Bonnie's Reviews > The Road

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
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's review
Jul 15, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: talking-books, reviewed, library-books, fantasy-sf
Read in December, 2008

A father and son travel through the world after. All that seems to be left is ash and cold and men who've turned into monsters, but they are travelling south, hoping to find people like them.

Let's start with the good. This book had a really beautiful intermingling of almost poetry and prose. You could tell the author didn't go for the first word that popped into his head during the poetry sections, it could be quite beautiful. The only problem was that there was unevenness to the story because of those two writing styles.

Also, I liked the questioning in the book, of, among other things, 'how much does it take for a man to turn into a monster?' 'Can you maintain your humanity and morals in a world where merely surviving is such a struggle?' 'When does the good guy become the bad guy?' I liked that it didn't go for easy answers, but, like Frankenstein did, in my opinion, left it up to the reader to puzzle through those questions.

Now for the bad. And there's quite a bit of it.

First of all, I understand that the book is a story of a father and a son, but does the woman, the wife and mother, have to be such a waste of a person? I just kept thinking, 'this is a guy's book,' and the mother was one of the main reasons I thought that.

Secondly, the repetition of the word ashes was way too heavy handed. I wanted to tell the author, 'just let the book be. Let the reader discover their own truth in it.' The author was way too forceful in molding the book a certain way so the reader would read it a certain way, and whenever you can notice the author's tactics like that, it's not a good thing.

Thirdly, the son asks, "how did the world get to be this way, papa?" toward the beginning of the book. The father's response? "That's a good question." I'm like, 'yeah. It is.' And then I realized that that was going to be the final word on the matter. It felt like a brush off.

Finally, and this is not the book's fault, the narration was terrible. Purely, purely, terrible. The father's voice was gruff and cruel when he was speaking to his son, and his voice when he was doing the crying son was cringe worthy. The entirety of the book rests on their relationship, and when the father sounds like a horrible bully who is repeatedly making his son cry, that's just lost.

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Reading Progress

11/26/2008 page 3
50.0% "Disc 3 of 6. Loathing it. Critique upon completion." 3 comments
11/30/2008 page 5
83.33% "Disc 5 of 6. My loathing has mellowed to intense dislike. ;)" 3 comments

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