The Road The Road discussion


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Feelings about this book

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message 1: by Marcia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:05PM) (new)

Marcia Witteman I read all kinds of books. This book just affected me so much. No hope, a grim unbearable view of humanity after a horrible event unnamed but probably nuclear war. I kept on reading because I couldn't belive there would not be a glimmer of salvation for this boy and his father. McCarthy is a brillant writer and I will keep reading him.
Marcia W


message 2: by Nick (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:19PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nick I hated it. While the book has style the setting is inconsistent at best and hopeless drivel at worst. It purposefully pulls the heartstrings with no meat to back it up. The cannibal cycle is by far the most jarring. People who eat people who eat people die of starvation. They don't live for years. Not to mention the only cannibalism that we have any real records of in the west is the eating of the *dead*. Definitely no half-alive humans getting their legs sawed off.


George This dark wold which Cormick McCarthey lays out for the reader is overwhelmingly hard to take in. I am certain many readers will be turned away for this very reason. ...But first you must realize, that, it is this very darkness that strengthens this powerful, and often beautiful, contrast of love between father and son. ...And also realize that this love added so much to the meaning for the need of survival. It kept me, for one, sweeping through the pages until the very end. This book is gut wrentching and heart breaking and absolutely amazing


message 4: by Andy (new) - rated it 1 star

Andy S I'm with Nick. The plot goes nowhere, the characters go nowhere, and the miracle at the end is simply deus ex machina.

And I get the metaphors, OK? I just don't like an _entire freaking book_ to be a single extended metaphor.


message 5: by Brycepunk (new)

Brycepunk I think one of the reasons I loved it is that it shows quick glimpses of the possibilities of this particular world and what may happen, and leaves me reeling about the rest of it. Sure, nobody ever lived long from cannibalism, but it's not to say that in this particular place at this time, things were that bad that some people were reaching to that level. Maybe they all kinda knew they'd not survive another winter but were doing what their final instincts of survival told them to do.
There are glimpses in this book of the collapse of civilization unlike any I've ever experienced (and I've seen or read most of the media on it... if not, please direct me to more.) I found the hopelessness and humanity to be well balanced, and the situations to be realistic to a point. Some, like the sudden collapse of the forest, not so much. But the marching army, the people locked up as a food source, and oddly the chance finding of the bunker, completely riveting and realistic. The rare flashbacks were too few, but again made me fill in the blanks with images, and thoughts of "what would I do?"
I loved the book and am looking forward to more of this author's work.


João Pedro A. The plot goes nowhere, the characters go nowhere? They are realistic in a beckettian sense, which means that more than an extended metaphor we need to read it as an allegory of the limits of mankind and of humanity - and sometimes mankind lacks humanity, but this undecidable line has always the counterpoint of love betweeen father and son and the contrast between innocence and offense.


Nick Believe it or not, like Andy, I get the metaphor. That doesn't make the poor use of setting excusable. Nor does it make the relationship between father and son redeemable. This is the limit of humanity. The only human characters in the book are in the last five pages and the son. The father is teaching his son to preserve the flame of civilization BY IGNORING EVERY PERSON, INCLUDING CHILDREN, THAT THEY COME ACROSS.

There is not humanity there. Nor would we recognize it as such. Cannibalism isn't known in the West except cannibalism of the dead. The taboo is so strong that people do not kill other people to eat them. There have been instances where the dead have been eaten and there are feelings of guilt expressed for eating the dead. In this story the living are enslaved, raped, and then eaten.

Did it cross anyone's mind too that the only organized groups are cannibals? How on earth did that happen?

And that's just the problems with cannibalism...never mind the problems with walking away from food.


Nick I didn't notice Bryce's comment. Unfortunately the setting precludes your theory, which would make an infinite amount more sense. If you remember the wife was aware of the danger early on. So cannibalism started shortly after "the event" and has lasted at least three years.

How 'bout the apples? In the field? Dried? When its raining and snowing? And there's fungus?

Fungus + Water + Apple + Three Years of Everything Else Dead = No more apples.


message 9: by Andy (new) - rated it 1 star

Andy S João Pedro: "more than an extended metaphor we need to read it as an allegory"

Dude... "allegory" means "extended metaphor."

