The Road Online eBook by Cormac McCarthy
Click Here to Download the Book A searing, post apocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece. A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.
Reviews It's been a while since I've read something as fluid as this was written. It came highly recommended by a few and I had put it off due to its bleak premise. Not that I shy away from depressing reads, but I figured I wasn't in the right frame of mind to read it. I've been on a Hemingway kick for a while now, then someone mentioned this book and Hemingway in the same sentence. I went out and bought it. Weeks later, I picked it up. I could have broken down on the first few paragraphs. Oh dear, the child talks like my little boy. That didn't help matters. But it wasn't the subject that hooked me in. It was the writing. McCarthy writes in a style reminiscent of writers who broke that classical model of plot. (A) happens, then climatic (B) occurs, which leads us to (C ) (be it resolution or death, but really it's a neatly wrapped up C). My favorite short story of all time is "Clay" by James Joyce (yeah yeah - I'm a Joycean and unapologetic about it, so there). There's no real plot. It's the day in the life of a woman named Maria. So what's the point of no plot? The plot itself is in the fine details and uncovering what Maria's fate could possibly be. The meaning is in all the little things that happen in that day. Hemingway was a genius at this style. McCarthy takes it all to a whole new level. Sure, I knew what was going to happen before it did, but it was the story, the details within it, and how connected I became to, not just the characters, but the stark world where nothing there is left, not even hope. Don't put aside the inklings of philosophical ponderings and symbolism though. They are what captures you in parts, but it isn't what The Road is about. It's about everything and nothing. It shines in its simple starkness. The curious use of language, breaking it down as everything else decays doesn't faze you until you're right in the middle of it. When it does, stop and take a breather. I think McCarthy could write a detailed description of a drab sofa and he'd still have me riveted. I went out to my local bookshop and grabbed a copy of All The Pretty Horses as my next read. Classic western, the back cover reads. Oh I think I'm already addicted.
Some people can write, and some can't. Cormac McCarthy can write. Though this book is bleak, grey, and gritty, there were many times I stopped to marvel at a phrase or a paragraph. In the cold post-apocalyptic setting, McCarthy managed to create a real sense of warmth between the man and his son.
Of course, I had heard a lot about this book before I read it. Most of the comments were about how hopeless or bleak the story is. How crushingly sad. I didn't find it so, and maybe that's because my expectations had prepared me for something worse, or maybe it's because I've read and admired the books by Robert Cormier.
This book is not for the faint of heart. This is the single most depressing book I have ever read and I am a fan of the post apocalyptic genre. If you've read On the Beach this book is even more depressing. I read The Road after watching the movie. In many cases I prefer movies to books. I know. I know. Don't tell my boss, ok? The movie left a lot unanswered so I immediately downloaded the ebook to fill in the gaps. Unfortunately that didn't happen. The book and movie are equally dark, depressing, and both leave many questions unanswered. The planet is basically wiped out. We don't know why. Though there is much debate online about a super volcano or a meteor crashing. The characters journey down a road in search of...? I'm not sure it's ever explicitly said. The book takes you down the road with them into what would be my own version of hell. The writing is exquisite, beautiful. The book reads like a poem. But in the end you're left asking yourself, what the hell was the point in reading this. I am not a better person. I did not learn anything about myself. I was not entertained. I cried. I sobbed. If you are one of those people who enjoys reading poetry or cutting yourself for that matter go ahead and read. Reading this book is the equivalent of slow, steady cuts to your arms that eventually reach to your soul. I'm rating as 5 stars because the book is just so beautifully written. I think the pain that goes along with reading it is part of the price you must pay to read and appreciate the story. I recommend this for anyone who is in the mood to cry, be depressed, feel hopeless. I don't recommend this book for new parents, hormonal pregnant women, anyone depressed or suicidal, or for a book club in a psych ward.
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