Book Review: The Road14 Nov 2014
Since I liked No Country for Old Men, I got my hands on the audiobook of 'The Road', another book by Cormac McCarthy. I found the concept of the book intriguring but I could never grasp the idea behind the book till the end. The feel is quite good and McCarthy achieves what he set out to do in this book but to me, the story was never captivating enough.
- Author: Cormac McCarthy
- Published: 2006
- Age Group: Adult
There is plenty of action in this book along with the trademark violence that McCarthy is capable of. That's where the similarity with No Country for Old Men ended for me. The book is about a post-apocalyptic world where a father-son duo is traveling south to avoid the winter. The society is dead, there is hardly any food left, the starving pair keeps moving throughout the book. While I hoped that this book would be better than the cookie-cutter feel-good written-for-award books, it wasn't. Here's a list of things I expected would not happen:
- Stumble upon a buttload of food storage.
- Encounter killers/outlaws/cannibals.
- Encounter people faking their condition/setting up bait.
- Be starving and be in a near-death situation before finding more food.
- Find secure shelter.
- Have to make tough decisions and leave people behind.
It pains me to tell you but all these happen in the book. This is one of the worst books I've ever had the misfortune of reading. Not a single surprise. You might say that not all books need a surprise ending, sometimes it's about the story. Let's talk about the story then; it was about the journey of the duo. If that is your main theme, I expect good dialog, interesting narration and insights into the characters lives. When the main character keeps repeating "Yes papa" throughout the book, it gets annoying real fast. Some of the things that I was expecting from the book once I realized this was about the father-son were:
- Flashbacks into the lives of the 2 (there is VERY little).
- What caused the apocalypse.
- Good dialog (can't stress this enough).
- A decent ending.
It fails on all accounts. The ending was a pain. It was extremely generic and unexpected, even with the low expectations I had from this book. Given how brutal it was at the beginning, I was expecting both of them to die, or the kid to die. That would have saved the book a little. My guess is, he chose the easier route to appease the readers due to fear or rejection. After all, killing kids won't sit well with the jury that handed him the Pulitzer. Awards is another thing I don't think I will ever be able to understand.
For what it's worth, the book reminded me a lot of the hit game Don't Starve. Take a look if you haven't played it yet. It's the best indie game I've played this year.