Tuesday, March 8, 2016

"The Road" By Cormac McCarthy

I first heard of this when the movie came out. As I like post-apocalyptic stories, it's been in the back of my mind for a while now and so I decided to finally read it. 

Summary: This story begins after an apocalyptic event. Based on the environmental effects and hints in the flashback scenes I believe the event was a nuclear war, followed by nuclear winter. Nowhere in the book is it explicitly stated, and this is likely because knowing the details of the event is not an immediate concern for the characters.

The protagonists are a father and a boy who are walking along a road, trying to get south where they believe the weather will be warmer. They are not the last two people in the world, but for much of the book it feels that way because the father does not trust anyone at all. His only goal is to protect his son and is unwilling to let anyone get in the way or complicate the situation.

As they walk the road, they are forced to make many choices as they encounter people and suspiciously wonderful places. The father is the constant voice of caution, while the son, who has known only the wasteland, is full of hope and wonder. He does not mourn the loss of the old world, and it frees him to dream up how good this new world could be.

What I Liked: I liked how it presented a believable environment. I have recently stumbled across a cold war documentary that took a scientific look at the effects of nuclear winter, and so when I read The Road I noticed the detailed resemblance. I also like of McCarthy shrugs off all the bits of a story that don't really matter in this tale. There's no need for names, or long prologues. There's the two guys and then there is the immediate world as they experience it. 

What I Didn't Like: I have an unsatisfied feeling after reading it, like it is the prologue to something more.

Rating: Recommended for anyone. Must read if you like the genre.

Also Read by this Author: None.

Reviewed by: Nick

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