The Road

The RoadThe Road by Cormac McCarthy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Easily one of the best books I’ve ever read. In a time of an apocalyptic scorched Earth, a father and his son must journey along “the road” as they make their way to the coast in the hope of finding something. What that something is they don’t know. But in a world stripped of humanity, food, and essentials, they must “carry the fire” and hope there is something better.

The story doesn’t just describe the stark environment of gray and ash, it lives it. Even the text of the book is devoid of the nonessentials. Quotes? Nope. Excessive dialogue tags? Nope. Main character names? Nope. The father and son have nothing – just the bare minimum to stay alive, and the author does a fantastic job of stripping the reader of the essentials we are used to when reading.

Every time I sat down to read this book I could feel the emptiness. I could feel the cold and hopelessness. But what was so amazing to me is how once the story stripped away the essentials and the environment and all the noise we have in our lives, there was just one thing left – the love and hope between a father and a son. The contrast was impressive. On one side the absolute worst in human nature and on the other side we have the absolute best.

Another aspect to The Road that I found interesting is the 2009 movie based on the book, also titled The Road. Before I read the book, I saw this movie about four times. I own it on Blu-Ray and loved the father-son story. I’m typically not a fan of reading books then seeing the movie or vice-versa. However, I took my chances.

Despite seeing the movie many times, the book easily held up on its own. I found myself thinking about which scenes in the movie are accurate to the book and where they veered from it. Surprisingly, it was one of the best adaptations of a book I’ve seen with very few artistic modifications.

Overall, a beautiful book with a powerful father-son message filled with hope and strong calling to carry the fire.

Highly recommend.

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