Thursday, September 24, 2015

Book Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Yet another book that seems to always make it onto lists of things everyone should read, The Road is a pretty intense story of a father and son after civilization as we know it collapses. Nothing is ever said as to why the world is how it is now, but everything is covered in a layer of ash and dust. The characters names are never mentioned, but in this environment their names really don't matter. The boy is about 9 or 10 years old and his mother disappeared long ago, deciding she couldn't handle the way the world had become. The father presses on with his son, always travelling south along the roads, hiding from groups of raiders and cannibals along their journey. The story is filled with their day to day accounts including how they scavenge for food and supplies in abandoned houses along the way, as well as how hard those provisions are to come by. As two people out alone on the road, they are in constant danger of being overtaken by larger communes that travel together, so the father is trying to teach his son how to survive and stay protected.

I'm starting to realize I enjoy this type of post-apocalyptic story. I'm not a big dooms-day-er, I just really enjoy seeing what happens when people are stripped to their most basic needs and how they cope. The father in this story is just trying to teach his son and keep him safe, but he also teaches him how to be a good person and keep that tradition alive, not caving into base human instincts in times of crisis. I will say, the boy does seem pretty whiny and sheltered a character for growing up in the time that he does. Maybe he was actually younger than I perceived, but even so it didn't seem realistic for him to be as sheltered as he was. That said, I did enjoy this book. I love that the book shows the difference between those who will do anything for survival and those who keep a moral code. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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