The Road
Cormac McCarthy

by

Jack Shields

Reviews

By Alan Warner; The Guardian; 11/04/2006

In the article published on the Guardian website, Alan classifies McCarthy's novel as a masterpiece in comparison with his previous works. In his opinion, the book focuses on determining the consequences that an apocalyptical event will have on the society in general. He finds the novel a great representation of who will lead the country in a moment of fear. Nevertheless, it is also a book about physical human survival skills and what people have to sacrifice in order to live for one more day. Alan is convinced that McCarthy found inspiration in science fiction books but tends to go beyond them due to his unique narrative. It seems like some of his descriptions are inspired from novels written by Samuel Beckett. In the end, the subtle message is to enjoy what you currently have, as you never know what the future holds, and how you can lose everything in a blink of an eye. 

By Janet Maslin; The New York Times; 09/25/2006

Maslin begins the article by talking about McCarthy’s unique way of writing. One of the interesting elements is how the author can come up with the idea of the post-apocalyptic world without getting into too many details, whilst still presenting it in a poetic way. No matter how much misery book depicts, the novel remains a stunning piece.

She immediately notices that the cause of the cataclysm has no importance in this circumstance. The more she read the book, the more it reminded her of "Lord of the Flies” by William Golding in terms of the symbolism. The vocabulary used by the author, is different than what readers are typically used to. It almost seems like the apocalypse burn all the dictionaries and the author had to come up with unique metaphors and comparisons.

She states that this book is definitely not the kind of novel to offer comfort but without any doubts it's unicity makes it a must read.

By Clive Sinclair; the Independent; 11/17/2006

In Sinclair's opinion, McCarthy found a source of inspiration for his novel in Byron's poem which was written in 1816 and depicts the end of the world through a volcanic eruption. It seems like all these elements are also present in the author’s novel even though he doesn't state directly what caused them. The best description for this book is "filled with mystery”. The author tries to present a world that is lost, the type of world that existed before humans invaded it and eventually turned it into dust.

In no way is this a political novel. Even so, he believes that the author used several subtle Biblical references throughout the text. For example, in a flashback we see that the clock stopped at 1:17. This corresponds with a biblical verse in the Book of Genesis, in which God brought light upon the earth. Irony abounds here, with the time representing Earth being covered in darkness, both literally and figuratively.

Another element of interest is the difference between the father who was born before the tragedy and his son. When they find the can of Coca-Cola, the father sees something deeper than a drink, it is a representation of the past, while for his son it is simply a delicious drink, something that he has never tasted before. What he doesn't know is that the can might have been the world's last Coca-Cola and he had the chance to enjoy it.

Even though the author doesn't mention the father or child’s name, we still form strong attachments to them, presenting the pair in such a way that makes the reader feel pity for them.

By Ryan Lawler; Fantasy Book Review; 03/01/2012

Lawler’s report states that this is definitely not a fun book and it is not intended for children. In his opinion, it represents an exploration of the post-apocalyptic world and the struggle to keep on moving when there is no hope left. While reading this book, Lawler asked himself why the father decides to keep going on, when he had the possibility to end both his and his son’s misery, stopping the pain they go through on a daily basis. In terms of the writing style, Lawler also states that it is indeed different from other authors. When he began reading the book it took him a few pages to get used to the style, since is removed from a traditional style. In comparison with other novels released in the last few years, it could almost be seen as a short story because it only has 200 pages but in the critics’ opinion, that is long enough, as he classifies this as one of the best books of the last century.

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