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Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

in a sentence: a boy and his father in a post-apocalyptic world travel the road in hopes of warmer climate and survival.

let me start by saying that this book was totally and completely emotionally exhausting. the interactions between the man and boy were bare bones in words, but rich in thought. this was exactly like the world they tried to survive in...so bare bones but once so rich and full of life. at the point we encounter them, they have been on the road for what i assumed to be about 8 years or so. everything they see is covered in gray ash - the road, the trees, themselves, the sky, absolutely everything is saturated with a light gray film. McCarthy periodically reminds the reader of that imagery to really drive home the physical reminder of their desperation.

similar to journey to the center of the earth, this book is a slow and intentionally paced journey. there are some tough characters they meet along the way and periodic flashbacks of their prior life (not very many). mainly this book is all about the man and the boy (as they are referred to) traveling along the road trying to survive by scavenging.

as far as a young adult read, i think this is a go. it's very heavy at times, but with one of the characters as a young boy, it is very doable. there's nothing too extreme or disturbing that pops up as a red flag for me against a young adult read, with the exception maybe of an encounter with someone on the road that ends in murder. but i think that young adults would be intrigued by the concept of post-apocalyptic survival and with what surviving would be like.

judging from the little looking around i've done at the upcoming movie, i think that i will be interested in checking it out. and then not talking to anyone for 2 days afterward as i recover from the emotional trauma seeing it in action will do to me!

despite my emotional exhaustion, i really did like this book. i can't say that i'm chomping at the bit to read it again anytime soon...but it was very well written, thought out, and intentional. i respect the struggle of the characters even though i couldn't directly relate to their situation. i strongly feel that their story is one worth reading.

fave part: in place of a quote, which i feel i would have a hard time choosing out of context, i think that one of my favorite elements of this book is that the father is reasonably well educated. this is seen in his interactions with the boy, his survival skills, but also with the language he uses. he holds on to that dignity even in a world that could care less.

fix er up: there was no punctuation or chapter breaks in this book. while i respect that it was probably done because in a post-apocalyptic world, who cares about quotation marks or chapter breaks? and the lack of these breaks also accentuated their never-ending traveling and survival mode. but for me, i just like organization.

title: The Road
author: Cormac McCarthy
genre: fiction, dystopian, edgy

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. remember how you get upset with me everytime i say i know how this book ends based on the fact that you were crying? it just makes me wonder what you will actually do when i read it and find out i was right. will your head explode in anger? will it pop off and roll around the floor? will your face turn red and steam emanate from your ears, ala yosemite sam? inquring minds want to know Lisa.

  2. This is another bbook on my TBR pile...that seems to be growing. ha ha!


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