Review · Science Fiction

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road CoverSynopsis from Goodreads:

A searing, post apocalyptic 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.

Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is about father and his son trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world filled with “bad guys.” The father decides they are heading south and east to the coast, partly in search of the “good guys.” The nameless man teaches his son to “carry the fire” while the nameless boy teaches his father compassion for others. The boy learns that he carries the fire in his heart.

The end of the book hit me pretty hard. I dislike giving away the ending, but like the boy I lost my dad. I lost my dad the after I finished reading this novel. I understood the boy’s grieving and how he coped with his papa’s death. This quote gives the choice every grieving person must make: “You can stay here with your papa and die or you can go with me…. You’ll be all right” (283). Going with this stranger is equivalent to moving forward, for his papa wouldn’t have wanted him to die from grief.

McCarthy uses very specific diction. As is a characteristic in his writings, he makes a point of not using unnecessary punctuation. One example is the lack of quotation marks and apostrophes (e.g. “didnt”). They emphasize the hopelessness of the characters as well as their feeling of nothingness. In their new world, it doesn’t matter anymore.

This is an amazing book. I recommend this book to everyone.

Genre: Post-apocalyptic fiction

5 Out of 5 Stars

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4 thoughts on “The Road by Cormac McCarthy

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