The Road The Road discussion


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Can't get into it

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message 1: by Sam (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sam I have read about 100 pages out of 287 and can't seem to get into it. Can anyone tell me if this is going to get better or is it this slow the entire way? No spoilers please.


Luke it's a slow burner. i'd be inclined to say if you aren't into it by now, you likely won't enjoy the rest of it. personally, i loved it so i'd say persevere! :)


message 3: by Tim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tim Weed I agree with Luke. One of the great books of the 21st century so far, in my view - but I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone.

This blog post may help you appreciate McCarthy's artistry, even if it's not exactly your cup of tea: http://bit.ly/wZlVx


Richard it's a strange book, i read it in one sitting and it packed an emotional punch, but then i started to see it as manipulative and simply the ramblings of an old man who had a son late in life and was worried about the world. i don't think it is quite the classic it is made out to be


message 5: by Tim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tim Weed Like I said, it's subjective. But for me, the book was a dark, prophetic poem warning humanity to get its @#R#ing act together. A strange, powerful masterpiece.


message 6: by Cyd (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cyd I read it while camping at Yellowstone. I loved it. On a thread here its either loved or hated, very few in betweens. I would keep reading it so you can decide. Then watch the movie.


message 7: by Dan (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dan I think it was slow and hard for people to read because there is no dialogue between the two characters. What is said is very short. I tried to remind my self that these two people have been alone together , all the time, for a good amount of time. With thinking, I realized why there was very little dialogue.


message 8: by moonisahh (last edited Feb 29, 2012 11:45AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

moonisahh its written in such a simplified way that its difficult to read to emphasise that we sometimes over complex things and take little gratitude for the little things that count.
nevertheless i found it hard to get engaged :)


Shawn Read this book a couple of years ago. Very dark, disturbing, distressing, and haunting. But well-written and memorable.


Michael T Short answer is no it does not get any better.


Chris Haynes I've read this book twice and loved it. I was totally absorbed by the story and very moved by the relationship between the father and son. I asked my wife to read it and she does not like this kind of book and she loved it too. She cried at the end. We saw the movie in the theater and were moved just as much! I would highly recommend this book!!


message 12: by Tim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tim Weed I'm with you, Chris. I found it extremely disturbing, extremely compelling, and impossible to put down. Looking back, the experience of reading it has immeasurably enriched my life.

But there's no accounting for taste.


Annie Absolutely one of my favorite books....it is a little dark though


message 14: by Eric (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eric This story is about as dark as can be without being supernatural. I loved it. The pace is relatively constant throughout, if you're not feeling it at page 100 it may not be your cup of tea. People seem to either love or hate this book.


message 15: by Sam (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sam Thanks to all for all your comments. I may have to chalk this one up to not my cup of tea, but then again, I may persevere as it was a quick read up to page 100. The mixture of comments here make me a little curious to keep reading.


message 16: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Dale In terms of style and delivery, it's not going to change. Obviously the story will progress, but very much more of the same to the point you have reached. If it's not your thing by now, then I don't think it will become your thing by the end.

Personally, I could barely put it down. One of the best books I've read in recent years.


Beth I hated that book. I read all of it only because I wanted to discuss it with my mother. It was terribly depressing. The ending is why I think some people loved it. It was touching and made me want to cry. But first I had to read a very slow depressing book. I wouldn't bother with it if I were you unless you want to discuss it.


Michael T Or if you want to be slow and depressing


Heather It is slow for a reason. The writing style shows the feel of the world in which his character's are living. By the way, please do not see the movie, it is dissapointing, and nowhere near the modern classic this book is.


Michael Reynolds I do not consider myself a lover of hoity-toity works of literature.

I enjoyed The Road for its story and thoughtful content. It is original enough to maybe offset the less than average action. I remember not being able to put it down; it must have been interesting enough to keep pulling me through the chapters.

If your book quest requires a story deep in a post-apocalyptic atmosphere, this one achieves the bleakness and despair that many others do not.

Do see the movie if you are so inclined but not until after you read the book.


message 21: by Dana (new) - rated it 2 stars

Dana Sandyboy wrote: "it's a strange book, i read it in one sitting and it packed an emotional punch, but then i started to see it as manipulative and simply the ramblings of an old man who had a son late in life and wa..."

Thanks, Sandyboy, you've encapsulated my feelings about the book better than I could. I'm pretty sick of people acting like there are only two camps: 1) people who love this book because they're smart enough to 'get it' and 2) Twilight-loving Philistines. I appreciated its merits, but I still disliked it.

Sam, I finished it mostly because it was too brief to leave unfinished, but by the end I was actually hoping the kid would die because I was so sick of the little one-note soot-covered cherub. May as well finish it so you can say you read a Pulitzer winner, eh?

