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Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Rating: 5 out of 5

ISBN (edition I've read): 9780330520997


My first Pulitzer Prize winner read, so have a lot of expectation. Also the online ratings rate this book as one of the best of the time.

Even before I read this book, I saw the movie. The movie was pretty boring, when I try to recollect the story, my mind draws a blank. Probably, the book is supposed to be bad too, isn't it? But the online ratings speak altogether something else. To top that, it has won Pulitzer Prize - one of the three book prizes I respect!

The plot:
A father and his son walk along the roads of the burned America. Their only goal being to reach south.

What do they have? A meager amount of supplies. Fear of being killed and eaten by other humans. Desperate willing to live. Nothing to expect when they reach their goal - South coast. A pistol with three bullets. It changed to two after the man's wife is gone.

They spent weeks, months, in fact, years trekking South. They come across very few people. Actually, they don't want to come across people. Everyone's on lookout for food. Any form of food.

The days are gray. The, normally, invisible wind acquired gray colour, as there is always ash flying about in the wind. The nights are starless, coal-black. Day by, the climate turns cooler and darker.

Will the man, with his son, get to Southern coast of America? Will they find they expected - if, at all, they expected anything? Will they see life again?

What I think:
The book is very boring. At least, at first. The story post the burning of the country. In fact, there isn't a mention that it is America. Not that I noticed of, save for in the description of the book, on the back.

From the entire story, the author's vivid imagination of the country, burned to ashes, is excellently described.

The whole story consists of their journey South. There are very occasional dialogues. Save for that, it is mostly prose.

Done with the book, one couldn't help but wonder that one doesn't even know the name of the lead character. In fact, he doesn't know the name of any character in the whole book.

Every scene was differentiated with the next with a double space between them. There isn't any quotation marks for any kind of verbal exchange between the characters.

When you are reading, there is always a air of suspense. You also wonder what is going to come next? Will they ever reach South? What will they be welcomes with at the South? How did the burning of the country happen, in the first place? Are there other people? If yes, are they good? And many such questions, keep ganwing you, all the while. Well, while some of them are answered, the book leaves behind the others for yourself to solve.

When I was almost to end the story, I was scared. The end defines the story. If the end is not good, the story is tagged not good. If the end turns out fine. The story is labelled fine. The end actually made tears well up in my eyes. A perfect ending, I must say.

One of the very few literary works, I enjoyed. Like praised by some critic, 'it makes McCarthy a contender for the Nobel Prize for Literature.'

The best part of the whole book is the father's love for his son. It is very touchy.

I had an habit of under lining few lines in the book, which I feel makes some good quotes.

Lines I underlined:
*You forget what you want to remember. And you remember what you want to forget...
It isn't much of a one-liner, but with this story, it has a huge meaning, hidden under the imaginations of the reader.

*How does never to be differ from what never was?

And then, I noticed that there weren't any more lines that I underlined. There were only two and they were from the first thirty pages of the book. That was when I realized that, after thirty pages, I was, what people call, hooked onto the book. I was more like involved into the story. I was lost in the story, that I literally forgot to underline things out.

In simple words. The best work of literature, I've read so far...

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