Rob's Reviews > The Road

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
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Jul 12, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: apocalypse, 2008, cannibalism, 100-paperbacks
Recommended to Rob by: Jarret B.
Read in July, 2008

Just amazing. Brutal and emotional. A linear armature of a story (which you can probably grab from the title) but holy fucking hell does it eviscerate you.

Part of McCarthy's brutal mastery is in withholding; very quickly we become very intimate with "the man" and "the child" but he never really gives us all that many details about them (e.g., names) and consequently we imprint like hell onto these characters. We invest everything we have in this struggle of theirs. To the point where it becomes difficult to put down the book without believing they're safe.

If the text is dry and prosaic at times, it's just to reinforce how grim and burnt out this landscape the man and the child travel. But like I said, you follow them, imprinting like hell.

This'll about sum it up:

In the morning they came up out of the ravine and took to the road again. He'd carved the boy a flute from a piece of roadside cane and he took it from his coat and gave it to him. The boy took it wordlessly. After a while he fell back and after a while the man could hear him playing. A formless music for the age to come. Or perhaps the last music on earth called up from out of the ashes of its ruin. The man turned and looked back at him. He was lost in concentration. The man thought he seemed some sad and solitary changeling child announcing the arrival of a traveling spectacle in shire and village who does not know that behind him the players have all been carried off by wolves.

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See also:
http://www.accreditedonlinecolleges.c...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08...
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Quotes Rob Liked

Cormac McCarthy
“In the morning they came up out of the ravine and took to the road again. He'd carved the boy a flute from a piece of roadside cane and he took it from his coat and gave it to him. The boy took it wordlessly. After a while he fell back and after a while the man could hear him playing. A formless music for the age to come. Or perhaps the last music on earth called up from out of the ashes of its ruin. The man turned and looked back at him. He was lost in concentration. The man thought he seemed some sad and solitary changeling child announcing the arrival of a traveling spectacle in shire and village who does not know that behind him the players have all been carried off by wolves.”
Cormac McCarthy, The Road


Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Michael I recently read this book and liked it very much. It's nice to see such a theme written as literature. How often does that happen?

It's a nice companion to Ballard's _Burning World_ (or maybe vise-versa).

-m



message 2: by Rob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rob The Burning World... check: on the list.

I know I keep saying this but... Coming out of J.J.Adams' collection Wastelands earlier this year helped set the stage for me when reading this. "Set the stage" meaning that I seem to have read a lot of (post-)apocalyptic fiction this year. This one really did a number on me though.


message 3: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Holy cow. Awesome review. Now I'm more scared than ever to read this book. Thanks. lol psst i voted.


message 4: by Alan (new) - rated it 1 star

Alan September Good for you Rob, I read this and I kept waiting for something to happen. Not only could I NOT relate, I was bored. This was the first book I have read for pleasure that I hated.

I like your take on it though, interesting.


Stephen I think your review nails it: the writer withholds,the reader invests. By the end of the book a profoundly strong connection is formed. Arduous and moving in equal measure.


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