Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Road: Emotionally exhausting but touching book

The RoadThe Road by Cormac McCarthy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an extremely compelling, chilling book. Saying "I really liked it" (four stars) doesn't seem to fit, but it was definitely an extremely well-written and crafted novel.

I had a hard time putting "The Road" down, but I also couldn't wait to finish it because I found it so incredibly disturbing. I remember seeing the movie "Soylent Green" as a high school student and finding it similarly disturbing...although "The Road" is even more desolate than Soylent Green or the movie "Delicatessen."

At first I found the writing style a bit jarring--it reminded me a lot of Hemingway and I was never much of a Hemingway fan--but it grew on me after awhile and really seemed to fit the plot and the setting.

One of my Goodreads friends strongly recommended this to me because of the intense father-son relationship in the book. That tender relationship was what haunted me most about this book. I couldn't help but imagine with horror the prospect of wandering a post-apocalyptic earth with one of my own sons. That was what kept me awake at night, and also what made me desperate to finish the book. I kept thinking that if I were in the same situation, I would want to be dead. But one thing kept both father and son alive: their love for each other. How could one of them bear the thought of no longer being together? They cherished their time together, even though they were aware it probably would not last much longer.

This book will haunt me for some time to come. McCarthy is a master. I look forward to reading something a bit more hopeful next!

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