Book Review: The Road

A lot of people felt fear when they watched 2012, in 2012. December 21 was supposed to be the day when we, as the human race, was supposed to meet our Maker.

Well, the movie didn’t give us much hope either…

But now that we’re in 2013, and grave danger, if only perceived, being averted, the fascination for a new kind of disaster has caught the fancy of many people.

And which is why World War Z turned out to be a bestseller. Yes, we’re talking about zombies – the thing that most people fear even if they’re a figment of our imagination.

Yet with this not possible, assuming that zombies don’t exist in reality, it seems more likely that a natural disaster seems more likely. While I’m reminded of the movie, “The Book of Eli”, that made me drop my jaws at the end, Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” comes to mind as well.

The Road Cormac McCarthyWith Each Page, New Horrors Await..

In ‘The Book of Eli”, Denzel Washington is a tough guy, which can only be expected or else there would be no two hour movie. I’m not saying that the movie isn’t believable but there have been movies in the past where the protagonist is well acquainted with the horrors of such a situation.

In “The Road” however, the two characters in this novel are a father and son who are dangerously exposed with barely any protection other than a gun with two bullets – bullets for themselves.

Right from the get-go, and as you turn each page, you’d get that strange feeling that this predicament that these two find themselves in, is completely convincing, to say the least.

You don’t need me to tell you, as you sink your teeth into the plot, that there’s a growing awareness of unspeakable horrors that awaits these two. Of course, the mother has already committed suicide considering the hopelessness of the situation leaving these two to scrounge around for food while staving off an imminent threat of being eaten by people who are just as desperate for food as they are.

Speaking of food (or the lack of it!), men turn on each other to stay alive. They eat each other but not all at once. And the two find themselves faced with certain death as they run into armed cannibals.

If that disgusts you, it’s understandable. But reality demands that there’s no time for morality when one is driven to survive. There’s no right and wrong. Yet, the father, knowing what awaits them both, still believes that they’re the ‘good guys’.

He also believes that they can make it through the harsh weather, his failing health and find food, against all odds, just so that they can make it through another day.

You almost wish things came back to normal as you share the journey that they’re and the struggles and dangers that they face…

In Closing

Most people who have read the novel are of the opinion that it is very frighteningly real – but clearly, a masterpiece by Cormac McCarthy. The latter, which is true, is the reason why this novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007, and was consequently made into a movie as well.

By virtue of the way it has been received, it’s not hard to assume (correctly!) that the novel is truly worth the read.