Book Review – The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Posted: February 9, 2010 in Book Reviews

Ah, “The Road”. Where do I start? I’ve been sitting on this review for a couple weeks not quite sure on where I wanted to go with this book. It is a compelling story which is well written, but it is just too depressing. I certainly am glad that I am not stuck on “the road”, because I don’t think I would be a survivor. This landscape is much too bleak and there certainly isn’t any hope for survival really. Anyway, here are my impressions.

Cormac McCarthy weaves a desolate tale of two survivors, a man and his son, as they travel “the road”. Some sort of catastrophic event has occurred that decimated the human race and blotted out the sun. Gray ash covers everything and falls from the sky. Trust no one. There is little food to be found. It is imperative to get to warmer climates to survive the cold winters. You’re already getting a mental image here aren’t you?

If you struggle at all with depression or any other malady that lends itself to you getting depressed easily, don’t read this book. It can by summed up with one mantra repeated over and over: Travel on the road, hide from others, look for food. Kind of like lather, rinse, repeat…

Now, pluses for the book are it’s length (246 pages), the minimalistic style (which I hate), and its compelling nature. I read it in one sitting and kept reading with an unrealistic expectation that McCarthy would give us some hope in this unyeildingly cruel landscape and existence. So much for that. Sure, there are a couple of beacons of light, but not many, and you know they won’t last.

If you really must read this book, get your meds adjusted and get it over with. Otherwise, find something with a little more life to it and enjoy the journey. Because this one is too bleak to even imagine.

Next up: Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

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