Saturday, February 8, 2014

Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Publisher: Knopf
Release Date: September 26th, 2006
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.
I realize that no one probably even cares about this book or whatever. I wouldn't either. But I had to read it for my summer reading assignment. So let's talk.

I went into this knowing that there were extremely mixed reviews. After reading it, I could see why. It's not really my type of book, and I had a lot of reasons not to like it. But it wasn't terrible.

The plot actually wasn't that bad. It got really repetitive, but Cormac actually wrote it well and there was something compelling about it. It can get boring at times, but I really loved the symbolism in the book. I liked that it made me think. I actually enjoyed the ending a lot, or at least until the last paragraph. I still have no idea what that was supposed to mean, and it just made a strong ending weak.

And there were so many other aspects of the book that I had trouble with. The first and foremost was the grammar an writing itself. McCarthy made good use of diction and syntax, but I wasn't willing to throw away everything I knew about writing just to get through this book. There's the lack or punctuation or misuse if them. There were fragments and ridiculously long run on sentences. There were no quotation marks, making it very hard to follow along with whoever is speaking. There was just so much that I couldn't get used to and couldn't push away. Maybe that was part of McCarthy's lesson. Who knows?

Honestly, I have no idea why anyone would want to make a movie out this. It was mostly predictable. It was extremely repetitive. The characters didn't even have names for goodness sake. 

Should you read it? Maybe. Would I ever re-read it? Maybe. But I wouldn't put this on your TBR list, at least not anywhere near the top.

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