Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Review: The Road

Title: The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Published: 2006, Vintage International
Genre: Science Fiction
Accolades: 2007 Pulitzer Award for Fiction, 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction Shortlist, 2006 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and on and on and on...

I picked up a copy of The Road in the Detroit airport after my plane had been delayed (again) and I needed something to read. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down (I almost didn't mind the delay - almost). The Road is a frightening postapocalyptic novel about a nameless father and son who are traveling south to escape another brutal winter in the mountains. It is a story of grief and lose and struggles with the question- what keeps one going when all hope is gone and death is not the enemy?

I really enjoyed this riveting book. The writing style was unique, almost sparse, capturing the the feel of the countryside and a world without hope.

"It took two days to cross that ashen scabland. The road beyond ran along the crest of a ridge where the barren woodland fell away on every side. It's snowing, the boy said. He looked at the sky. A single grey flake sifting down. He caught it in his hand and watched it expire there like the last hope of christendom." (page 16, The Road)

The most moving part of the story is the relationship between the father and son. The father does everything he can to provide hope to his son by telling him that they have to continue on "to carry the fire" in a hopeless world even though the father has long ago stopped believing.

This is science fiction at it's best. A story that kept me engrossed while I read it and thinking about it hours after I had finished reading it.
My Rating: 5 out of 5

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