The Road (Paperback)
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DescriptionBy the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2007, this is the story of a father and son walking alone through burned America, heading through the ravaged landscape to the coast. It has been hailed as 'the first great masterpiece of the globally warmed generation. Here is an American classic which, at a stroke, makes McCarthy a contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature ...An absolutely wonderful book that people will be reading for generations' Andrew O'Hagan Harvey Weinstein's film was released in the UK on 8 January 2010 with an all-star cast including Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce and Robert Duvall, and introducing major new young talent, Kodi Smit McPhee, with a soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. 'A work of such terrible beauty that you will struggle to look away' Tom Gatti, The Times 'So good that it will devour you, in parts. It is incandescent' Niall Griffiths, Daily Telegraph 'You will read on, absolutely convinced, thrilled, mesmerised. All the modern novel can do is done here' Alan Warner, Guardian
- Published: 01 May 2009
- Format: Paperback 320 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780330468466 ISBN 10: 0330468464
- Sales rank: 1,281
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Reviews for The Road
The Road - Cormack McCarthy
'The Road' with its post-apocalyptic setting and nameless characters is one of those recommended books you resist reading because it sounds so bleak. Set in future America now destroyed beyond all recognition, the story follows a man and his son as they walk south in search of something - anything. The landscape is devoid of plant life, every building has been looted, the few people left on earth are wild and dangerous, ready to kill and eat their fellow survivors.
Strong and resourceful, the man is desperate but determined they should both survive. Treating his son with tenderness and understanding, he guides and protects the boy, teaching him to act with both caution and calculated risk. At times his love is reverential towards the boy as representative of the next generation saying of him: 'If he is not the word of God, then God never spoke.'
McCathy's unique writing style relies on precision and specificity. He doesn't reach for his dictionary of synonyms, he doesn't do adjectives - his nouns are simply the correct nouns. In paring every description to the essentials he achieves a miraculous reversal of the Law of Diminishing Return. He quenches thirst with the word 'water' and provides a banquet with 'a can of pears' simply because we know what such an item will mean to the man and boy.
While The Road is grim, set in a world that is endlessly grey, it's essentially a story about love and faith and the power of hope that will have you in a thrall to the very last word.
Amanda Hampson - The Write Workshops by Amanda Hampson
"Dark beyond darkness"
Black, Dark, Ash, Dirty Snow, Cold, Cold Rain, Dead River, Black Sea : This is the colourless palette of The Road. It is a landscape drawn with charcoal, where the nights are "dark beyond darkness", and a permanent pall of soot swirls in the air. With no sun, no moon, no birds, no cows, no living trees (just dead stumps), no plants or flowers, no food - McCarthy has imagined a world that is among the bleakest and most benighted in all literature. The earth has been stripped bare by an apocalypse (we are not told exactly what), and humanity has all but disappeared. Those few who survive manage a roach-like existence, scrabbling among the ruins and descending into cannibalism. How to remain human in such a world ? A man and his little son show how. They head south along "the road" to an uncertain destination, buoyed by a hope that is less than a glimmer, emaciated, starving, sick, always on the lookout for killers. Each is "the other's world entire", and their love for each other -and the boy's compassion for the other wretches they encounter -- is the only bright spark in a book that is otherwise depressing, sad and scary. McCarthy's language is austere and, in its simplicity and power, biblical. But sometimes the language and imagery soar with sublime paternal heartbreak; as a father of a little boy myself, I found such passages difficult to bear. At such moments, quite overcome, I left the book aside, unable to carry on reading. But I couldn't leave it alone for long; I simply had to carry on, as if by doing so I could will the survival of father and son. In The Road, McCarthy has shown what literature is capable of: a deeply human enterprise that helps us find beauty in the unlikeliest places, and that is ultimately life-affirming. by Sugunan Menadea