Amber's Reviews > The Road

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
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's review
May 04, 10

bookshelves: fiction, post-apocalyptic, books-i-own
Read in May, 2010

Over all I think this was an interesting concept for a story, but I feel like the execution could have been better. Writing the book almost entirely in narration left me feeling kind of disengaged. Most of the time I felt little to no connection to what I was reading. While reading this book I was reminded of something my high school sophomore English teacher told the class whenever we were writing any sort of narrative: Don't tell me what's happening, show me what's happening. Meaning, when possible, use dialog to tell a story instead of just using narration, because using dialog will typically make a story more dynamic. I feel like this book could have benefited from more "showing" and less "telling" since I found the most interesting and engaging parts to be when the father and son were reacting to/interacting with each other or other people—scenes which generally included dialog. I understand that the lack of dialog was likely a very purposeful style choice given the setting of the story, but it just didn't work for me.

Something that really annoyed me with this book was the use of apostrophes, quotation marks, and commas. Or, I should say, the lack thereof. No quotation marks were used (even when there was dialog, which is generally in quotation marks), and apostrophes and commas were few and far between. Honestly, I can understand if you're going for a certain style that you might want to forgo those things, but be consistent! Don't use apostrophes when contracting "will" or "would" (e.g. - you'll, he'd) but leave out the apostrophe when contracting "not" (e.g. - wont, hadnt). Either use apostrophes when contracting words, or don't. Choose your style and stick with it! Also, there were a few instances where the lack of quotation marks made it hard to differentiate between when dialog ended and narration resumed.

The over all writing style frustrated me a bit as well. At times it seemed as if the writer was trying so hard to make the style of writing come across as stilted/stream of consciousness that it made some scenes unclear or confusing. There were parts where it was difficult to tell if something was just a weird (day)dream, a flashback, or something actually happening in present time. I'd read the same paragraph like, 3 or 4 times and still find myself thinking "What...just...happened?" I feel like at times there was almost too much detail sacrificed for the sake of achieving a certain style of writing.

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Reading Progress

04/09/2010 page 38
15.77% "Not sure I'm really feeling all this narration narration narration, but it's not that long of a read, so I'll stick with it." 1 comment
04/17/2010 page 147
61.0% "Most interesting parts have been when the father/son interact with or react to other people ...And the little boy kind of annoys me."
05/01/2010 page 190
78.84% "For such a short book this sure is taking a long time to finish. I really need to focus and finish, got other books I want to move on to!"
05/04/2010 page 241
100.0% "FINALLY DONE! That last paragraph's a bit..."huh?""

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