Saturday, November 29, 2008

No. 39 - The Road

by Cormac McCarthy

Started: November 29
Finished: November 30

Notes: This is one of those books (by one of those authors) that no one had heard of two years ago. Now, suddenly, the book and the author are the hottest thing. I'm giving them a shot.

Mini review: I didn't hate this book, but I felt somewhat underwhelmed. I expected something more, especially for a Pulitzer winner. The writing is pretty good, reminding me of Hemingway though not quite that sparse. The characters are ... hmm, well, they could kind of be anybody, though they're not bad. There's next to no back story. No history. No future. Just the here and now (not that there's anything wrong with that ... it was a nice change of pace in a lot of ways). The plot is practically non-existent, though there is one. I wasn't exactly bored reading this novel, but it didn't excite me either. I kept waiting for something to happen, and it never really does (it sort of does in the very end, but it's pretty much expected). One element that was very nice was the non-glorified realism of a post-apocalyptic world; this isn't an adventure story that turns the end of civilization into just a background for a shoot-em-up. No, this is pretty gritty in most ways (as far as I can tell, I've yet to live in a post-apocalyptic environment). So, I don't know. Didn't hate it. Didn't love it. Not really glad I read it, other than maybe to tell others "Hey, I read that." It's supposed to come out as a movie soon, but without a major rewrite I find it hard to believe this will make a good movie. All that being said, there's either a lot going on in this story that went over my head, or it's a post-apocalyptic version of Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea." I might, after a few years, turn to this one again to see if I pick up anything new from it. Or I might just see the movie. Weird. I'm not really split on this book, I'm just not real clear about my reaction to it. Maybe that's a good thing.


cindy said...

i'll be interested in this review, ty. =)

cindy said...

thanks, ty. i was a bit hesitant to pick it up. i'm not sure if i'd like it? i'm thinking i wouldn't from your review.

NewGuyDave said...

Thanks for the opinion. I had heard the story is touching by somebody else, but on the weekend, the blurb on the back cover did nothing for me.

Thankfully I left it on the shelf at B&N.