Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Guest Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Thank you Mel for inviting me to guest post and resurrect one of my old reviews.  I chose one that I found to be a literally challenge at the time.  Because it is dark and bleak, I would recommend this to mature readers since McCarthy doesn't seem to be for the faint of heart.  I also read his book, No Country for Old Men (my review HERE), which was very disturbing but artfully crafted thus I gave it 5 stars.

If you like these two sample reviews (counting NCfOM), feel free to stop by my neck of the woods (@Jinky is Reading) to say hello and I'll be sure to visit you back.  Salamat (thank you)!

The Road by Cormac McCarthy, 2006, 241p, rating=4 (excellent; highly recommend), original review 3/29/10

A searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece.

A father and his 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 gray. 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. (Goodreads)

Duh, just noticed the book cover is dark... appropriately so since the world that the man and boy lived now was dark and dreary! This is because this is a post apocalyptic novel so the road ahead is unknown and scary. Your survival skills had to been challenged here. Consequently, this book touched upon human's awakening of it's ultimate capabilities in face of the world's end. Would it be better to live or die? Is the fight to live worth it at this point? Is God around? Does having hope make a difference? These are a few of the questions that this book had it's characters pondering. Deep.

I believe a seasoned reader would find this book extraordinary. The author was skilled in describing everything in detail and much in symbolism that I suspect some I missed. Being that I am a striving reader, I saw the details more cumbersome. I was eager to find out what's at the end of the road. It was however the journey getting there that was more important to the author to get across. Surely it was, because when you're at that point of existence ... you don't know for sure who's the good guy or who's going to eat you! Yes, I said EAT. When you're starving and your scavenged food is gone, what else is there that some may turn to but cannibalism? Really, this book is intense in human desperation and tenacity.

Oh, oh, oh, the ending!! All the bleakness that you've been reading comes to a conclusion and you will be exhausted along with the man and boy's journey and you will weep, wail, ... howl!!

Excellent book. Now I've got to find the movie and see the novel in film ... should be interesting.

**My quotables:
"You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget." pg 10.
"If you break little promises you'll break big ones." pg 29.


Melanie said...

Thanks, Jinky! What a great book to share! This sounds interesting to me and will go on my ever growing list. Great questions to ponder.

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