I think it would have been vastly improved if 50 or even 20 pages had been edited out. At its current length, my horror at the grimness too quickly turned to boredom and then to disdain.


message 22: by Steph (new)

Steph I didn't love it. Happy to see I'm not alone. I was starting to think I clearly didn't 'get it.' Perhaps it's just not for everyone. I read it a few years ago, but it was recently chosen as an upcoming book club pick, so I guess I'll give it another shot. I'm torn between dreading going at it again and hoping that I just missed something last time around.


message 23: by Sam (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sam Dana wrote: "Sandyboy wrote: "it's a strange book, i read it in one sitting and it packed an emotional punch, but then i started to see it as manipulative and simply the ramblings of an old man who had a son la..."

I did finish the book, and gave it only 2 stars. My opinion of the book is that it is boring with no real point to it. I think it would have been better with some kind of backstory as to what happened and why or how. Other than that, it was boring and I WILL NEVER GET THAT TIME BACK!! It really also bugs me that people say that it impacted their lives greatly. Maybe I'm missing the point, but I don't think the point could be explained to me where I would appreciate it at all.


message 24: by Mal (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mal Yes. You are missing the point. Completely.


Michael Brady I found it a useful antidote to most other survivalist fiction, which tends to be action-packed and weirdly optimistic. Life in the aftermath of an extinction level event would be cold, dark, and sad.


Michael O AN IMPORTANT SUGGESTION!!! Watch the Movie, then read the book. In that order, it sends your mind on a spellbinding Roller Coaster that you will never forget.

On a mundane friday night, my friend and I were having trouble finding something to do. Finally, we went to the local blockbuster, unaware of what we would find. After some meticulous decision making, we narrowed our options to three titles: Crash, Contagion, and The Road. The Road barely won the final cut, however, I am very grateful it did.

My Friend and I watched the movie twice, then returned it the following day. The next monday in school, my friend and i deliberated the horrific details of the movie. Our teacher, who happens to have an encyclopedic knowledge, overheard our talk. He told us that the movie was originally a novel written by the well-known author Cormac McCarthy. My Friend and I went to the local library and rented two copies, we raced to get it finished.

One of the best dystopian novels i have ever read and the work accentuates the difficulty of surviving against insurmountable odds. Truly a classic, some other novels that proved to be just as enjoyable are 1984 1984 by George Orwell and The Stand The Stand by Stephen King .
Add Me for good reviews and recommendations


Therese This book is difficult to read because "The Road" is a book about Hell, the very Hell we have ourselves already created and are allowing to be created under our very noses right now. We are giving our very life's work to its creation. Nothing would kill your soul more surely than walking your child through death, doing all that becomes necessary to walk that dead road, and on the faintest of a single hope that your child might yet live beyond. Yet that is what that father does, does it when even the mother cannot, because he so completely loves that child. Not meant to be a nice or entertaining read, just a mirror for us to stand in front of and look into, and maybe see what we are, and what is waiting behind what we look at with such blind eyes. This Road is where we are so self-indulgently heading, and it shows what is and may really be required of us to leave the coming completely formed Hell. We have to love our children like that.


Papaphilly Sam wrote: "I have read about 100 pages out of 287 and can't seem to get into it. Can anyone tell me if this is going to get better or is it this slow the entire way? No spoilers please."

It is slow the entire way and that is the point. Cormic McCarthy drags you through Hell on purpose and that is part of the story. Stick with it and you will be exhausted and disgusted, but that is the entire point to leave you both. It is an excellent book.


message 29: by Peta (new) - rated it 5 stars

Peta I see this post is a couple of years old now but I feel my comment is still valid for those struggling with this book. Please persevere! It IS bleak and it IS depressing and it all seems so completely dissatisfying. But it is worth enduring to the end. I felt hollowed out after I finished the last page. I cried silent tears, they simply fell from my eyes. I hated it but I LOVED it. It is simply a fantastic book.


Audra Slow burner, as Luke said, is a good way to describe it. I do see why some found it depressing, but I didn't. I feel it's an important book. I have to say... I loved it. As others said, persevere. It's truthful and sad and real and worth it.


message 31: by Renee E (last edited Oct 12, 2014 07:41AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Renee E "An important book" is a good summation, Audra.

I had to stop about four-fifths of the way through and read several of my "go-to, read it again when the oppression is too much books" before I could finish it. The spell of despair was too deep.


Audra Heather wrote: "It is slow for a reason. The writing style shows the feel of the world in which his character's are living. "

Thanks for that insight. I hadn't considered that.


