Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road is set in a post-apocalyptic world of the not-too-distant future. There are two main characters in this book: an adult male and his young son. We never get their names. McCarthy refers to them as "the man" or "he" and "the boy." This lends a cold, sterile feel to the novel. We follow the two characters as they make their way down the road, heading roughly South and toward the coast. They have no real destination in mind, but they keep moving. Life is beyond bleak and the only way the two survive the day-to-day hardships is by relying on each other.

I liked this book, but I don't see what all the fuss is about.

6 comments:

Jim said...

Have you read Blood Meridian yet? I always tell people to read this before Blood Meridian because the latter is a better book with a similar tone.

Nihil Novum said...

But Blood Meridian takes like 5 times as long to get through. It's a great book but really dense compared to The Road.

Carlton Farmer said...

This was my first McCarthy book. Is the writing style the same in his other novels?

Christopher said...

Contrarian.

Nihil Novum said...

Carlton, the writing in Blood Meridian is kind of like the road in that it uses some archaic words, not very much punctuation and is sometimes pretty minimal.

It's unlike The Road in that most of the book is really dense and slow-moving, and the writing is very... I don't know, stylized, maybe. It's a really good book, but No Country for Old Men is much similar in style to The Road.

Christopher said...

I'd say all three are relatively distinct. The brevity in No Country for Old Men is very aggressive; there are almost no complex sentences at all. Blood Meridian is much more complex and dense, and uses a lot of obscure vocabulary, but the tone is more similar to the Road than either are to No Country.