The Road by Cormac McCarthy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Perhaps this isn't one of McCarthy's best works, but I still liked it. Having recently played The Last of Us, I was curious about some of the book and movies that inspired it, so I decided to give The Road a try. I found it to be slow paced and hard to follow at times, which to me, were the only negatives. I really liked the relationship between the boy and his father because not only did they did try to cooperate and get along in a post-apocalyptic world, but the moments of the boy's disobedience towards his father were a nice touch because it gave insight to their conflicts and struggles in a hostile world. Discussion about God and other survivors and whether they're good or bad showed me that the relationship of the boy and his father was very open as well as childlike due to the boy's curiosity. It's as if their conversations were a sort of coping method as a way to deal with the world around them.
I liked the structure of the book in terms of the fact that it was a continuous story and didn't really have chapter stops. McCarthy experimented with this, in a way, in All the Pretty Horses because the chapters, for the most part, were lengthy. With that in mind, the structure, I found, worked really well for The Road because the boy and his father were on a journey that had, for the most part, no reason for there being chapter stops. It only adds, in a good way, to McCarthy's already organic use of imagery and language.
The violent and lawless landscape that the boy and his father traveled -- which is a common theme in post-apocalyptic stories -- didn't feel cliché or overused because McCarthy made it his own. What I mean by that is he didn't use that theme and not put any depth of thought into it because he took time to make it interesting, with the road almost being a character itself because, while being the title of the book, it plays a big part in the story. It has a nature -- a characteristic about it -- that seemed have to a degree of mystery, which kept me intrigued.
I have a feeling that The Road will resonate with me for a while. I'm glad I checked it out because I was pleasantly surprised. I was hesitant to at first because I wasn't familiar with it, but it hit me hard and shocked me in some places, which I probably won't be forgetting anytime soon.
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