Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Road

Image sourced from here
I left my current book at work. I hate that. It's particularly bad when you have a reading comp starting on Sunday. So on a windy, rainy Saturday morning (okay, as I got up at 11.30am, afternoon) I picked up The Road.

I have been meaning to read this book for a long time. No. I have been meaning to read Cormac McCarthy for a long time. And especially since I started reading reddit. If you read that, The Road and Cormac McCarthy are supposed to be the most life changing, emotional things you will ever read.

Well, not for me I am afraid. It was a beautiful, haunting book. I will grant it that. It's the story of a father and a son walking through a post-apocalyptic world. There are few humans left, most of those who have survived have done so through dubious means. It's approaching winter, and the father knows they have to get to the coast and south before it sets in as they are too weak to survive another northern winter.

I read the book in about 4.5 hours. I am a reasonably fast reader but by no means a speed reader. The style it is written in makes it accessible (helps when one of the characters is about 7 years old) and written as dialogue. But also I got swept along, I wanted to know what happened to them both.

I am a skeptic though, sometimes a pessimist, and even as I started reading the first few pages I felt like the outlook was not happy for either of them. This may of coloured my reading. I expected terrible things to happen the whole way through. I'm not going to say if this did or did not ring true, but it definitely impacted my reading of this book I think.

What I really, really wanted to know about, was what had happened to the world. No idea. It was always niggling at me. But that's what I like about post-apocalyptic/dystopian books. I want to work out how we got there. I want to figure out how to prevent it. I wasn't given that luxury in this book.

I still don't know exactly what to think of this book. I have been hovering between 3 and 4 stars. 4 because the prose was wonderful, it was a brilliantly constructed book. But 3 as it didn't really hit me where I expected it to. Was it me? Was it the book? I am unsure. But I expected life changing and I didn't get it. But I guess it's not the book's fault that there is hype? I think I will settle on a 4 star, but I will say though, I don't think I will bother with the movie.

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