The Road – A Book Review

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Cormac McCarthy is not one of my favorite writers. A couple of years back,I had read No Country for Old Men, and found it too violent and depressing for my (generally inured to violence) tastes.

However, all the buzz that I heard about The Road convinced me to give him another try, and really am glad I did!

The story is very simple. In a post-apocalyptic world, a man and his son walk through a devastated America. They are moving south on the road hoping to come to a more habitable area with some good people.

That’s the kernel of the story, but the descriptions and the writing is beautiful, just beautiful. It falls somewhere in the grey area between poetry and prose. Don’t be mistaken, the language is not flowery, it is sparse…as sparse as the greyed-out landscape, the nothingness described in the novel. But it is moving, and there is beauty. I was touched by the father’s love for his son, and his desperate, scrambling efforts to protect him at all costs from the dangers of the road.

I loved the relationship between the two. The son is a voice of conscience guiding his father. Although he is dependent on his father for survival, as the book goes on, we can see that the father is also dependent on him- he is the reason for going on, the only hope he has.

If he is not the word of God, then God never spoke

As I read through the horrors of the book, I kept looking around thankful for my warm blankets, hot food, and the general comforts of my life. And although I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I ended up giving a silent thanks for all the simple comforts of life we all enjoy.

Btw, anyone seen the movie? I wonder if it does justice to the book. It does have my favorite Viggo Mortensen, who I just know will have done an awesome job. I can’t think of a better person to cast for the role of the father!

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