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"The Road" by Cormac McCarthy ***Abundant Spoilers***

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"The Road" by Cormac McCarthy ***Abundant Spoilers***

Old 06-05-07, 10:37 PM
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Well, I just finished this book. I am quite surprised at all the love this book is getting. Post-apocalyptic books are probably my favorite type of stories, but this story just didn't do it for me. I was expecting to read a story better than that of Swan Song and The Stand, but nothing interesting really seems to happen in this story. A boy and his father just seem to walk down a road with random bad things happening to them. The biggest problem I had with the book was the dialogue. It just feels like everytime someone says something, they are talking to preschoolers. It is so simple. I know that is the style of writing Cormac used, but I can't stand it. I can't feel empathy for a character in a book whose name I do not even know. A huge theme of the book was the unconditional love of the man for the boy. However, pretty much any man in the situation they were in would have showed unconditional love for the boy. It is nothing special, just like I feel this book is nothing special.
Old 06-19-07, 05:16 PM
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I thought it was the best book i read last year and I read a lot. It is a love or hate kind of book though. Either you get it or you don't. It is definitely not everyone's thing and I know the people I would recommend it to and those that I wouldn't.
Old 08-10-07, 06:37 AM
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Finished the book last night and loved it. I actually intentionally read the book over a prolonged period of time because I didn't want to get to the end and have the book finish. We have our first baby on the way, and I couldn't help but have that in the back of my mind when reading about the relationship between the father and son.

As for the ending, I think that it does end on a ray of hope. If the boy had been found by cannibals, they would have eaten his father. He was found by the good guys. The guys that don't eat people.

Has there be any rumors or conjecture as to what caused the apocalypse? Is there anything referenced in the book that I missed that might have hinted as to what happened? I don't think there is, and for me, I am fine with that. I like the open-ended nature of the book.
Old 08-13-07, 02:02 PM
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I'm not a father and I still liked this book a great deal. It's definitely more "literary" in nature and won't be pleasing to fans of cheap, fast, easy fiction.
Old 08-15-07, 11:17 PM
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I finally got around to reading "The Road" today. It was undeniably devastating. When I got to the final few pages I found myself sobbing.

I'm a proud parent of a 20 month old, and my father-in-law had a quadruple by-pass surgery this morning. Talk about the perfect literary storm.

To me, this is the most engrossing novel I've read since Yan Martel's "Life of Pi" a few years back. What an amazing read.
Old 08-19-07, 11:11 PM
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Started this morning - finished tonight. I agree that I didn't particularly like the style of writing or the dialogue - but it was definitely engrossing and I was able to look past the things I didn't like. I can't remember the last time I finished a book in one day - but it was a very quick read.

Anyway - would definitely recommend it to fans of this genre.
Old 08-20-07, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by orangerory
I agree that I didn't particularly like the style of writing or the dialogue - but it was definitely engrossing and I was able to look past the things I didn't like.
This sums up how I somewhat feel about it. I finished it in a few hours tonight, and while I liked it, I didn't love it. I certainly can appreciate the wonderful prose and use of language, though.
Old 08-26-07, 05:53 PM
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Another prize:

Pulitzer Prize-winning US author Cormac McCarthy has won the UK's oldest literary award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction.

The Road, McCarthy's tale of a father and son in a post-apocalyptic America, was named the best novel of the year.

He wins 10,000, as does Byron Rogers, who won in the biography category for his book about Welsh poet RS Thomas.

The University of Edinburgh has awarded the two prizes since 1919. Past winners include DH Lawrence and EM Forster.

McCarthy, 74, was not at the ceremony at the Edinburgh International Book Festival to collect the award.

'Imaginative impact'

The honour comes four months after Road, his 10th novel, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

The other James Tait Black fiction nominees were Sarah Waters, Ray Robinson, James Lasdun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Alice Munro.

Judge Professor Colin Nicholson, of the University of Edinburgh, said: "Each of the shortlisted authors is prize-worthy.

"But my fellow judge Roger Savage agrees with me that for imaginative impact and page-turning readability, the two winning books are both destined to become classics in their respective genres."
Old 09-19-07, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by movieking
Finished the book last night and loved it. I actually intentionally read the book over a prolonged period of time because I didn't want to get to the end and have the book finish. We have our first baby on the way, and I couldn't help but have that in the back of my mind when reading about the relationship between the father and son.

As for the ending, I think that it does end on a ray of hope. If the boy had been found by cannibals, they would have eaten his father. He was found by the good guys. The guys that don't eat people.

