Recently I read “The Road” written by Cormac McCarthy and published in 2006 by Alfred A. Knopf. It was a story about a father and son struggling to survive as they attempted to travel towards a warmer climate in a post-apocalyptic world.

The entire premise of the story can be summarized on page two, in the second paragraph. “With the first gray light he rose and left the boy sleeping and walked out to the road and squatted and studied the country to the south. Barren, silent, godless. He thought the month was October but he wasn’t sure. He hadn’t kept a calendar for years. They were moving south. There’d be no surviving winter here.”

Even though you can pick up the tidbits of information that they are sleeping on the side of a road, living in a world where calendars hadn’t been in use for years and that they needed to get south before winter arrived – you have no idea and aren’t anywhere near prepared for the dips and turns that this roller-coaster of a book has in store. Intermittent flashbacks serve to build more of an understanding of the relationship between the father and son while leaving the origins the events that brought the world to this desolate stage shrouded in as much of a mystery as the world itself has become covered in soot and ash.

The boy is so young that he has never know any other world than the horrible world that he is in, so the father tells him stories of how they are the “good guys” who are carrying “the fire” in an effort to make it seem like all of their experiences on the road are worthwhile. They must always stay vigilant of the potential dangers around them. They must always continue to move forward.

The 241 pages of the book flew past me in two days as my eyes nervously moved from word to word and page to page in a bid to somehow keep the almost certain doom of the main characters at bay, the impact of this book has already managed to stick with me for a considerably longer amount of time. The cadence of the writing – which is mostly broken up into small quick moving paragraphs – drew me in and kept me at the edge of my seat and I am really glad that I read it.

While not for the faint of heart, I would highly recommend Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” to anyone wanting a tense story that they will continue to think and possibly worry about long after they have finished.

Thank you to Random House for telling me how to write a “Classic format” book report. Maybe for my next report I will choose the “Collage format” or perhaps the “Interview” – who knows?!

2 replies
  1. bobo
    bobo says:

    Hey, that was a good book report. Can I turn it in to my English teacher tomorrow? I really need an A. BTW, how does the book end; did they meet doom and gloom?

  2. bumpercar
    bumpercar says:

    doom was indeed met – friend bobo . . . but fortunately for everyone involved gloom actually wasn't able to make it (mostly – rumor has it – because of a particularly nasty case of the gout).

    that is all that i can honorably say of the ending – but with that – i do feel at liberty to give you this bit of advice – when writing book reports read the first, the mostest middle(est) and last pages – and – with a smidge of luck – your book report will turn out stupendously.

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