Books, Review
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The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I remember when this film was released in the cinema. I had not heard of the book, or the author – despite the success of No Country For Old Men. I didn’t even realise that these two books were written by the same author, until a couple of months ago when both books ended up on my to read list. The fact that both of these books and also All the Pretty Horses (one of McCarthy’s earlier novels), have been adapted into films, speaks volumes for the calibre of the author.

The Road is certainly deserving of it’s Pulitzer Prize. I really enjoyed reading it. My only criticism would be that it wasn’t long enough. I wanted it to keep going. But this book, like all roads, unfortunately had to come to an end.

While it may not seem to give much away, the title of this book tells you just about everything you need to know. It is about a road. Or to be more exact, a man and a boy walking a road. We don’t know what road it is or where they are going, but what we do know, is that they are in America, but not as we know it. Everything is burned and mankind is a shadow of it’s former self. The animals, plants and earth is no longer as we know it – everything is covered in a perpetual coat of ash and if you hadn’t been alive when they were around, you wouldn’t believe that something like a cow even existed. Food is scarce and virtually non-existent, to the point that people are turning to eating each other for sustenance.

The journey of the man and the boy along the road, is probably one of the most gripping stories I have read. Suspense is around every bend and you never can quite tell what is going to happen. I really appreciated McCarthy’s style of writing. Conversations were not punctuated, often making me uncertain who was speaking, but giving me the feeling that it didn’t matter who spoke. The situation was so hopeless that in the end, everyone’s thoughts were the same and conversations would go back and forth without anything really being said.

I’m not too sure what I was meant to take away from this book – I guess it will be different for  everyone. I worry that in my eagerness to get to the end and find out what was going to happen, I may have missed the point altogether. But the more that I think about it, the end is the thing that stands out the most for me. In the grand scheme of things, it was more of a beginning, showing us that no matter how hopeless a situation it may seem, there is always  a little bit of hope in the end.

RATING – 10 out of 10. One of the best pieces of literature I have read in a long time. Can’t  wait to read No Country For Old Men.

WHO SHOULD READ IT – I think everyone should give this a try. It will certainly get you thinking about what the human race is capable of.

WHO YOU’LL LOVE – I think the man was the character that held the most for me. He seems to be embody everything that we wish we could be, along with carrying every single fear and hesitation possible,

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Dirt Music | bitsnbooks

  2. I picked up ‘All the Pretty Horses’ one day and have been a fan ever since, I think he is my favourite American male writer, certainly one whose every book I fall right into. I read the book of ‘No Country for Old Men’ before seeing the film – I doubt I would have seen the film otherwise, because I can’t normally handle violence, but after the read I was prepared and loved the film. Always great to discover a new writer whose work really resonates.

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    • I agree about the violence thing. I have heard that No Country For Old Men was really violent so haven’t seen the movie, but I might watch it after I read the book. And All The Pretty Horses has been added to my reading list! After that I will definitely be looking for more of his work. He really is a great author.

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