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The Road
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2016-19 Activities & Challenges > Buddy Read Discussion - The Road by Cormac McCarthy - *OPEN discussion*

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message 1: by Book Concierge (last edited Jul 14, 2018 05:08PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments Welcome to anyone who is interested in reading The Road by Cormac McCarthyfor the July Decathlon Challenge! (This book also fits the July "Dystopia" tag.)

Please feel free to join the discussion if you have read the book before.

***NOTE: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS Beginning with Post 43, the discussion is wide open. It's a relatively short work, so we'll probably open the discussion to all comments, including spoilers after 10 days or so. But even then, it might be advisable to hide any spoilers using html coding, or at least clearly identify spoiler information.


The people I have so far are:
Ellie
Hilde
Idit
Tessa (Book Concierge)


If other people chime in, then I can add you to this list so that it makes for easy reporting for the Decathlon Challenge.

Looking forward to a stimulating discussion!


Susie | 4488 comments I wish I could read this again for the first time!


Hilde (hilded) | 433 comments Count me in, I have wanted to read it for a long time! Looking forward to it 😊


Idit | 1028 comments Exciting! Shout when ready
Susie - I’ll take that as a high recommendation


message 5: by Book Concierge (last edited Jun 28, 2018 06:45AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments Susie wrote: "I wish I could read this again for the first time!"

There's no requirement that it be a "new" book. So you can re-read it along with us, if you like.


Susie | 4488 comments It will never be the same as the first time though.


Elise (ellinou) I'm in! It's the book I picked for July!


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments Great, Ellie! We're happy to have you join us.


Hilde (hilded) | 433 comments Picked up the book in both audio and paperback at the library today, so now I am all set. Just need to finish my 'magical realism' book first 😂


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments My request for an audio from the library is shown as "in transit" ... I had hoped it would be there today, but no luck. Fingers crossed that it arrives on Monday.


Susie | 4488 comments I can’t imagine this in audio because of the writing style. I’m interested to see what you think.


Hilde (hilded) | 433 comments Started reading today, and am currently at page 80 (no chapters). It's a grey world for sure. Anyone else started?


message 13: by Idit (new) - rated it 3 stars

Idit | 1028 comments I finished my other book, so can start on it tonight. Very exciting


Anita Pomerantz | 6733 comments I am just following as this book is a favorite of mine. Hope you still like it Idit!


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments Started the audio yesterday .... still on disc 1, but on the last track. They're in the mountains.

The audio is very good and I am not noticing any problems with who is speaking (comments I've read on the text reviews - due to lack of quotations / breaks?).

I'm wondering what happened to create this "dying" world. But the descriptions of the landscape are so vivid that I can easily picture it.


Hilde (hilded) | 433 comments I'm also very curious to find out what has actually happened to this world, little background given away so far. The descriptions are very vivid.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments Starting to get a little background of the "long ago."

Loving the relationship between the man and the boy.

Curious about where they are and noticed a reference to the "Piedmont range" ....
Per Wikipedia: The Piedmont is a plateau region located in the eastern United States. It sits between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New Jersey in the north to central Alabama in the south.


message 18: by Idit (new) - rated it 3 stars

Idit | 1028 comments I’m just starting and already freaking out. Nothing specific - just the idea of having our kids inherit a broken world and having to survive


message 19: by Idit (new) - rated it 3 stars

Idit | 1028 comments So it’s in the east? I assumed it was on the west coast for some reason


message 20: by Elise (new) - rated it 1 star

Elise (ellinou) I finished it and, sorry Anita, really did not like it! A quote from page 232 adequately sums up my feelings when I was reading: "Their progress was a slow torture."

Sorry XD

I'll write a full review over the weekend.


Anita Pomerantz | 6733 comments Ellie wrote: "I finished it and, sorry Anita, really did not like it! A quote from page 232 adequately sums up my feelings when I was reading: "Their progress was a slow torture."

Sorry XD

I'll write a full re..."


