Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

My sil handed me this book while we were on vacation in Houston. I opened it, read, read, and read, and finished it that day. Easy read? Yes, and compelling and in some parts, difficult to swallow.

There has been some sort of nuclear disaster. The exact details are never revealed. All the reader knows is that the land and population have been nearly obliterated. A father and son (son's age never given but seems to be somewhere between 5-8 yrs. old) are wandering the countryside, heading toward the coast. The are scavenging for food, tools, clothing, tarps, shelter and on their way they are avoiding human contact. It seems that because food sources have nearly disappeared some men and women have resorted to cannibalism (maybe Ted Turner had some points after all!). It is at these times in the story which are hard to read. But they happen quickly and not to frequently. But the cannibals are about so this father and son must walk at night and hide.

The father is ill. He knows he is near death. His goal is to get as far away and closer to anything safer as quickly as possible, for his son's sake. He has a pistol with only a few bullets left. He must be wise and patient and use the gun very discriminently. He even ponders using it on himself and his son - especially if they meet up with the cannibals. But the father holds out hope. He sees the potential in his son. He sees hope and a future in his eyes. He clings to the possibilities in his little boys life and he must walk on.

They make it to the ocean. They meet up with good and bad people. They survive, almost die but miraculously come upon a well-stocked home. They continue walking. They continue hoping. 

The Road is to hope as the Mist is to hopelessness. We must never give up hope. We must cling to it as tenaciously as we can. 

Update: I forgot to add...for more book reviews published every Saturday, go to

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