The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Book Review)

Release date: 26 September 2006

Publisher: Knopf

Number of pages: 241

My rating: 1/5 stars

Oh, dear. Oh, God. This book was a damn mess. While reading this mess, I wanted to gouge out my eyes and flush the book down the damn toilet. It took me ages to finish it, and when I did, I threw down the book in anger and disgust, looking around for a source of fire so I could send this book to hell.
And quite irrationally, while I was reading the book, I suddenly remembered watching an episode of Spongebob, where Patrick says road, road, road, road. Over and over again. So, picture reading the crappiest book of all time, while having Patrick Star of Spongebob saying "road" in your head the entire time.

Not fun.

Unfortunately for me, I had to finish it, because it was part of my literature class. While reading it, I felt such anger towards the Victorian education system. It was as if they tied me to a chair and forced me to read it.


Ahem. *Composes self*

Anyway, The Road is about a man and his son walking through post-apocalyptic America. The land is destroyed, and few have survived. Most that survived turned to cannibalism.

You may ask why my description of The Road was so short. I assure you, I haven't just become lazy, but seriously, that's all that happened during the book. It's just a book of two people walking through the land. Sure, they have to scavenge for food sometimes, and sometimes they even see someone else! *gasp*

If you're looking for a fast, action packed post-apocalyptic survivalist book, you should just back away now. The Road is a very slow paced novel, and it took ages for something mildly exciting to happen. And by mildly exciting, I mean just exciting for me to stop skimming and read properly for a few paragraphs.

Cormac McCarthy's writing style is certainly interesting. For some unknown reason, he decided not to include much punctuation in his book. There are no quotation marks. There aren't many commas or apostrophes. Why he chose to do this, I do not know. Sure, it was daring and original, and it probably bought a lot of attention to his book, but it was also annoying, pointless and painful to read. Did he have an actual meaningful reason for doing this, or did he just want attention? I don't know the actual answer, but I'm leaning towards the attention side of the issue.

I really don't know, maybe in post-apocalyptic America, people are too busy finding food and boring themselves to use proper punctuation or something.

Also, Cormac McCarthy feels the need to detail every. Single. Moment. Of. Every. Freaking. Day.

Imagine if I wrote a story like this: (not an actual quote from the book).

He found a can of soup on the shelf. The edges of the shelf was eaten away by mice, and there was gunk stuck to the surface probably from a broken or spilled can or jar. The yellowing label was peeling slightly. It read baked beans. Fueled by his hunger the man rushed to open it as fast as he could. He had no can opener. He lifted the can high into the air and smashed it onto the table. The can dented on the word baked, but did but did not open. He pushed it with his thumb, hoping the lid would eventually succumb to the pressure. It didn't work. He pressed his knife into the ridge of the lid, but the knife slipped. He found a rusted screwdriver. He lifted it up into the air, and tried to puncture the can. It didn't work, so he tried again. The can made a loud popping noise, and finally split open."


Ok, imagine that for an entire book. The dialogue was so repetitive and mundane. For example: (Note the lack of quotation marks.)
We have to take a look. We have no choice.
I don't want to.
We haven't eaten in days.
I'm not hungry.
No, you're starving.
I don't want to go there Papa.
There's no one there. I promise.
How do you know?
I just know.
They could be there.
No, they're not. It will be ok.

ARRGHHHH!!!! Shut up!

The dialogue was so painful. It hardly had any relevance to the story, and it was repeated again and again until the end of the book. There were hardly any dialogue tags, and I often forgot who was talking, and had to double back and check.

The worldbuilding was nonexistent. We don't know anything about the man or his son, which made it hard to connect with the characters. We don't even know what happened to America. And they're walking through America, and we don't really get a reason why. Nothing in this book is backed by any motive.

The only good thing about this book is the relationship between the father and the son. It was a beautiful relationship. The father would do anything for his son, and it was a really heartwarming and healthy relationship.

However, the good relationship was not enough to make me enjoy this book. You can't just add a good relationship to a steaming pile of crap and expect to get away with it.

There are definitely better post apocalyptic books out there. Ones with actual plots and punctuation.

I definitely would not reccomend this book to anyone. Ever. Unless I hated them very much.

Ok, so my long is review is finally over.




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    1. Thank you do much for the nomination! I don't have time right now, but I will follow through with everything.

      Thank you!


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