Try not to trip over your own pretentious vocabulary.


Glenn Brilliant writing - so minimal.

How do you show love to your son when the world is ending? The Road shows the way.


João Pedro A. Dear Andy: I definitely can't be as eloquent in English as I would be in Portuguese, and that just doesn't help me explaining my argument. I don't pretend to be pretentious or to have a pretentious vocabulary, but to be as clear and minimal as possible. The idea of allegory as an extended metaphor can be found in the work of many theorists, starting with Quintilian, but that's not an audacious explanation of the uniqueness of metaphor, which would then be a kind of 'generic' trope. Even if allegory can be defined as a 'system' of metaphors, it's difficult and not very correct to apply that 'system' to an entire text (it would be more rigorous to apply that concept to an expression or to a series of expressions).
In this sense, allegory would denote a work (a text) whose apparent sense refers to 'another' sense, and to interpret a text allegorically (as I did with The Road) is to explain it considering that there's an 'other' sense to which the text refers - and in a beckettian sense (a minimalist plot to focus on the human condition, in God's absence / in Godot's absence), this work refers, as Glenn said, to love when the world is ending, it refers to the absence of humanity when there is no civilization: so, when Nick discusses cannibalism and taboo, he's only pointing to the realistic representation and mimesis (although we can always compare the 'lack of humanity' in this work to what we can see in the news, for instance in Kenya, nowadays), not to the allegorical level of interpretation.
And can we say, as Nick did, that "The father is teaching his son to preserve the flame of civilization BY IGNORING EVERY PERSON..."? Or is the father teaching his son to preserve himself from the danger of the Other?





message 12: by Brycepunk (new)

Brycepunk Yeah, as Nick pointed out, there are issues with certain things. The apples were certainly a stretch, and I remember feeling weird when I was reading the book at that part. I guess I just let my disbelief go for a bit. On that note, early in the book they find a can of soda in a machine, but that can should have burst from being frozen time and again (or at least would have warped beyond ever coming out of the machine.)

There are legitimate points. I guess I can't help but look past them because the emotions hit me so hard. But yes, there are some problems with the setting.


message 13: by Nick (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nick João,

This, of course, allows us to reject the book utterly. This isn't "Waiting for Goddot" (a play that I find remorselessly tedious and for which the author has repeatedly stated has nothing to do with waiting for God). At least there it was obvious that no logic was being applied. Here we are expected to believe that a father and son are surviving a cataclysmic event by their wits and determination. If they survive by wits then the world must have logic. As I have aptly demonstrated the world has no logic.

So why on earth is the book so popular? First, Oprah suggested the thing. Two, the author is talented and the book has stylistic merit. Third, in response to its primary audience it pulls no emotional punch (while asking you to leave your brain at the door).

Now you can argue that this is some great metaphor about society, fathers, nothingness, and love. However, lacking a compelling setting or a theme that makes that argument make sense I can reject both the book and your opinion. You will have to work a lot harder to convince me that this is anything more than the most cunningly contrived piece of chick-horror ever foisted on man.


message 14: by Brycepunk (new)

Brycepunk "However, lacking a compelling setting..."

I wouldn't say that. At least for me, the setting is incredibly compelling. Some of the imagery is so haunting it stayed with me for weeks, inspired all sorts of great nightmares, and left me craving an ability to draw or paint so I could further explore that wretched place.
I think that's why it's so popular (and yes, Oprah...) The images that are conjured up in the reader's imagination which are seeded by this book are pretty tough to beat, at least regarding this subject matter. But people connect with literature for different reasons. This book is certainly not sci-fi, in that all statements must be somehow rooted in inarguable fact. It would have been slightly better if they were, but the few bits of questionable reality surely didn't take away from the total impact. At least for me, and lots of others.
I guess we could all knock Star Wars and say it was crap simply because there's no sound in space... But it's minor and can be over-looked. Just like the Coke can. At least for me.
Other thoughts on this?


