Joseph Dunn's Reviews > The Road

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
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's review
Jul 30, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: pulizer-prize, literature

Wow, what a captivating story! I read this book in two sittings, which is rare for me. Usually I read novels slowly, savor the writing, pause, reflect, reread passages, just enjoy it. Not so much with this one, which is not a criticism. If anyone has read or seen "No Country For Old Men" you know that McCarthy is a master of suspense.

Set in the post-apocalyptic future, the human race has been pracitcally annihilated. While we don't know the exact circumstances, we do know that years later the sun never shines through the grey sky, entire cities are charred wastelands, no vegetation grows, and ash constantly hovers in the air, covering everything.

"The Road" focuses on a father and son struggling not only for survival, but to retain their humanity. Out of desperation, many survivors have reduced themselves to thievery and even cannibalism. Armed with only a pistol and a grocery cart filled with scavenged food, the father and son travel the road toward the coast in hope of finding civilization.

Many of the gruesome scenes illuminate the worst of humanity, but it is the love between the father and son that sustains them through the horror and propel the story. McCarthy's minimal writing boils down the dialogue and narrative to the bare essentials, creating a raw, stark mood throughout.

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