Review: The Road

Title:  The Road

Author:  Cormac McCarthy

Published:  September 26, 2006

Page Count:  256

Genre:  Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

My Rating:  4/5

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.

So, I’ve had The Road on my TBR pile for the longest time, but I’ve been putting it off because I honestly thought I wouldn’t like it.  I’ve flipped through the book on numerous occasions, but the lack of punctuation, the lack of dialouge, and the format in general really put me off.  And the story – I did not imagine that I could like a book about two people walking down a road… But I do like to read books that are getting huge amounts of buzz, and I’m always looking for audiobooks for my commute so when I saw this at the library on audio format I thought I would try it.

I am SO glad that I made that decision because I ended up enjoying this book much more than I ever would have imagined.  It took me about half the first disc to begin to care about these characters (the man and the boy, who are not given names) , but once I did I was completely hooked.  From the book description you’d think that “nothing happens” in The Road but to be completely honest with you, a LOT happens in this book.  A lot more than I expected, that’s for sure.  And I had to just keep listening to this one because I felt the pressing need to find out exactly what was going to happen as the man and boy continued on their walk down the road.

It’s been said before about this one, many times, but there’s something utterly beautiful about this novel.  It has a lot to do with the mixing of complete destruction and devastation with this loving relationship between the father and son.  It is clear that without each other to lean on and take care of, both father and son would have been dead long ago.  Something about that fact, and the way there was so much love between the two of them despite the circumstances of the world around them, just made for a beautiful book. 

I have to be honest about one thing, though.  If I had read the book in regular format as opposed to audio, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much.  I have looked through the book many times and I really don’t believe I would be able to get past the lack of punctuation and the annoying format of the book.  Many bloggers have complained about this, and for those of you who fall in this category, I HIGHLY recommend the audio version.  Not only is the narration fantastic, but you don’t have to worry about the structure the same way you do with the regular book.

The Road is truly a wonderful novel.  It is not an easy read but is well worth the effort that reading it may take.

More reviews –

21 thoughts on “Review: The Road”

  1. Thanks for recommending the audio version. I have resisted adding this to my list becasue the book did not look appealing to me. It’s good to know the audio version is good. Thanks.

  2. I may have to check out the audio version since I hated the actual copy of the book. It didn’t do it for me, but maybe your recommendation will.

  3. I’m always in awe of those who can do audio books. I’m such a visual learner, that audio books go in one ear and out the other (believe me, I tried studying for the Bar with Review on CD…)

    This book is on my TBR list, but who knows when I’ll get to it?! I’m hoping that my reading will increase again after the wedding.

    1. I can only do audiobooks in the car. Any other way I try to listen, I get too distracted. But when I’m driving, it’s like there’s nothing else for me to focus on besides the story and driving, so it works.

  4. I’ve been intending to read this for a long time! I keep putting it off because it looks like such a struggle. I will read it though because it sounds like it is worth the effort. I don’t like audio books at all though.

  5. Great review Heather and now before I read my copy I’m going to make sure that I check out the audio to go along with it!!!

  6. Interesting review. I saw an interview that Oprah did with the author (who is rather a recluse) about this book and it definitely piqued my interest. Onto the TBR pile.

    PS – I’m new to this book blogging thing and just starting to explore who else is out there. So, hi (waves hello).

    1. Yeah I’ve read that McCarthy is a recluse as well.

      Hi to you, too! I’ve added you to my reader. Great blog name, btw! 😉

  7. Thanks for the link. To be honest, I am going to see the movie and maybe that will sway my opinion a bit more towards loving it…

  8. I read this novel last year at my husband’s insistence. I have to say that I’m the only one I know that didn’t really like it. My husband loved it and we did talk a great deal about it.

    But, I have to say your review made me think about it a little differently. Maybe I should go back and listen to it this time!

    Great review!

  9. I read this one ages ago. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did it was great. I almost didn’t take it out of the library because I was worried that nothing happened besides walking down the road. I’m glad I was wrong.


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