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

Bev I so agree with you. That was the point that makes me love the book so much. It wasn't the settings but the relationship between father/son.


message 16: by Melody (last edited Feb 03, 2008 10:30AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Melody Bingo!

Seemed to me like a nihilistic litmus test asking are you an optimist or a pessimist.

I got the idea of humanity at the edge...got the idea that humans were driven to a fundamental choice of survival as a higher or lower order being...

But I got that point 100 pages in. The rest seemed gratuitious.

Love Cormac McCarthy, and will read more of him. But he took this one too far.


message 17: by Lisa (new) - rated it 1 star

Lisa I read it, did not love it and when the book ended I felt the story should go on. One of the oddest books I have read. I guess I thought the book would be different when I picked up the book to read.

As for Oprah's input on books I have noticed that a lot of books she picks seem to be quite odd. I love a great book, but this book missed the mark with me.


Diandra

I loved the comment: "Seemed to me like a nihilistic litmust test asking are you an optimist or a pessimist." So perfect.

I actually loved this book. I appreciated the father/son relationship that McCarthy cultivated throughout. I actually thought the prose was beautiful, as well as the setting. I agree with some of the others about certain situations being improbable, but I don't think it was McCarthy's intention to write a scientifically accurate portrayal of a post-apocalyptic world.




Ollie This novel is not a metaphor or an allegory; it's simply a vision (as harsh as the author can manage) of what the last days of humanity may be like. However, the father does use metaphors and allegories to teach his son what was lost, and how they can still survive. When you consider that the story is told through the father's eyes - a man starved, scared and paranoid - some of the "inconsistencies" (the apples in the orchard) could be pointed out to be the makings of his slightly distorted mind. Or it could be that in this post-apocalyptic (radioactive?) world, shrivelled apples do survive underneath layers of dirt in a field.

The father says his son carries the "fire", and yet he doesn't wish to help anyone along the road. I think what he means about the "fire" inside the boy is innocence and civilization, a very fragile spark that could disappear if he made the wrong decision to help someone who is a decoy for the cannibals, for example. The boy is the only one that forgives; the boy cries for others (when nobody else cries anymore?) The "fire" is the spark that might be needed for a new civilization if the ash in the sky ever disappears and the sun shines again. That's where the hope lies in this book.

I wasn't so hung up about the sci-fi aspect of the book; to me, it's about the journey and the choices needed to be made for survival, as well as the love between the father and son. The horror McCarthy conjures is so terrifying because we can't help but place ourselves in their boots, imagine which choices we would make. Maybe this is too uncomfortable for some readers.


message 20: by Jassy (new)

Jassy Reading all these comments, what interests me the most is how polarised they all are. People either LOVED this book or HATED it - very few in-betweens or grey areas.

Personally, I read it on a long-distance flight and found it utterly absorbing from start to finish. I think this is because I love "armageddon" stories, and this one was so gorgeously dark and foul and hopeless - man's basest instincts at work. I think if you like a book, it's easy to praise and if not, you'll look for things that are wrong with it.

And I found the apples completely believable. Who is to say what bizarre chemical in the polluted air of this new world might have preserved them? After all, it's a work of fiction, right - not a "how to" manual on surviving a holocaust!


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

Nick CommonPeople,

I don't think your response can be supported by the book. There is never any first person narrative. It is strictly third person limited omniscient. Therefore there are no paranoid inconsistencies, just a sloppy setting.

As to the fire representing civilization, I totally agree. That's what its *supposed* to represent. However, the father completely misses the first part of the word (civil)ization. That is, civil urban society. You can't have that with two people unwilling to share with the wider world. If its a fragile flame ruined by sharing its already long gone.

McCarthy is unjustified in his setting because others have done a far more consistent job. For example, "I am Legend," despite its highly impossible hook follows the rules it sets all the way through. "The Road" doesn't. Its hook is based on emotional baiting. I find this cheap.