Has there be any rumors or conjecture as to what caused the apocalypse? Is there anything referenced in the book that I missed that might have hinted as to what happened? I don't think there is, and for me, I am fine with that. I like the open-ended nature of the book.
Just finished reading it for my book discussion group and enjoyed it. The back of the book states that when it snows, the snow is gray. That might mean there was a nuclear war of some kind.
Old 09-20-07, 05:01 PM
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I had two free audio downloads from audible.com after buying my mp3 player, and I figured I would download this unabridged version to see how I would like it. I don't know if it was because I wasn't reading, but I couldn't stay focused on the books. There were parts that I were engrossed, but other times my mind would completely wander while trying to pay attention.

I love apocalypse books, but this one just seemed average to me. I'm debating whether to read it, and see if my opinion changes.
Old 09-20-07, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by spainlinx0
I love apocalypse books, but this one just seemed average to me. I'm debating whether to read it, and see if my opinion changes.
I read "The Road" and really liked it. The subject matter (apocalypse) was especially interesting. As I'm not too familiar with this subject matter in book form, what recommendations would you make for great apocalypse books?
Old 09-21-07, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mbs
I read "The Road" and really liked it. The subject matter (apocalypse) was especially interesting. As I'm not too familiar with this subject matter in book form, what recommendations would you make for great apocalypse books?
I do not claim to be an expert so other people would be better to ask, but I have read and enjoyed Swan Song, the Stand, and Alas Babylon.
Old 09-21-07, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mbs
As I'm not too familiar with this subject matter in book form, what recommendations would you make for great apocalypse books?
Ditto the recommendation for The Stand.

And I'll add The Postman and I Am Legend.
Old 07-14-08, 03:34 PM
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Entertainment Weekly named this the #1 book of the past 25 years in a recent issue.

This is one that your kids and grandkids will be reading in their college lit courses.
Old 07-23-08, 11:19 AM
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Going through this thread, I can't believe that it has been almost a year since I read this. It has stayed with me like no other book before it. I might pick it up and read it again.
Old 08-09-08, 08:55 PM
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McCarthy is such an awesome writer. I love his economy of words that are so powerful...just an "Ok" is heavy with meaning.

Loved it.
Old 07-03-10, 06:59 AM
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Re: "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy ***Abundant Spoilers***

I did not read the ending literally. I think the boy - who only knows a post-apocalyptic world - killed himself and in dying saw a vision of the perfect nuclear family: two parents, two kids and a dog. Of course, the family looks haggard and dirty because, to the boy, that is the only way he's really ever seen humanity. And the man is missing thumbs because the last man he'd seen on Earth, among so few in total, was also missing thumbs. He has no basis to imagine the human form in any other way. This seems so obvious to me that it's difficult to comprehend how people do read this at face value. With all the bleakness in the story, it should culminate at a happy point? No.

From the book:
"She (the mother) would talk to him sometimes about God. He tried to talk to God but the best thing was to talk to his father and he did talk to him and he didn't forget. The woman said that was all right. She said that the breath of God was his breath yet though it pass from man to man through all of time."

The woman is affirming that God does exist; and the boy - who has been called "God" and "the word of God" by his father, is seeking this affirmation in his death. His father had taught him how to use the last bullet for relief from the dreary world. But the boy needs to die with the vision that the perfect family and a loving God are possible. This is the end of his life journey: the spiritual end.
Old 07-20-10, 09:07 AM
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Re: "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy ***Abundant Spoilers***

Originally Posted by femspotter
I did not read the ending literally. I think the boy - who only knows a post-apocalyptic world - killed himself and in dying saw a vision of the perfect nuclear family: two parents, two kids and a dog. Of course, the family looks haggard and dirty because, to the boy, that is the only way he's really ever seen humanity. And the man is missing thumbs because the last man he'd seen on Earth, among so few in total, was also missing thumbs. He has no basis to imagine the human form in any other way. This seems so obvious to me that it's difficult to comprehend how people do read this at face value. With all the bleakness in the story, it should culminate at a happy point? No.

From the book:
"She (the mother) would talk to him sometimes about God. He tried to talk to God but the best thing was to talk to his father and he did talk to him and he didn't forget. The woman said that was all right. She said that the breath of God was his breath yet though it pass from man to man through all of time."

The woman is affirming that God does exist; and the boy - who has been called "God" and "the word of God" by his father, is seeking this affirmation in his death. His father had taught him how to use the last bullet for relief from the dreary world. But the boy needs to die with the vision that the perfect family and a loving God are possible. This is the end of his life journey: the spiritual end.
That's definitely an interesting perspective. I took the ending literally - until this point - but I like your view on it. The book was fantastic (as was the movie). The scene at the manor with the people locked in the basement had my stomach in knots and rarely do books have that affect on me.

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