Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: The Road

In a world where everything is covered in ash and society is on its last breathe, what defines morality?  In Cormac McCarthy's The Road, we follow the travels of an unnamed man and his son as they endure the trials of nature's elements and the quest to survive by scavenging an America that has been burnt to the ground. Among the few remaining survivors of some apocalyptic calamity, they push their cart of blankets, canned goods and other salvaged treasures down a road leading to the sea.  Along their journey, the two fight the elements, starvation and bands of cannibalistic marauders, with the unnamed man assuring his son that they are "the good guys."  Yet in the man's efforts to survive, one must question what it really means to be "the good guys" ?  

On the one hand, The Road is a hopelessly depressing story of unfathomable loss and waste.  Still, it is so eloquently written that one can't help but love the story.  The characters are so compelling that the reader instantly becomes attached to their predicament.  The whole time, the reader is drawn to hope for the best, while always realistically anticipating the worst.  In short, one of the best reads I've found in a while.  A resoundingly strong recommendation to read this book.  I loved every minute of it--even when I couldn't stop reading because I couldn't "leave them" in a bad place--even when I couldn't sleep because they had me so anxious--even when I cried my eyes out... and cried again any time I thought about it.  Ahh, such a great read.