The Road by Cormac Mcarthy book review



Genre: Horror, Dystopian, Adult Fiction, modern classic

“People were always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn’t believe in that. Tomorrow wasn’t getting ready for them. It didn’t even know they were there.”

Finally sitting down to review this modern classic and after finishing it 4 days ago I am still haunted by the atmosphere. I have read a few books that actually left you feeling cold and isolated, this definitely joins that list with its haunting presence and minimalistic style it will leave you thinking and glad that it isn’t a reality.

“You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.”

The premise of the book is very mysterious in the sense that the author doesn’t reveal the name of the place or the characters, we follow two of them a father and boy (nameless) as they navigate through a barren land on the aftermath of a disaster which almost wiped everything. The father decides that they have to go south on the beach for safety and we follow them, their thoughts, relationship and it is so quite but a powerful one.

Before reading this book I had originally seen a review from Max of WellDoneBooks Review Here and I was instantly captivated by everything he commented on, I now understand why McCarthy is on everyone’s top list. His use of language is so weird and minimal almost disjointed but the overall outcome of each paragraph just works. He crafts such moving sentences that I find myself rereading some or would stop my friends and read it out loud to them. eg…

“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”

“He walked out in the grey light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. The crushing black vacuum of the universe. And somewhere two hunted animals trembling like ground-foxes in their cover. Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.”

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Nothing much happens plot-wise because of the anonymity so the reader pretty much focuses on the two characters and trust me you will not put this book down. You constantly want them to find the promise land to overcome the odds but deep down you also know that it is hopeless to even think that this will end up on a happy note. I appreciate that McCarthy didn’t try to explain what happened prior to the current situation because the book would have lacked its originality. The unnerving feeling is almost similar to The Handmaids Tale by Atwood in which the story felt like it could happen. Scary enough the burned bodies and the empty scenery was similar to the aftermath of a nuclear war & I was freaked out, I even got a little emotional towards the end as the book was such a slow burn that as you read on you don’t realise how much it packs a punch till you close the book. I really do want to read all of Cormac McCarthy’s backlog so if you are familiar with any of his other books please tell me down in the comment section. I also can’t wait to see the adaptation of it because a lot of people have praised it for its atmosphere.

Thanks for reading and I always post on Tuesday but I had originally travelled to Uganda but no worries I am back and I can’t wait to post more content.


So until next time stay Bookish 😉








9 thoughts on “The Road by Cormac Mcarthy book review

  1. Interesting comments; I read The Road last year and I felt a mix of disappointment that, as you say, nothing much happens, and a level of intrigue at the way The Road was written. What struck me was the lack of chapters, punctuation or character distinction – The Man and The Boy – it all just shows how “normality” has fallen away in this Dystopian world. Have you watched the film adaptation? If not, I think you should. I wrote a review of it on my own blog, so it’d be great if you could read it: Thanks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judith 😊 Exactly the book structure felt disjointed or non existent I think he wanted us to believe that the even literature was eradicate… I felt really isolated with the book even now just thinking about it… I will definitely check out the movie everyone Recommends it 😄 also read your review

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such an amazing book, so glad that you read it and have now entered Cormac McCarthy’s world. Reading your review brings back many happy memories of reading this excellent book as well as the rest of McCarthys works. All of McCarthy’s classics are beautiful and unique, enjoy each one slowly!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read this book years ago and it has stuck with me ever since. I often tell people that it is the most depressing book I’ve ever read, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. The fact that the disaster that caused the end of the world makes it feel more real like something like that could definitely happen. And being a father it hits me hard. I would say I think about scenes in this book at least once a month.

    Liked by 1 person

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