Wil Wheaton's Reviews > The Road

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jun 10, 09

I really wanted to like this book, because just about everyone I know who read it loved it and raves about it. That it's post-apocalyptic fiction is a plus, because that's one of my favorite genres of all time.

I gave up after about 30 pages, though, because I just couldn't stand the way it was written. This isn't a judgment against the author or anyone who enjoyed the book, but for me, reading it was like watching a movie with an incredible plot that's shot entirely out of focus, or lit so poorly, I had to struggle to see the actors and enjoy the story.

I may give it another try again at some point in the future, but I'm too old and have too little time for reading to invest it in books that make me work really hard to digest them.
17 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Road.
sign in »

Comments (showing 1-19)

dateUp arrow    newest »

Chompa I felt the same way at first. McCarthy's writing seemed very poor, but after I adjusted to it, I realized his writing very much lent itself to the mood. By the time I was halfway thru the book the writing was compelling & perfectly clear.

McCarthy's writing is different at all times and I have to be in the right mood to start one of his books. If I'm in the right mood and adjust (like diving into cold water really) I end up enjoying it greatly.

message 18: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle I totally agree with you Will. I didn't even make it to 30 pages. And while I too, might pick it up again in the (far) future, this is one that will have to sit and wait while I read others that interest me more.

message 17: by Rose (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rose Sometimes its about moods. Perhaps you are not feeling this one right now. I really liked the simple way such a tragedy was allowed to unfold. It's not a very big book, but very powerful. I would suggest perhaps you try this one again at a later time.

Laurie Wil & Dawn- don't bother picking it back up. Really. The writing style may match the stark reality of the book, but it only gets more annoying the more you read. :)

message 15: by Rose (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rose Perhaps you should finish the book and then decide for yourselves. It's all about setting the tone which I think it does beautifully in it's simplicity. It is a look at the worst of and the best of the human race. If you can get past just the writing of it and take from it the message, you might get more out of it. I know I appreciated my beautiful, colorful world surrounding me and all the living beathing elements of life after I read it.

Laurie Rose wrote: "Perhaps you should finish the book and then decide for yourselves. It's all about setting the tone which I think it does beautifully in it's simplicity. It is a look at the worst of and the best ..."

We can definitely agree on appreciating life and enjoying some sunshine and breathing fresh air a little more than we did before, even if we don't share the same opinion of the book. :)

Leslie Dawn Homer I just finished it and it was just ...meh nothing great not horrid just ...meh

[Name Redacted] A good writer can make the mundane seem remarkable, but McCarthy is too bare to be beautiful, and too pointless to be poignant.

I found the above in another review. Perfectly sums up the way this book disappointed me.


Diane The generic "he" made it hard to determine which "he" McCarthy meant - the father, the boy, the guy who comes upon them with a gun. I don't usually do post-apocalyptic fiction, so for me to have enjoyed it (well, "enjoyed" might be too strong a word; perhaps "appreciated" is more appropriate).

message 10: by Kyle (new) - rated it 1 star

Kyle I had basically the same reaction. Though, I stubbornly and masochistically read through the whole book. It never improves.

message 9: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Peto Quotes on the book I'm reading now compare it thematically to The Road, but The Passage by Justin Cronin is very readable, I think. I've never been into post-apocalyptic fiction, but I'm enjoying it.

Peggy I agree. I had put it down about half way through and didn't touch it for months. But since I purchased it, I forced myself to finish. I didn't feel anything for the characters and I, too, hated the way it was written. The lack of structure made it very difficult to digest.

message 7: by Rhys (new) - added it

Rhys Wow, I'm SO glad I'm not the only one who felt this way! This was actually my second attempt to read the book.
My problem is that I tend to read on my subway commute and with all the usual distractions, interpreting his overly descriptive style exhausted and frustrated me. So I gave up.
I think I'll just watch the movie.

the Reeds try listening to it on cd. It adds a different dimension...

Andrew Anderson I started it when the film first came out, and gave up, deeming the writing style to be painful on my eyes and brain. Re-read it a few years later and absolutely loved it. One of my favourite books, maybe it just wasn't my time first-time around...

Henry Bemis As a fan of both the apocalyptic genre and Stephen King you might want to read There's Blood on the Moon Tonight by Bryn Roar.

Dave Allen I finished it, but it wasn't easy. It was a good ending, but the reader shouldn't have to work so hard for it.

John Harper Lifes to short to work hard for fiction. Its not your cup of tea. move on. That's my advice. Or try the movie. takes a lot less time :)

Bailey Crawly I honestly couldn't agree with you more, Wil, although I foolishly forced myself to finish, believing it would get better. Spoiler alert: it really didn't.

back to top