**sob**

No seriously, what fun would it be if we all agreed on books (or anything else for that matter). Are you a parent, Ellie, just out curiosity? I feel like this book would be much harder to relate to emotionally if you are not a parent . . .


message 22: by Elise (new) - rated it 1 star

Elise (ellinou) No, I'm not. Maybe that's part of the reason I didn't "feel" it.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments I've finished 4 out of 6 CDs of the audio.... They're on the coastal plain.

There are several things ...
I'm wondering about ... (view spoiler)

I'm really disturbed by ... (view spoiler)


Hilde (hilded) | 433 comments Just finished the book, and I got the same questions that you have, Book C. I am not really sure how I am going to rate this, need to think about it for a while.


message 25: by Idit (new) - rated it 3 stars

Idit | 1028 comments I’m on school holidays with my family, so not reaching goodread but reading the book on my few alone moments. Will join everyone by the end of the week


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments I thought I'd get it finished today, but hubby and I have several appointments / errands to run together so I won't be listening to my audio. S*I*G*H

How's everyone else doing? I know you've finished, Hilde. And I see you're reading between family engagements, Idit. Ellie, how are you progressing?

I don't want to lift the "no spoiler" ban too soon, so please let me know.


message 27: by Elise (new) - rated it 1 star

Elise (ellinou) I'm done, will be posting a full review as soon as I can :)


Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2298 comments I just popped in to see the comments so far. I also listened to The Road on audio but a few years ago. So, I did read the spoilers. I looking for forward to seeing the comments when the spoiler is lifted. :-)


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments I finished yesterday ... and had nightmares last night. Well, not exactly nightmares, but clearly disturbing dreams (where I am the little boy in the story).

Rather disappointed in the ending.

Haven't written my review yet ... but it'll be 3.5***


message 30: by Idit (new) - rated it 3 stars

Idit | 1028 comments Being away with friends and family, I am very slow and not very advanced, but I was reading last night and it just fills me with dread - it’s so close to our world - if something horrible happens now- five years from now that can be our world. I find it so much worse to imagine than a dystopia that’s set at a super distant or parallel future


annapi | 5153 comments I'm a parent, and I though I appreciated the relationship between the father and the boy, I still did not like this story. Most of the time reading it I was irritated, waiting in vain for something interesting to happen. Hehehe Ellie, I'm glad to find someone else who feels the same!


message 32: by Idit (new) - rated it 3 stars

Idit | 1028 comments I’m curious - people who read it now or in the past ...
Do you like / dislike horror movies?


I generally can’t watch them. The suspense, the ‘surprises’ ... I even blocked my ears at a scary part in Incredibles 2 {Blush}

This book is very interesting but yikes!!!!


(I’ll ask / say my thoughts about more specific things later in the read). Just to update where I am without giving too much information : I’m up to page 56 - They just woke up and the cedar trees are falling from the snow. There was a march of guys with red scarves few pages ago


message 33: by annapi (last edited Jul 12, 2018 07:33AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

annapi | 5153 comments I don't like horror movies but it's not because they scare me. Usually I think the characters make really stupid decisions, and you can see the scary stuff coming from miles away. The gore is just distasteful. The closest something came to truly horrifying me was in my teens when I watched Alien. Now THAT was a horror movie.


message 34: by Sushicat (new) - added it

Sushicat | 805 comments I remember watching Aliens in my teens - peeking through my fingers and occasionally jumping from fright...


annapi | 5153 comments Aliens the sequel wasn't really horror for me, just a kickass action movie. The rest of the movies weren't worth watching IMO.


Susie | 4488 comments I adored The Road but really don’t like horror movies. Not because they are scary, but I always find them implausible.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments I think this is one of those books where, while I appreciate the writing, and certain passages really are memorable ... I just don't like the book. I may give it 2.5** .... still thinking about it.


message 38: by Idit (last edited Jul 13, 2018 08:00AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Idit | 1028 comments I’m not sure if I’m the last one standing. Did everyone else finished the book? I think I’m having a shift in the way I grasp it. From sheer horror as I read, to valuing the relationship between them, the experiencing new things from your child’s eyes... heck - even a road trip and all of that under the shadow of the end of the world and the end (?) of humans and humanity

It’s very interesting book anyways. (I’m around page 100)

Regarding horror movies - I don’t like them, and not because I find them unbelievable. I find them absolutely terrifying. Doesn’t matter how unreasonable it is. And reading up to now was really pressing the same buttons for me - primal fears...

