Throwback Thursday: The Road by Cormac McCarthy


Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favourite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.

My choice for this week is:

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

the-roadTaken from my review in 2010:

I read this book in a day – I just found it impossible to put down. Although it’s bleak I found it to be written in a gentle, almost dream-like way which I loved.

The story is of a man and his son (whose names we never learn) who are travelling south during the harsh, post-apocalyptic winter. They set off along the road with their cart and all their worldly belongings in it. We never find out the reason that the road and the fields and whole cities are burnt and abandoned; we are left the imagine for ourselves if it is due to war, asteroid etc.

I have read many reviews, since reading this book, that seem obsessed with knowing what happened to bring them to where they were. For me, that reason didn’t feel important – whatever had happened was years ago and clearly they had got past the “why?” etc and were just focused on survival. The book was like a snapshot in time which is why we never really find out anything other than what is going on right then.

The relationship between the man and boy is beautiful and so tender. It’s one of the most touching and important relationships I can remember reading about. The backdrop that McCarthy managed to pain in my mind was bleak and burnt and gray. Imagine having to survive through that? Not just life as you know it gone forever but how on earth would any survivor (and there are some whom the man and boy meet on the way – all struggling too) even begin to set up a new community? There were no animals left, no crops. Where would you even start? Would there even be a point?

Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? I have heard mixed reviews on this book but I still think about it all these years later. That’s the sign of a powerful book.



4 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

  1. This is one that has stayed in my mind ever since I read it too. As you say, he creates some vivid images of this dead world, and asks a lot of questions about the point of survival, and what I like is that he doesn’t really answer them, so that the reader is left to ponder them herself. Great choice for a Throwback Thursday! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t know why I keep putting this one off. I’ve had it for years and even if I didn’t, the star rating on goodreads warrants going out and picking it up; and yet I allow it to drop in my TBR 😦 I’m going to have to rethink my scheduling methods.

    Thank you, Rebecca.

    P.S. Stop trying to find a cure, there’s nothing wrong with you 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha yes, that allusive cure (that I hope I never find too…). I’m the same with so many of my books, I don’t know why I keep putting them off. I found The Road to be quite a short read (mainly because I couldn’t put it down) but an incredibly powerful one. Can’t wait to hear what you think if you read it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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