NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

5.0 out of 5 stars Grim and haunting, January 10, 2010

I rate books on how much of an impact they have on me and whether or not I will think about or want to discuss the contents after I've read the last page and closed the cover. The Road is a post apocalyptic novel that will stay with me a very long time. The bleakness of the journey that this unnamed father and son embark on is quickly evident -- they are going south but have no real plan and no endpoint or destination in mind. They traverse an unrelenting and very bleak landscape of ash and burnt out flora, fauna and civilization -- devoid of any life except for the occasional creature that bears little resemblance to what was once humankind. The man and the boy stick to the endless blacktop, the road -- the only somewhat permanent residual marker in a very changed world. They walk by day, pushing a metal grocery cart full of their meager possessions, avoiding the marauding bands of cannibals and even the lone survivors as trust is not a trait they can afford to have when it is survival of the fittest at stake.

Though the story is very grim, the love and protectiveness that the father has for his son is the only light in this otherwise very depressing narrative. They are all unto each other -- there is no one else and nothing else. Memories that the man has are soon discarded as his reality is faced with plugged determination -- a search for food, water, warmth -- merely to survive another day.

I'm eager to see the movie based on this book and hope it's a faithful adaptation. This is definitely a novel that I will think about time and again as it haunts me with its stark portrayal of whatever comes after "the end of the world as we knew it."
I gave this 5 stars, not because it was a pleasant story, but because of the impact it had on my psyche and my senses as I read it.
I can't really say I LOVED this book, but I did live it.


  1. I saw your mail to the group Denise. I'm at work right now, and I will give this some more thought later and possibly post more. But for now I will just say I agree with everything you said, you said all the things I wanted to say in your review! I was such a strong read. It affected me on a deep level. It was harsh, but not depressing. Sad but not overwhelmingly so. And in the sparse dialoge between the man and the boy I still felt all the emotion, and all the things that weren't said, somehow.

  2. I think you give an excellent review, Denise. I did not like this book at all because it bothered me, but I think I should rephrase that now that I've read your review.