Audra Renee wrote: ""An important book" is a good summation, Audra."

Thanks :-)


message 34: by Audra (last edited Oct 12, 2014 11:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Audra I'd like to address the commonly mentioned issue with the books' depressing or oppressive atmosphere.

When I was in highschool I tried reading Jane Eyre and put it down for the oppression described in the beginning. I couldn't stomach it. But later in life I picked it back up and tried it again, based on the recommendation of another, and I had a completely new experience with the book.

I hope many of you who put down The Road will give it another shot down the road. You may find something new in it while in another place in your own life. It's certainly not recommended reading for no reason! :-)


message 35: by Laura (new) - rated it 1 star

Laura I think this book is very overrated. "This day sucks said the boy. I agree said the man. They walked and walked and then they stopped." Seriously it is awful reading.


David Streever That's just like your opinion and such, Laura.


message 37: by Ed (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ed Hahaha nice


Audra "This day sucks said the boy. I agree said the man. They walked and walked and then they stopped."

I can see where you're coming from with that Laura. Initially it sounds pretty silly. :-)

But this is an accomplished writer we're talking about. Consider that perhaps he's writing this way for a reason. I think someone earlier in the thread referred to the writing style in this book and how it contributed to the feel of the atmosphere that the characters are living in.


Renee E It occurred to me: the book itself is a sort of litmus test.

Being able to understand, experience AND survive (finish it), is, on a metaphysical level, indicative of being able to cope with and survive in that world, to get to the coast.

It could be applied to any of life's dark journeys.

Some make it to the other side, and live.

Some survive by living off of or preying on others.

Some never make it.


Ressha You have to admire the prose over the plot. Both are good but I feel the prose is definitely what keeps most people interested.

If you haven't enjoyed it so far, drop it. No point plowing through a book just so you can say you read it. Maybe if you come to feel like returning to it, you can and then you might see it with fresh eyes.


Papaphilly Laura wrote: "I think this book is very overrated. "This day sucks said the boy. I agree said the man. They walked and walked and then they stopped." Seriously it is awful reading."

I think it is more awful if the man and boy talked like college professors. We are talking about the aftermath of some huge apocalyptic event. They are struggling to survive and the father is talking to his young son and trying to teach him life lessons where life is almost gone. He will talk to his son in a method his son can understand. The niceties of civilization are gone and the first thing to go is proper language.

Cormac McCarthy wrote his prose the way he did for a reason. I understand you may not like reading the book, but it did win a Pulitzer Prize and they do not give them away.


Renee E Agree wholeheartedly, PapaP.

The story's voice never breaks, never even wavers and that is terrifically difficult to do, especially when the tone is so alien to what is normally used.

And yeah, a Pulitzer win is definitely hard to come by! Nominations are easy — $50 and someone willing to fill out the nomination, no biggie. But to win it? That is a big deal.


message 43: by Sarah (new) - rated it 1 star

Sarah i found this book so boring. anytime they seemed in any danger they ran away and Cormac Mcarthy used the word 'gray' too often for my liking. also the lack of punctuation annoyed me. i understand the message the book was trying to give and know so many people who loved both the book and the film. The Road appeals to certain kinds of people, however i unfortunately really disliked the book and the way in which it was written.


Renee E Sarah wrote: "i found this book so boring. anytime they seemed in any danger they ran away and Cormac Mcarthy used the word 'gray' too often for my liking. also the lack of punctuation annoyed me. i understand t..."

Really? The lack of punctuation bothered you?

What do you think made you aware of that?


Papaphilly Sarah wrote: "i found this book so boring. anytime they seemed in any danger they ran away and Cormac Mcarthy used the word 'gray' too often for my liking. also the lack of punctuation annoyed me. i understand t..."

Funny thing is: I never noticed the lack of punctuation. I was engrossed with the story. Wonder why he did that. Maybe it was to bother some people.


Renee E Here you go, PapaP, McCarthy's Three Punctuation Rules:

http://www.openculture.com/2013/08/co...


Papaphilly Renee wrote: "Here you go, PapaP, McCarthy's Three Punctuation Rules:

http://www.openculture.com/2013/08/co..."


Thanks

Makes allot of sense when explains why.


Heather Heitz This particular book was not for me. It was a dark read and I didn't care for the writing style. But that's ok. A lot of people loved it. Can't please everybody.


Hewitt Moore If you liked The Road, you will LOVE this short story titled They Must --> https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

(Free Download, btw)


Renee E Hewitt wrote: "If you liked The Road, you will LOVE this short story titled They Must --> https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

(Free Download, btw)"


Gotta hand it to you. You've got a great big pair . . .


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