Book review: The Road

By Desirée García Valdés

THE ROAD – Cormac McCarthy
Publisher: Vintage
287 pages

A father in his 40’s and his son, whose age he doesn’t remember, go walking by the road among a world in chaos, trying to reach the south to avoid those freezing nights sleeping over a blanket of ashes. Are they alone in this trip to death?

The earth is completely devastated: no people, no animals, every sign of life seems to have disappeared. Two of the survivors, a father and his young son, go walking by the road. Nothing on the road sides, the fires have destroyed everything. Days and nights walking by foot in an endless trip to nowhere. Which is the reason to continue with this journey plenty of starvation and freezing weather?

This novel written by Cormac McCarthy was awarded with the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. McCarthy said the inspiration for The Road came during a 2003 visit to El Paso, Texas, with his young son. Imagining what the city might look like in the future, he pictured “fires on the hill” and thought about his son.

I find the story quite moving and very readable. With a lot of vocabulary and some adjectives a bit difficult to understand, but this doesn’t affect the reading. The characters come alive for me in a very well written tale. The only thing I disagree with is the novel’s ending, too weak (really common in this kind of writings with a such powerful plot).

Everyone should read THE ROAD to think about their own perfect ending.


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