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Customer Review

206 of 225 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a superb book, 14 Nov. 2006
This review is from: The Road (Hardcover)
I picked this up after reading a glowing review in the press. I'm completely new to Cormac McCarthy having never read any of his other works. I have to say this is a superb book.

The book is set in a post-apocalyptic future. Though it's never stated what exactly happened, the subtext suggests a nuclear winter following a war. The earth is burnt, all vegetation is dead and it rains and snows ash. The plot follows the journey of a man and his son towards the south in order to find somewhere they can do more than just survive. But as all food has now been plundered - this being several years since the disaster - they are always on the edge of starvation. They must travel without being seen, as most of humanity that is left has long since resorted to cannibalism to survive.

What this is really about though is the extraordinary relationship between man and boy. The lengths that the man will go to protect his son and see him through the other end. It is a novel that for all its darkness is full of love. And wow is this dark. Many authors have written about the end of the world/survival but I don't think I've read anything quite this bleak. The scenery is utterly symapathetic to the couple's plight. It is filled with an overpowering poignancy for things lost - birds, cows, blue seas.

This is a very sad but at the same time uplifting book. The language used is simple and the conversational parts between man and boy are deliberately kept short. A wonderful book that I couldn't put down until I'd finished.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Mar 2009 21:03:05 GMT
Dan Milkman says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Mar 2009 21:08:55 GMT
Saints says:
erm yeh it is an extraordinary relationship given the circumstances the book throws up. I'm not sure where you are from but as far as I know the world is not in a post apocalyptic state! I'm a parent and I can't say we live in fear of walking down the road or wondering when we're going to eat next or if I'm doing the right thing by letting my child live in this world.
So their relationship is by no means ordninary but it is certainly extraordinary!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2009 13:30:16 BDT
B. Alonso says:
Mr.Milkman ,I take it is not a parent.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jul 2009 16:25:41 BDT
Saints says:
either that or he lives in a really rough neighborhood where the locals eat children

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2010 17:10:52 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jan 2010 17:11:32 GMT
ha ha! I only just discovered that people make comments of my reviews...bizarre, I never thought to look before. Thanks for that Ben. I think it was a pretty extraordinary book.

For the record I have a boy of pretty much exactly the same as the one in the book....

Posted on 4 Jun 2013 16:09:45 BDT
Just Dave says:
Milkman's comment above is crass and unnecessarily insulting, but underneath it he has a point, surely? Most fathers of reasonable intelligence in this situation would try that hard to shield and protect their son... This bond of love and care is normally there. So what is so surprising/ extraordinary about his actions?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2013 23:20:17 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jun 2013 23:21:18 BDT
gille liath says:
This looks to me like a misunderstanding, on both sides. You and Dan Milkman both seem to think the review meant their relationship is out of the ordinary, ie most fathers wouldn't act that way. But - leaving aside the fact that none of us actually know how we'd act in that situation - I don't think that's what was intended. Admittedly the wording is ambiguous, but it's really the situation that is extraordinary (compared to our lives), rather than the relationship itself.

Posted on 15 Oct 2013 20:34:09 BDT
billierosie says:
The Road is breaking my heart...
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Location: Kingswinford, England

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