The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Book Cover for The Road by Cormac McCarthyOpening Sentence:When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he’d reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him.
Synopsis:A father and son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is grey. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food – and each other.

The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, “each other’s world entire,” are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.
Genre:Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
Comments:If you read any book this holidays, make it The Road. Set in a future America, after some unknown apocalypse, it is the story of a father and son – ‘each other’s world entire’ – trying to move south to warmer climes. Starving, exhausted and constantly alert for roaming cannibalistic brigands, it sometimes seems as though they are sustained by love alone.

The language in this novel is beautifully evocative and the complete absence of quotation marks adds to the haunted quality that permeates the book. The characters inherently believable – who among us could not empathise with a father trying to shield his son from the horrors of a world gone mad?

Sad, depressing, despairing and all too believable, The Road nevertheless manages to end on a hopeful note. This is a definite must-read!

Categories: Impressions

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4 replies


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