Ollie Hi Nick,

I take your point about the third person limited omniscient; and, based on your comments elsewhere, I appreciate your passion in disliking the book. However, I think you've completely missed the point of the book. If McCarthy wanted to create a scientifically-consistent world, he would have told the reader what had caused the collapse of civilization, he would have introduced characters that talked about radiation, etc. But that wasn't the point. He wanted to express the feelings between father and son when pushed to the limits. The horrors in the book are a means to exploring emotions that all of us carry, which are not necessarily discussed nowadays in our culture. Yes, it's absolutely gruelling and emotionally baiting, but I think he's doing it with an artistic eye rather than an exploitative one; it's part of what he's been exploring throughout his career.

This novel has a lot to say about religion, which is why I think it wasn't interesting for McCarthy to pay so much attention to the scientific. I've started a thread (where I refute your point on the son's *fire*) and I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on it:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show_b...


message 23: by John (last edited Mar 14, 2008 10:10PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

John I was really excited to begin this book and I'm about 60 pages in and I am so far very disappointed. I guess I came to Goodreads to see if it gets any better. So far, I find the plot dull, the prose straining toward the poetic, but occasionally just falling into nonsense. The writing style is sparse, impressionistic, but it just doesn't work for me. He writes in a way no one I've ever met speaks - not necessarily a bad thing - but it sometimes just seems like gibberish. I'm from the western US and I get that his syntax takes its inspiration from the region, but it's so exaggerated and for me it doesn't work. This book is perhaps better as a literary idea than as a good story. At this point in my reading, character development is so lacking I can't connect emotionally and the plot? So, there is a man with his son pushing a shopping cart around an ash-filled wasteland trying to avoid the occasional cannibal gang. Next day, same thing...repeat ad nauseum.

Thing is, so many people love this book...what am I missing? I'll give it one more night and then I have The Echo Maker or Absurdistan ready and waiting.

I've also read many of the above comments and some make interesting points about metaphor, etc., but so far the only thing that is really clear to me is the relationship between father and son and the father's deep sense of purpose, a religious exercise almost, in protecting his son. Anyway, interesting discussion of this book above. Better than the actual book, unfortunately.


message 24: by Cayr (last edited Mar 16, 2008 06:19PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cayr Must everything in every book be so literal and logical? Life is messy. Life is full of inconsistencies and things that defy explanation. Why focus on something of such minor import(like the apples) and let it ruin the experience?




message 25: by Nick (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nick Life is indeed messy. Life, however, is full of consistency. This is kind of the point in apocalyptic literature. All those messy consistencies (like lack of food and water resulting in death) drive the narrative.

This is not Lewis Carrol's Alice. Books have to play by the ground rules they set. The ground rules here are gritty realism. Gritty realism is broken a few pages in.


message 26: by Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ben This book was one of the few that affected me both physically and emotionally. Parts of this made me want to cry, which never happens. I absolutely love it.


message 27: by Matt (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt The Road isn't for everybody--but it's definitely for me. I've always had a thing for post-apocalyptic writing and film (you know, except for the ones with Kevin Costner). They can be really bad, film or book--it's the world I'm thinking about--but the good ones can be fascinating. The Morlock and the Eloi from the Time Machine, Richard Brautigan's In Watermelon Sugar where the dump holds history's secrets and the world is built of (guess) watermelon sugar, soma and Huxley, even the Gunslinger following the man in black in Stephen King's series. I'm drawn to these worlds of the future (or alternate reality: Hard-Boiled Wonderland, etc) because they give us a way of looking at ourselves in a different light...if not seeing more, at least seeing different.


For me, The Road is right up there with the best of them because it uses the genre to do what the genre is meant to do: it uses catastrophe to deconstruct civilization and examine human nature through a new lense. In this bleak world--where nothing grows, the landscape burns, and survival depends on salvaged cans or cannibalism--McCarthy gives humanity a pretty hard shakedown. These survivors, largely, are animals--but it's the exception that gives us hope.

