, lifeless, and the sun shines no more. Everything is covered by the thick ash that remains after a sudden cataclysm which forever changes the lives of a father and his son.
Perhaps a world such as this is hard to imagine, but not when you begin to read novelist Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning fiction novel The Road. His writing allows you to taste the dryness and feel the pang of hunger. It is filled with detail and flows like poetry. This is why it is so suspenseful and frightening. You can picture the post-apocalyptic world as if you were watching a film or even experiencing it first hand.
In fact, that’s just how The Road came about. McCarthy had a vision while visiting El Paso, Texas with his young son. He imagined the city in the future and pictured “fires on the hill” all the while thinking about his son, John Francis McCarthy, whom the novel is dedicated to.
What’s interesting about the story is that there are basically two characters. These characters are referred to as “the man” and “the boy.” I think that by choosing to leave them nameless helps you, the reader, connect with them more. They do not have names, but what matters most is that they have each other.
The father and son are on a journey across hell on earth with nothing but the clothes on their back, some canned food, and a pistol with just two bullets left. The only thing they can do is keep moving with the uncertainty if reaching their destination will mean safety or death.
Along the way they experience some ungodly encounters and horrific sights. Meanwhile the pair always remained “the good guys” when other survivors resorted to enslaving, stealing, murder, and cannibalism.
The man tries to protect his son with all of his being, but realizes he can’t shield him from seeing such traumatizing events. All he cares about is keeping him safe and alive any way he can. What father wouldn’t? At one point in the story he tells his son that “if you died, I would want to die too.” There is no greater love than a parent for their child.
The boy is forced to grow up and become wise upon his years. His childhood had been stripped from him and the father does what he can to try to bring a smile to his face. The boy is also always ready to help people they come across while journeying along the road. He is very caring and compassionate towards people in need and totally disregards that he himself is in need too. This really leads to some “awe” moments. Especially when he tells his dad “you drink some first papa, you eat” when they are both starving and sickly.
I feel that men and women alike will enjoy this book. Its different then any book I’ve ever read and I enjoyed the change. The story keeps you at the edge of your seat and it’s almost unbearable. Yet somehow McCarthy keeps you hopeful and even inspires you to have courage and keep hold of faith.
Ultimately, The Road tells an unforgettable tale of a father and son desperately struggling for survival. You’ll find yourself turning page after page because you just have to know that they’ll be alright. You’ll question the motives of others, but never doubt the love and courage of “the good guys” who will always “carry the fire.”
Rated of 5
by Tyler Bender Book Review: The Road
Imagine a world torn by fire and ravaged “by men who would eat your children in front of your eyes” where an ashen landscape is the backdrop for the journey of a father and his son seeking salvation and carrying a small hope that there’s still an untainted place of good left on this earth. This journey is told so terrifyingly horribly and yet so realistically by Cormac McCarthy in The Road.
The father and son are never named other than the man and boy in the story and this style makes them seem closer together, it makes you believe in them, like they’re somebody you know or somebody you could know. McCarthy makes you like them because they are “the good guys” that are “carrying the fire” of hope and salvation in a world of ash and evil. In this post-apocalyptic world where hydrangeas and wild orchids are “ashen effigies” of themselves where marching bands of cannibalistic gangs loot the land where buildings are melted and tipped with the windows like icing where interstates are filled with long lines of charred and rusting cars, the two are “each others world entire” and only survive together.
The story line revolves around the journey of a man and his son traveling to the sea with a revolver with two bullets, a cart filled with a couple blankets and some canned food and each other, but there’s always something going on some sort of trouble and tension between everything else in this barren scorched landscape.
Even though the boy is the only thing keeping the father going and the world is so horrible that the father would rather have the son, his son commit suicide rather than be captured and eaten or forced to be a catamite of these marauding bands. The boy’s mother couldn’t handle a world like this and killed herself while the boy was still very young. The world is ugly and full of ash but the love that McCarthy creates between the man and the boy makes you believe that there’s still some good left in the world and that they will reach salvation. The father says “On this road there are no godspoke men. They are gone and I am left and they have taken with them the world”.
The first time I read it I didn’t really like this book, but I read it again and I really started to like The Road. I liked it because of McCarthy’s style of writing, the love the man and boy have for each other, and how they over come all these hardships together and still have hope of a better world. McCarthy’s style of writing is nothing like I’ve ever read before and I like it, it’s poetic. His story is a story of love and many horrifying hardships of a man and a boy journeying through a land blasted by some apocalypse some years ago. You should read it and think. Just think.
Rated of 5
by Kim 5+
I absolutely loved this book. It has haunted my imagination since I read it more than six months ago. It's beautifully written, spare, stark. I have recommended it to two reading friends to date, both of whom love it.
Now, I have to say, this book isn't for everyone. The style is very bare-bones, and I can see how it would be a problem for some people. Nevertheless, I highly recommend it.
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