The Road - Cormac McCarthy

Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.

The Road is a novel by Cormac McCarthy first published in 2006. It tells the story of a man and his little boy in a post-apocalyptic America where almost all living things are dead and burnt to death for some reasons. When the winter's coming, the two of them need to find a warmer place in the south. They walk across the country in their thin clothes and empty stomach to survive against all the things that could kill them. The harsh weather. The savage people that take slaves. And their own mind that tells them to just give up and die.

This is a pretty depressing book. Although the entire premise of the book is about being hopeful in the most desperate of situations, it's really hard not to see the darkest illustrations that the book offers. I guess it's intentional because the author wants the audience to feel the same way as the characters do.  To just give up on living and kill themselves immediately. And I can appreciate that. The book is also quite repetitive. I guess that's because of how limiting the setting of the world is. There's only so much you can do in a burned world that's full of ashes and corpses. There are very little conflicts happening in the story. And if it happened, it's resolved very quickly to leave the audience the chance to feel the suspense of what's going to happen next.

I really like the dynamic between the man and his son. It's really intimate and just felt genuine. I also like how the author gives you a very minimal background of the apocalyptic event itsef. It threw me back to a time when I was reading The Long Walk by Stephen King. Everything else, I think, could be written better. But I can certainly see a lot of people liking this book better than I do. It has a certain charm in its bleakness.

The Road
Cormac McCarthy
First Published
September 26, 2006