Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Road - Cormac McCarthy

I picked up The Road by Cormac McCarthy a couple of weeks back and finally got around to reading it this past weekend. I had heard good things about it froma couple of different people and it was on sale at Borders so I figured what the hell.

The book is about a father and son in their quest to survive in some sort of gray, ashen, post-apocalyptic world full of gray dust, canibals, and gray. Also, there is some grayness.

A hilarious romp? Not so much.

But an engaging read nonetheless, and a quick read too as everything is written in tiny snipets.

As far as plot goes there was nothing spectacular and I had guessed the ending just by reading the back cover of the book. I was also bothered in the back of my head that I was never told why the world had decended into apocalyptically grayish gray grayity. I realize this was likely intentional and that the reason why wasn't at all the point of the novel. Still, I'm a sucker for that kind of back story.

There were two remarkable aspects of the book, though, that I did enjoy quite a lot. The first is that the language really created the perfect atmosphere for the story. It was a little tedious at first slogging through all of the descriptions of gray dust and all but after a while it became the tone. By the end, it was almost as though I was more experiencing the book in all of its desolate grayness than just reading it.

The second is that, by literally stripping away almost everything else, the novel can really concentrate on the relationship between the father and his son. At the end of the day, that's what this book is about: the relationship between these two and how it changes as they struggle to survive.

Definitely worth the read if you get the chance.


Crump said...

A whole book in one weekend? Someone is getting a gold star!

Joe Janes said...

Great book. I think an interesting question to ponder is "Who's telling the story?"

GW said...

You read The Road? If only I'd read your blog earlier, we could have had something to talk about this evening instead of us staring awkwardly at the other, thinking of something to say. I love that book.