There are scenes in this book that are downright chilling. I was going to say I'm surprised I haven't had nightmares about this book, and now I remember that I have. Yikes. It was a really scary one, too. So, it's not for everybody. You might find it depressing. You might think not enough happens. You might give McCarthy a hard time for the way he uses apostrophes, or be frustrated that you only get one little paragraph about how this all happened. That's okay. For me, he creates a world and I see it and I believe it, and he gives me enough. It's dark, but there's hope...just enough. When I finished this book, I wished I hadn't read it--so I could sit down and read it again for the first time


Joanna I finished this book last night and I'm still digesting it. I've read plenty of SciFi and post apocalyptic novels to not care about inconsistencies like the apples and the mushrooms. The cannibals (which reminded me of the reavers from Firefly) might not last that long like some have commented, but it makes sense in the grand scheme of this world. I mean, there's no food, no hope, you kinda go crazy and taboos and civility go out the window. I agree with other comments that have said: that's not the point of this book. It's about finding something -anything- to live for in a world that takes anything worth living for away from you. The end I did find a bit too neat. I mean, what are the chances? But, then again the boy represents hope and innocence. So maybe it's not so far fetched to think that that would natrually happen when the man dies...he who, with good reason, was incredibly distrustful of every other person in the world.


message 29: by Andy (new) - rated it 1 star

Andy S I've decided it's a parable pretending to be a novel.


message 30: by cathleen (new)

cathleen it's cormac mccarthy, not cormick mccarthey.


message 31: by J (new) - rated it 5 stars

J The mother says what the book is about - you can't live for yourself.

Hanging yourself up on a can or an apple and ignoring the wrenching degeneration of the man and the incredibly visual aspects of the book (if you liked the way he wrote - if you didn't, then you are excused) is like saying you loved the dinner but the fork was ugly.

Just a tad silly.

I didn't think about it. I just read and was sad that the boy would never experience another soda and was happy that they had found food.

And a question: What would you do if all the prepackaged food was already eaten and there were no animals to be found? Is cannibalism of people you don't know that far from outrageous at that point? What if you're starving and you look over and realize you've never really liked Bob?


message 32: by Nate D (last edited Oct 07, 2008 12:39AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nate D I actually fell somewhere in the middle in my reaction. It was a compelling read, and had things to say, and employed language with devastating precision, but upon reflection, aspects of it annoy me a little.

Through all the bleak landscapes and atrocities, the book struck me as oddly hopeful about humanity, if only in the single example of the son. But it only takes one case to disprove the "rule" of the post-apocalyptic world. (In this way, the man is not the exception to the rule, and is not intended to be the exception. His lack of care for any besides himself and his son is not a thematic miss-step, I think. It simply amplifies the sense of goodness we get from the son).

I just saw that there was another page of reactions here, some of which touch on where I was headed. But yeah I was mainly bothered by the sense that book to be built around a rigidly moralistic -- even religious -- foundation. Very heavy-handed, and the degree to which it flips around into being uplifting seems very manipulative.

I think the novel is a very good example of what it is, and effective, but I can't say I care for what it is.

Incidentally, in light of all this, I'm sort of amazed that people see the book as so "cruel" and unforgiving. No Country for Old Men is ultimately drastically more pessimistic (if no less moralistic, perhaps).

Next to all this, dissecting specific plot points for their likelihood seems entirely besides the point.


message 33: by Joey (last edited May 28, 2008 09:41PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joey Profit Just a couple of quick comments on everyone else's comments.

The cause of the apocalypse is fairly apparent: Meteor, something similar to what killed the dinosaurs. The persistent ash in the air, the bitter constant cold the complete lack of sunlight, all indicative of a meteor. Not a fictional "Global Killer" like in the trash movie Armageddon, but something that would cause massive damage but not devastate the planet completely. Just something to throw us in into a nuclear winter for a couple of thousand years until the ash cleared. You'd be surprised how small the meteor can be to do this.

For those that say there have been no cases of people in Western nation committing murder than cannibalism I say nor has anyone gone through a global extinction. People will do some very extreme things in desperate situations. Cultural sensibilities just don't come into play. The cannibalism that went on during the Siege of Leningrad for example.

Inconsistencies: apples and mushrooms. The apples I'm not really sure about. Semi preserved due to the constant bitter cold? The mushrooms are easier, there is no inconsistency. Mushrooms are a fungus and do not need sunlight to survive. In fact in this type environment mushrooms and other fungi would flourish. The same happened after the dinosaur extinction meteor. The smartest thing the father and son could of done would be to stay by that waterfall. Start a mushroom garden. You just need rot. There was lots of that.

