Saturday, July 05, 2008
Book: The Road
I literally just finished the last page of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. I am a little bit unsure of what to say about it. If you are not familiar with the book, it is a post-apocalyptic story of a father and son who are traveling across a destroyed land, looking for something. Anything. Hope. McCarthy presents a bleak, hopeless world in which the reader (or at least THIS reader) thought of death as a happy ending. The only truly bright point in this story is the relationship between the man and his boy, and the fact that this relationship is literally all that they have. Their bond is all that gives them hope and that is what makes this book so touching.
This is the first novel I have ever read where I felt so hopeless for the characters. I felt lonely for them, sad for them, scared for them. I was angry at a world that allowed for things such as those written to happen to a child. I was emotionally involved to the point of crying. This is not a happy story, but I was incapable of putting it down.
Once the reader gets used to the simple writing style (very basic punctuation, no quotation marks or identifying who is speaking, all of which contribute to the feel of the story), this is a really quick read. I have never read anything by McCarthy, so I hadn't known what to expect, but I highly recommend this book. Just prepare to feel rather despondent.
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McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men" has the same writing style as this book, but minus the depressing tone. It's by no means a happy book (more intense and sometimes disturbing), but I thoroughly enjoyed it despite having already seen the movie.
I checked this out of the library because of you. It'd better be good!
Stella, I won't feel as bad if you don't like it because it was a quick read. But let me know what you think.
Emily, I had thought about reading No Country, too, but for now, since I have watched the movie, I am reading the other million books on my list. But I have added that one to the bottom for later.
It was a quick read! I was even purposely dragging it out. One, because I knew it wouldn't have a "happy ending" (although the ending wasn't as hopeless as I thought it would be...) and two, because I was so caught up in it.
I kept imagining it as a movie. It'd be really dark and bleak, but I'd still love to see it.
One question: The man at the end seemed to have seen the boy and his father before. Did we as readers witness that anywhere? It seemed a bit out of nowhere...
Also, I wonder where their journey started and how far they got south...
Oh good, I am glad you enjoyed it! It was good, wasn't it? I am glad to hear that Viggo Mortenson will be playing the man. He will be a good fit.
I agree that the ending wasn't completely hopeless, but the story along the way seemed so.
I had the same question about the man at the end. The only thing that clued me in was that he said he had been tracking them for a while. Was this just someone that had followed them, unbeknownst to the man and boy (and to the reader)? Other than that, i can only see it possible that it was the parents of the boy he saw that one time. But not likely.
I was also curious what their actual geography was. No clue, though...
I thought it may have been the father of that little boy as well.
I hope they get Roger Deakins to do the cinematography. He was the DP for both No Country for Old Men and The Assassination of Jesse James and he's brilliant.
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