What is the book the road about
The Road by Cormac McCarthyA searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece.
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.
The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, “each the other’s world entire,” are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.
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The road to hell
The Road opens after some unknown apocalyptic event has struck. The first few pages of the novel situate us in the landscape: ash, isolation, and a long road to travel. You could say the novel alternates between two settings: the road and excursions away from the road into houses or other possible food mother lodes. Although The Boy and The Man suffer from exposure to cold and from a lack of food, they don't encounter too much danger early on. That changes about a quarter of the way into the book.
Some unnamed catastrophe has scourged the world to a burnt-out cinder, inhabited by the last remnants of mankind and a very few surviving dogs and fungi. The sky is perpetually shrouded by dust and toxic particulates; the seasons are merely varied intensities of cold and dampness. Bands of cannibals roam the roads and inhabit what few dwellings remain intact in the woods. Through this nightmarish residue of America a haggard father and his young son attempt to flee the oncoming Appalachian winter and head towards the southern coast along carefully chosen back roads. Mummified corpses are their only benign companions, sitting in doorways and automobiles, variously impaled or displayed on pikes and tables and in cake bells, or they rise in frozen poses of horror and agony out of congealed asphalt. The boy and his father hope to avoid the marauders, reach a milder climate, and perhaps locate some remnants of civilization still worthy of that name.
The Road describes the journey south taken by a young boy and his father after an unnamed catastrophe has struck the world. The man and the boy , who also remain unnamed throughout the entire novel, travel through the rough terrain of the southeastern United States. The conditions they face are unforgiving: rotted corpses, landscapes devastated by fire, abandoned towns and houses.
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In a Nutshell
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I finished this book a couple of days ago ironically in one sitting on a long road trip , and I've had a chance to let it digest. I don't know if I enjoyed it - this is not a story designed to entertain - but I was certainly fascinated and moved to thought by it. So first of all, this is not a fun book. It's not a cautionary tale, it's not really an allegory for anything, it is a straight up survival story centred around father and son, with the importance of life being the central theme. For me, the important question The Road asks is why does the father choose to go on? Despite the fact that he is dying, that there is barely anyone left, that he and his son are always starving, he cannot bring himself to consider suicide. He cannot bring himself to consider cannibalism.
It is a post-apocalyptic novel detailing the journey of a father and his young son over a period of several months, across a landscape blasted by an unspecified cataclysm that has destroyed most of civilization and, in the intervening years, almost all life on Earth. The book was adapted to a film of the same name in , directed by John Hillcoat. A father and his young son journey across post-apocalyptic America some years after an extinction event. Their names are never revealed in the story. The land is covered with ash and devoid of life. The boy's mother, pregnant with him at the time of the disaster, is revealed to have committed suicide at some point before the story begins. Realizing they cannot survive the winter, the man takes the boy south along empty roads towards the sea, carrying their meager possessions in their knapsacks and a supermarket cart.