While I think it was extremely accurate in it's scientific description I do agree with some of the commentators in regards to the use of metaphor. Particularly biblical metaphor which is something that comes up often in McCarthy's other books. For some reason the idea that the child was Messianic came to me. Like the 2nd coming after the apocalypse. I wish i could remember the specific passage where this came to me. It was very clear then.

Lastly, the father thinks that everything is dead. Most things that derive their energy from the sun (almost everything) would die off. He is in fact wrong as evidenced by the mushrooms. Some little bastards would survive. In the example of the dinosaur extinction event our mammal rodent ancestors survived to eventually evolve into us.

And as a last chilling thought: most scientists agree that a meteor of necessary size to do this type of thing to our world will hit our planet eventually. it's just a matter of when. it could be right now as you read this, or 10 million years or longer from now. There are thousands (100's of thousands? I'm not sure) of potential near earth collision asteroids floating around out there. Astronomers are actively seeking them out. It's a big sky. So far they have located roughly 8%. Armageddon was a work of fiction. Blowing one up is ridiculous. Our only option is to nudge one. That is of course if we have the technology and if we know far enough ahead of time. Taking this under consideration one could consider McCarthy a futurist.

Cheers,


Maureen I totally agree. I kept reading thinking something....anything would happen...but it was all depressing drivel!


Joyce Tuesday's New York Times had a feature on the film being made of the book. It stars Viggo Mortensen as the father and an unknown youth as his son. Small role goes to the guy who played Omar in HBO's "The Wire" series.


Kathy I think Viggo Mortensen would be an inspired choice to play the father role in a movie of this story. He can play anguish really well.
And there's plenty of anguish to go around.
I both liked and hated this book. Still trying to figure out which wins.
The father makes some obviously stupid choices (leaving the waterfall, leaving the food bunker), but I can understand why he would have gone around the twist, given what he's been through.
What I can't figure out is how the son would have learned to be so compassionate in the world in which he is growing up.
From some of the father's memories, I pieced together that the son was born after the apocalypse (dad remembers delivering the baby himself), yet he's old enough to have been taught to read. Just coming into the age of reason, so I'd have to guess about 7.
It's not clear where they have been living, or exactly why they had to leave (dad mentions cold weather, but they must have survived that for years previously. I suspect the suicide of the mother is a more likely reason).
So the son's compassion did strike me as a messiah thing, as another reader mentioned. It's interesting that he needs no name.
The end of the book really pissed me off. I put all these awful images (infant on a spit!) in my head expecting some great payoff or transforming experience. But no, just your run-of-the mill magic savior at the end.




message 37: by Gina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gina Like others, there are a couple of inconsistencies that bother me...I understand resorting to cannibalism. When starving, really starving, you body takes over & makes decisions that your brain wouldn't. Also, when starving & exhausted the first thing to go is higher level thinking.

Yes, there would be lots more mushrooms...but not all of them would be edible. You'd have to be careful.

All of the larger animals would be gone, as well as plants, birds, fishes. But what about the smaller rodents & insects? It's a bug paradise! No bug spray & TONS of dead stuff to eat. And they would provide lots of protein.

At the end of the book, the man tells the boy that they don't eat people...but what do they eat? Are they keeping a couple of rabbits? Have they figured out how to get some plants to grow? Obviously food isn't a concern of theirs since it seems like they're happy to take refugees in so they have to have some inexhaustible food source.


Christi I agree- this book goes nowhere, the metaphor is beaten to death, and quite frankly it was boring and depressing, with a few touches of horror thrown in. I recommend this book to no one.


Christi By the way, has anyone else noticed that almost every book Oprah chooses is disturbing and depressing?


message 40: by Natalie (last edited Aug 01, 2011 05:30PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Natalie This book was painfully boring. The only reason I forced myself to read it because everyone seems to think it was an amazing read. I’m sorry, but I can hardly give it one star in the entertainment aspect.

