Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A-Z Wednesday: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

This is a repost....



Title: The Road

Author: Cormac McCarthy
ISBN: 9780330448628
Publisher: Picador/2006
Pages: 307
Rating: 5/5

It is a story, if we can call it that, about a father and a son who remain nameless throughout the narration. Both are walking through America, which has been ravaged by fire. They are walking towards south to the coasts. On their way to it, there is nothing but ashes, burnt trees, and soulless houses. They have each other and a pistol for a company. They pass through dead towns, looted houses, finding corpses on their way. They are afraid to meet other fellow human beings. Men who kill for food, for any kind of food.

The Man all the while tries to save the boy. Love and despair go hand in hand. Without the boy, he would have been dead long ago. Survival is the key. He does all he can to save himself and his son. However, he also prepares the boy to survive in case he is no longer there. The interactions between the father and the son is very interesting. We do not see dialogues, only narration. The Man instils moral values in the boy even in great adversity. At certain places, we see that he is not disappointed. His son has risen above the father.

The sparseness of languages enhances the harshness of the situation. This is what makes it chilling, scary and very gripping. If we do not take care of our Earth, this might become a reality. A forest burning is not a new phenomenon. The same reaching out cities and destroying can become a fact. What is shocking is that it can become a reality. The nameless people could be us…

Language used can be called poetry in prose. One pauses at certain places to enjoy the sheer beauty of words. One feels sad. However, there is hope too at the end, a salvation of some kind. This book should be read by all. Those who do not care for the Earth and those who truly love it.

To be precise, this book is not everyone's cup of tea. Only those who appreciate serious reading should go for it. Many might find it difficult to follow it through the end as it appears bleak. It is not the feel good kind of novel for those peppy readers. For them, my suggestion is- leave it well alone!

CymLowell

22 comments:

Serena said...

I really appreciated this novel and its sparseness. I like the unnamed narrator and his son. Great review.

Literary Feline said...

Thank you for your insightful review, Gautami. I have been meaning to read this, but it somehow keeps getting pushed further back in my TBR pile. It does sound like a book that is both beautiful and tragic.

Bryan R. Terry said...

Loved this book. Reviewed it HERE

Veens said...

This is another one I have never read! And I really need to read it@

Snowbell said...

It sound very different to whatever I've been reading so far - not sure if it would be my cup of tea...

Here's my R book

Kristen said...

I have heard very good things about this one but the whole concept scares me. So does the fact that people use the words "chilling" and "spare" when describing it. Lily-livered, that's me. ;-)

Jeane said...

I do want to read this one, but I think it's one I'd have to be in the right mood for, and so far that time hasn't come up yet.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I've been wanting to read this one...I must do that before the movie comes out!

My post is here:

http://weboftyranny.blogspot.com/2009/12/z-wednesday_09.html

Irene said...

So many positive reviews, I must check it out of curiosity. thanks for stopping by.

Zia said...

How interesting. I just started listening to this on audiobook. Sounds like I will enjoy it.

Greg Zimmerman said...

"The sparseness of languages enhances the harshness of the situation.

TERRIFIC line - and I couldn't agree more. I've hated everything I've ever read by McCarthy, except this, which I absolutely loved!

Anyway, very nice review - thanks! (And cool blog too - just found you and I'm following now.)

Cheers,
Greg
http://thnewdorkreviewofbooks.blogspot.com

Sherrie said...

Hi!
This is a great book. I read it last year and loved it. I've heard there is a movie. Have a great day!

Sherrie
Just Books

Beth said...

I don't know if I would ever read this, but I keep seeing over and over so it must well liked.

me again said...

I thought this might happen...we chose the same book this week :-)
==lennie==

Katy said...

I've been trying to decide whether to read this or not. I may put it on my wishlist for reading once my toppling TBR pile lightens up.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

This movie is out in some cities but not in ours. My husband can't wait to see it. I'm not such a fan of sparseness and harshness, but the casting of Viggo just might draw me there!

Diane said...

I was totally blown away by this book - loved it in a dark dark way. Not sure if I will see the movie yet. Glad u liked it as well.

Joyful said...

WOW!! This sounds interesting. Reminds me of a man who walked across America when I was a teen (in the `70's)
Thanks for sharing

My `R` is here:
http://newhorizonreviews.blogspot.com/2009/12/right-peopleright-placeright-plan-by.html

carolsnotebook said...

Sounds like a gorgeous book, but just not for me.

SmallWorld at Home said...

Loved this book. I'm curious to see the movie!

stacybuckeye said...

I really want to read this one before I see the movie. Looks perfect for a snowy winter day!

Laughing Stars said...

I am very interested in this book, and you have piqued my interest further. Thank you for your beautifully written, thoughtful review.