The Road

The Road

by Cormac McCarthy
Publisher: Vintage Classics
1st Edition, ©2007, ISBN: 9780307387899
Trade Paperback, 287 pages
List Price: $14.95 Sale Price: $12.71
Used Price: $6.00 (1 in stock) Condition Policy

A few books deserve the praise and awards. The Road is one. Stranded in a future post-apocalypse a father and his young son journey west toward the ocean. They starve, survive attack, and stumble on good fortune. This isn't escapist adventure—McCarthy uses a nihilistic landscape to investigate the incomparable love of a father and son, the eternal quest for beauty, and the community of goodness that survives (sometimes just barely) the fierce but disorganized attacks of evil.

This isn't sci-fi, either. Though the pair (unnamed and mythic) encounter cannibals and a roving army of survivors, McCarthy focuses on the father's attempts to humanize his son in a dehumanizing landscape. Because the setting is so bleak he can examine this dynamic at its primal level, unfettered by other relationships or social structures. The father is torn between teaching the boy compassion and helping him acquire the harshness necessary for survival in the violent emptiness of the world.

The Road is heartbreaking. But McCarthy, rather than end in despair, after taking us to the depths of sorrow brings us on the last page to a place of transcendent beauty that is unexpected and undeniable. This is a celebration, not only of father/son love, but of the fire in mankind that makes us truly human. The hero of the novel isn't the father or his son, but the humanizing force of beauty and truth that keeps humanity from becoming wholly bestial, even when most of the world has.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Exodus Rating:
FLAWS: Strong violence, cannibalism, terror, strong language
Summary: A father and son move through a post-apocalyptic landscape, clinging to the humanity that most other survivors have left behind.

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