Publication Date: September, 26th 2006
Genre: Science Fiction
Strong Point: How the author builds the world around the two main characters and how well he manages to make the situation disturbing.
Weak Point: Any!
Books on Tour Rating: (4/5)
Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.98/5)
“If only my heart were stone.”
Imagine the situation: two people, father and son, appear to be alone travelling alongside a road. They must hide because the other people they may encounter are dangerous.
The world around them is grey and full of ashes. Something has happened in the Earth and they must try to survive and go south towards the sea, where there would be a milder weather.
Father and son must find as much food as possible on the way as well as some shelter wherever they can, against the cold weather.
Creepy but interesting, right? So this is the general setting for this incredible book.
THE STORY – BUILDING UP THE VIBE
McCarthy does not tell us what has exactly happened in Earth so that father and son have to experience such a dramatic way of living. We suppose some kind of man-made climate disaster has occurred which has turned planet Earth into an inhospitable place.
Danger is everywhere and you really feel for the poor two souls who have to continuously travel, no matter what.
Furthermore, the concepts of Good and Evil are very present in the story.
Father and son are not named. We do not know in which year the story takes place. It could be our present, our future or our past, which adds uncertainty to the atmosphere of the whole story.
We also know that there are no more birds, by the way, which is never a good sign. In addition to this, the author tells us that all clocks and watches stopped at 1:17. So that’s that…
We know from the beginning that the father is not well. He is constantly coughing and feels feverish.
However, the delicacy and dedication of the father towards the son is very moving. Instead of all the sorrows and problems they have, the love and tenderness towards each other is what keeps them moving.
Furthermore, the compassion the boy feels for the people they encounter made me tear up sometimes. However, you know that although compassion is a very human feeling, the child should not feel if he wants to survive, which is quite bitter.
In addition to this, the feelings which better describe the book are sadness and melancholy. You really feel for them both. You suffer with their many obstacles and deep inside you really hope nothing bad happens to them in the end.
FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT “THE ROAD”
It is the first time I read a book by this author. And although this edition is not in its original language but in Spanish, I am happily impressed by McCarthy’s style. His descriptions are full of lyricism and the characters are very well developed.
The story is quite sad but very interesting. When a book puts characters to the extremes of their capabilities, it is always very appalling for me to know how they will behave and act. It makes me ask myself what I would do if I were in their situation. I simply know I wouldn’t make it. I wouldn’t survive what the book describes.
It also makes me wonder what on earth had happened for them to be in this circumstance. What have we done to the world in order for them to suffer so much up to the point that other men are seen as evil and dangerous?
So if you like science fiction, post-Apocalyptic, dystopian novels with a touch of lyricism and impressive descriptions as well as character building, I totally recommend “The Road.
I forgot! If you can, watch the movie starring my beloved Viggo Mortensen.