I understand it has an overriding theme of living in a post-apocalyptic world, trying to survive and what it means to be a father and/or a man. Readers can also see how death is laced throughout this book and also how there are many connections with the Old Testament. The manifestation of death is shown by an overwhelming primal force to survive that is either described as an act of evil (killing others and/or cannibalism) or good forces of men ‘carrying the fire’ by not helping someone which ultimately kills the un-helped person, or willingness to protect a loved one. Thus, I understand it is a good piece of literature and I do not dislike the book because of a lack of intelligence and insight, I just don’t understand how some people are so drawn into the book and managed to enjoy every single page when it hardly has any punctuation.

The first half of the book a man and a boy are walking down a road while it rains, ash blows around, they make a fire and go to sleep and then they do it all over again. The only excitement I received was when they occasionally ran into someone. The book is the title: all they do is walk down a road and sleep along the way.

To cut to the chase: this is the kind of book I would read in one of my lit. classes instead of something I would want to read during my summer break. If you are someone who reads for entertainment I will advise you to not waste your time reading this book if you do not plan on reading it solely for literature purposes.


message 41: by Shannon (last edited Jul 26, 2011 10:45PM) (new)

Shannon Alder My feelings....it was dark, depressing and I had a hard time sitting through the movie version because I have boys.

Being an author and hanging out with my author friends I can tell which one of my friends writes dark fantasy and which one writes fluff and rommance. The people that write this stuff are complicated depressed paranoia types that are genius (you have to be to get the craft down so well to be noticed by movie producers)....unfortunately you spend half the year on antidepressants recovering from the exhausting writing. I can see Cormac typing while popping Prozac and listening to really sad slow ballets....probably weeping and typing at the computer each dark chapter.


Simply amazing authors are.....we are such complicated messes.


message 42: by Julia (new) - rated it 1 star

Julia Grundling Yes - I didn't get it at all and don't know what all the hype is about. Respect to those who loved it - we can agree to disagree, but sorry - not for me hey!! :)


Forrest What threw me through a loop with this book was the lack of punctuation and stopping points. Once I got around all that, I loved the book. Fairly easy read, but says so much. It was especially poignant to read about cannibalism and aspects of a post-apocalyptic world that don't always register when you think about it like that! The movie was okay, definitely not as good, but stuck true to the story's plot line and message which was nice to see.


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

Julia Grundling Yes Forrest, the punctuation thing throws you a bit. I enjoy a bit of off-beat in a book every now and again - it makes it interesting, but I just felt the author maybe tried a bit too hard to be different and weird.

This reminded me a bit of the movie "The Book of Eli", which I enjoyed.


Forrest "The Book of Eli" and "The Road" are both very similar movies... I never made the connection really.

And I do agree that the author tried too hard to be different. I haven't read any other books of his, but I hope this was the one "different" book he wrote. As I said, I loved the book and its content (the plot, the writing), I just wish it were a little bit more polished.


message 46: by Julia (new) - rated it 1 star

Julia Grundling A little bit more polished - that sums it up well. If I don't like an author the first time I read one of his/her books, it is very unlikely that I will read another one ... :(


Diane I agree. This book was depressing and didn't go anywhere. I was hoping that in the end, they at least found some people who they would start over with. It could have been a good book with some changes.


message 48: by William1 (last edited Aug 01, 2011 12:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

William1 Loved it. I have always liked stories in which humans are pushed beyond the so called normal world, where their courage, morality, and love are put to the test. I should add that I think all good novels, not just post-apocalyptic dystopias like The Road, do this. There is nothing new in the central idea here, but McCarthy's writing is so sonorous, so King James Bible in its rhythms, so beautifully spare and honed that the novel takes its place among the classics of the genre.


Robert Johnson Andy wrote: "I'm with Nick. The plot goes nowhere, the characters go nowhere, and the miracle at the end is simply deus ex machina.

And I get the metaphors, OK? I just don't like an _entire freaking book_ ..."


What was the deux ex machina at the end? I might have missed something.


Jewel Once I got past the shock of the author's writing style (no quotes for the dialog-the boy and the man both speaking in the same paragraph) I quite liked the story. It was sad and depressing, but I liked it:-)


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The Road (other topics)
No Country for Old Men (other topics)