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The Road by Cormac McCarthy


I was very happy to find out that I’m not the only person who didn’t like this book. Perhaps didn’t like is too strong…I really had few feelings towards it whatsoever.

The Road is about a father and son after something (you’re never told what, exactly) has killed most things in the United States. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but the United States is covered in ash, all the crops are dead, there’s no livestock, and food has to be scrounged. The father and son are heading towards the ocean, though they don’t even know what they will find when they get there. It’s about their journey, their relationship, and humanity.

Perhaps the author keeps the reader at a distance on purpose. Perhaps he doesn’t give names to the father and son because the father and son could be any one of us. But it kept me too removed from the story, too removed from connecting with the characters. I think it was a telling sign that I never cried, not even at the end. I closed the book because the story was over. The best books, though, when I close them, aren’t over. They replay in my head over and over again, and I think about the characters and what they do and why they do it and how they feel…they’ve become real. The author failed to make the characters real to me. It’s not that I couldn’t get into the story. It’s that the story didn’t do anything for me.

One interesting discussion that came about when discussing this book is your morals and ethics during times like the book puts forth. At a time when it’s very man for himself, is it wrong to kill someone who is trying to kill you? Does that mean that your morals and ethics have been put aside? This definitely made for some interesting conversation.

Have you read this book? Did you like it? What would you rate it on a scale of 1 to 5?

| Tags: , , , 9 comments »

9 Responses to “The Road by Cormac McCarthy”

  1. lisamm

    I found this book boring and repetitive, with no action, no plot, no character development, very little and extremely simplistic dialogue, and frustrating (you never find out what actually happened to create the post-apocolyptic world being described as cold and full of ash). Day after day is the same. I felt no connection with the father and son, who McCarthy doesn’t bother to name (“the man” and “the boy”). The end is stupid and leaves you hanging. I felt like I wasted my time reading it and I can’t imagine what the critics see in it. There are so many better books out there with a similar theme. This one was pointless.


  2. lisamm

    Ooops, I forgot to rate it. 1.


  3. trish d. dish

    Unfortunately, this book has made me not want to read any of his other books, even though I’ve heard that All the Pretty Horses is much better.

    It’s very bleak.

    I would give it a 2…


  4. Jaspal

    This Book is amazing, You have to get the jist of this literature. Its overwhelmingly powerful, it proposes a future which could be very likely a future we could face. It shows the end of time, and what human nature at its very best will look like, to even be able to imagine humanity at its worst is scary but its reality that we face. Its amazing to what lenghts humanity can go, especially when its survival of the fittest.


  5. lisamm

    Jaspal, I respectfully disagree with you. And I got the jist just fine, thank you.


  6. Jessica

    Wow! You didn’t like it??

    I was enchanted with it. It just put me under a spell. I still can’t get it out of my head. Of course, that could be because I read mostly non-fiction, so maybe my standards aren’t high enough – but I wasn’t surprised when I saw that “The Road” won the Pulitzer for 2007.

    Oh well, something for everyone, I guess.


  7. trish d. dish

    I’m just glad that there’s other people who didn’t like it besides me…sometimes you wonder what’s wrong with you if you don’t like a book everyone else liked, especially when it’s won a Pulizter Prize. 🙂


  8. Jeane

    I just finished it and have to say I agree with you. I wasn’t really moved- the story was about so many horrifying things, and yet it didn’t touch me emotionally. And hey, I really like your new look!


  9. The Road « Ardent Reader

    […] Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’? […]

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