After the world has fallen to ashes and decay, a father and his son continue their fight for survival. They both walk in perpetual nightmare briefly broken by more horrible dreams in their sleep. They journey to find an uncertain stop from a world of desolation and haunting death. Throughout the course of their journey they are troubled with hunger and meeting savages that will tear them apart. Their insurmountable difficulty of staying alive remains as a stalwart companion paired with solitude.
The Road has a relatively simple plot; post humous earth, a few remaining soul slugging for food and a child’s point of view of a life post destruction. Although the book spoke of brutality and despair, it is rich with raw grace. It is a powerful masterpiece that defies rules of customary punctuation and paragraph arrangements. The events are inescapably succinct but strong, leaving you with an after taste difficult to water-down. The voice of the book will also stay with you, wreteched but calm.
McCarthy is astute with his description of the father’s resolution to stay away from other humans. You see him vividly in his words and actions, and you consent his choices even without assurance. He embodies the lost guardian and he is a character to be reckoned with when one thinks of good fathers. The son on the other hand, vividly depicts his faith to a broken and irreparable world. He demonstrates this with so little words and actions. His understanding excuses him of his age and his infinitesimal love for his father is profound amidst his gibberish explanation of hope.
For a moment I didn’t know what to say nor write, but I knew what I felt. It tugged at my heartstrings and a pit of emptiness filled an unknown corner of my senses. A troublesome conclusion arrived: sometimes, even with the strongest of faith and resolution, one is bound to fail. That with all the knowledge we have, we know so little. Yet there is hope. We will linger, in the wind, in the ravaged earth, in the small trinkets stirred by our hands and perhaps in the heart of those whose lives we touched.
The possibility presented by The Road is all too terrifying, especially after the realization that all humans are wanderers on a road of their own. Each trying to survive and each is bound to die. For a moment I was silent. I’ve never respected any other author and book, the way I respected this one.
Written By American Novelist and Pulitzer Winner Cormac McCarthy
Published By Alfred A. Knopt