The Road is set in post-apocalyptic America, but one of the book's strengths is that McCarthy never wastes effort describing the apocalypse itself. Instead, this book focuses on a man and his son, and their attempt to stay alive.
My favorite part of this book was the father-son relationship, in all its gritty beauty. The father attempts to shield his son from the worst horrors of a devastated landscape. The son clings to youthful optimism but trembles in fear as he watches his father's health fail. Their interactions and their love drive this story. The Father is totally focused on the survival of his son. He sees this role as his only reason for existence. “He knew only that the child was his warrant. He said; if he is not the word of God, God never spoke” .The care and fortunes of others he believes he must ignore to focus on his own and his sons’ survival. The Son on the other hand feels strong empathy for others. “ You’re not the one who has to worry about anything. The boy said something but he couldn’t understand him. What? he said. He looked up, his wet and grimy face. Yes I am, he said. I am the one.”The description of the world is vivid and horrifying. “ Nights dark beyond darkness and days more grey that what had gone before. Like the onset of some glaucoma dimming away the world” Death and decay are everywhere. Ash from burning cities pollutes the air, the rivers and even the oceans. Gangs of ruthless individuals search for food eating anything including people. In all this the two of them attempt to salvage a shred of humanity in an inhuman world. They “ carry the fire ”and support the good guys.
The book really worked for me. I found it different, original and extremely graphic. The prose is beautiful and carefully crafted with no unnecessary words. The dialogue between Father and Son is simple but extremely meaningful. The book reminded me of the real fragility of civilization and life on Earth.
I found there was much to ponder after finishing the book. What is our obligation to others? How much should we concentrate on looking after ourselves rather than others?
An extremely depressing novel depicting a hopelessly desolate world in which everything is dead, except for a few humans struggling to survive by any means necessary. Very well written, but definitely not everyone's cup of tea because of its unrelenting heaviness....Continua
The road is a solid story set in a future dystopia. As science fiction goes this one sort of gets you in the heart a bit, but that is what makes it unique from similar stories.