the road

title: The Road

author: Cormac McCarthy

genre: Fiction, post-apocalyptic, survival

dates read: October 20th – October 21st

review: 5 out of 5 stars

summary: In a world full of ash and gray, a father and son are trying to make it south, where it’s warmer.   The world as we know it has been destroyed by an unknown catastrophe years ago, wiping out most of the population, and those who are left are surviving as best they can. Sometimes that means resorting to unsavory behavior, and as father and son travel, they come across those who would harm them, and those who are shells of their former selves. Most days they sleep with empty stomachs and cold bodies.  They find strength and the will to live in each other.

personal thoughts: Haunting and beautiful. Tragic and real. The writing was so stark, there weren’t even any quotation marks and you never know the name of the father and son. In some cases he didn’t even use apostrophes. The sentences were short and it just lent itself to the bleak, gray world McCarthy was creating. I don’t know what it is about dystopian or post-apocalyptic novels, I’m really drawn to them.  Before I even knew about the book Jason and I bought the movie (with Viggo Mortensen) and discovered this story.    After the disaster of “Winter’s Tale,” I enjoyed a book that wasn’t too wordy and didn’t (I think) try too hard.  Well done, McCarthy.

favorite quotes:
“The gray shape of the city vanished in the night’s onset like an apparition and he lit the little lamp and set it back out of the wind.” p. 9

“Freeze this frame. Now call down your dark and your cold and be damned.” p. 19

“Not all dying words are true and this blessing is no less real for being shorn of its ground.” p. 31

“Where you’ve nothing else construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them.” p. 74

“How much was gone already? The sacred idiom shorn of its referents and so of its reality. Drawing down like something trying to preserve heat. In time to wink out forever.” p. 89

“Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.” p. 130

“He could not construct for the child’s pleasure the world he’d lost without constructing the loss as well and he thought perhaps the child had known this better than he.” p. 153

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