Do you ever wonder what a postapocalyptic world would be like? What would people turn into without a set “society?” Cormac McCarthy sets out to discover the answers to those and many other questions in his Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Road.
The Road follows a nameless father and son as they travel across a destroyed United States. They are traveling to the west coast in the hopes of finding other survivors and also as an escape from the winters of the northeast. The Road follows their journey through this new barren world and their experiences in it.
While the plot of The Road is simple, the novel is anything but. It explores complex questions and digs deep into the souls of mankind. McCarthy has a beautiful eloquence in his writing. This wasteland that he has created is so realistic that I honestly could close my eyes and see it. You are never told how the world came to be, but it doesn’t matter. He takes the trivial things out of his writing and writes a book about relationships. Relationships between family, relationships between strangers, and relationships between memories. The father/son relationship is beautiful. There is true dedication in the love that the father has for his son. Once the reader is given the history of how the father came to be with the son alone you just want to give him a hug and say thank you to him. His dedication to his son in this new world is so touching.
Reading the novel was both a sad and exhilarating experience. It was sad in the sense that people were so frightened of each other that they didn’t speak to them nor did they even look at them. The world has lost its friendliness and humanity is a thing of the past. However, the book also had exhilarating moments that literally had me on the edge of my seat while reading it. At one point in the novel the boy and his father are trapped in a meeting with cannibals. It was one of the saddest and most interesting parts of the book. My heart was racing during the entire experience.
When I set out reading this book I honestly thought it would be rough for me to get through, as the plot seemed so sad. McCarthy has taken a simple story and written one of the best books I’ve ever read. I read a LOT of books and am constantly changing my favorites, but there are books that never move from my list. I can safely tell you that The Road has become one of these never-changing books.