But I can see through it and really appreciate the writing.


Anita Pomerantz | 6733 comments Wow, BC . . .I am very surprised you didnt like this one more. I really thought you would.


message 40: by Book Concierge (last edited Jul 13, 2018 07:44PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments Anita wrote: "Wow, BC . . .I am very surprised you didnt like this one more. I really thought you would."

I know ... you and many other people whose opinions I trust have urged me to read it for years. Just not my cup of tea. It's one of those books I appreciate, but don't particularly like.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments Idit wrote: "I’m not sure if I’m the last one standing. Did everyone else finished the book? I think I’m having a shift in the way I grasp it. From sheer horror as I read, to valuing the relationship between th..."

I think the rest of us have finished. I'm holding off on opening it to all comments - spoiler or not - until you're closer to being done, Idit.


message 42: by Idit (new) - rated it 3 stars

Idit | 1028 comments It's 2.30am, and I'm done.
I think it's a very good book. But will go to sleep now and will write more tomorrow.

open to all comments away


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments OKAY - ALL COMMENTS WELCOME No need to hide any spoiler information from this point forward.


message 44: by Elise (new) - rated it 1 star

Elise (ellinou) My review is over here, by the way ^^


message 45: by Idit (new) - rated it 3 stars

Idit | 1028 comments I was just sitting with my friend who said she hated the book and considered it time wasted. She said she think his outlook on humanity is too bleak and unbelievable.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments Okay ... so what is with the ending?

They're all alone ... the boy sits with his father's body for three days before going out to the road and just standing there. Where miraculously a "good guy" appears who states that he's been following them for days ????? Where'd he come from? When did he (and his little family) see the boy and his father?


message 47: by Idit (new) - rated it 3 stars

Idit | 1028 comments Sorry it took me so long - it's the winter school holidays here, so I've been playing tag and 'what's the time mr fox' instead of reading...

this is my thoughts regarding the end... hope they make sense:

If the road is mainly a study of a fatherhood, then once the man died, this is where the story ends. what happens after is in a way meaningless. Same way that the type of apocalypse doesn’t matter for the story. It’s just the surroundings to this thorough look of what it is to be a parent

It reminds me in this way of two other books that I loved even more - We Need to Talk About Kevin, and an Israeli book called Dolly City. Both of them - if you strip them down to their essence, are inspecting personal fears regarding motherhood - specifically fears of becoming a mother and failing the kid terribly … I think (in each book failing in a different way)

The Road is written by a man - a western writer no less - and he already is an older father … but I think the idea is similar. It’s really not about reaching the end and what the future holds. It’s about the road and not the ending. Those moments of parenting. Of choosing life and humanity and passing it along.

So maybe the ending is the man not wanting to see the boy having a bad ending. Maybe it’s kindness done to him by the 'god of narrative'.
It was mentioned by him quite often that they are lucky - and I think that was written as an explanation to all those implausible things - the bunker with food, the boat… with food, the saving at the end. It just doesn’t really matter for the point McCarthy is trying to make.

If I include the trout paragraph - maybe it is the man imagining a deus ex machina future for his loved child, and remembering the beauty of the past, and knowing it will not be there again. In other words - give the boy a happy ending, but humanity as a whole a sad ending.

maybe?


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6382 comments Wonderful points, Idit. I like the way you think.


message 49: by Elise (new) - rated it 1 star

Elise (ellinou) I have some sarcastic thoughts about the ending but I think I'll keep them to myself, haha!


Anita Pomerantz | 6733 comments Idit wrote: "..It’s really not about reaching the end and what the future holds. It’s about the road and not the ending. Those moments of parenting. Of choosing life and humanity and passing it along. .."

THIS!!

This is exactly what I loved about the book . . .


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