Book Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Road

For a gripping father-son story, try The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I devoured this book in two days.

Perhaps “devoured” is a poor choice of words.

The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, with a man and his son traveling south for warmer temperatures and hope. Existing food supplies are mostly gone and the people have turned on each other. Survival is day-to-day and you can’t trust the fellow travelers on the road. They are likely to take your stuff and eat you. Large parts of the remaining human population have turned to cannibalism.

For a GeekDad like me the book was a great combination of post-apocalypse survival and parenthood. But the book is tough on the heart. The survival of the father and son is often in jeopardy and there is constant sense of danger. On the other hand, there are the touching scenes of humanity and the little things that bring enjoyment sprinkled in the story.

There is a big screen adaptation of The Road scheduled for a Thanksgiving release. I’m not sure how well the movie can capture the great writing and emotional connection of the book.

I recommend putting The Road on your reading list.


  1. “The Road” was one of the most intense reading experiences I’ve ever had. Just an amazing book. But it may be a father-son thing — women I’ve spoken to have not found it as compelling.

    1. It’s definitely a guy’s book. Mom gives up in a flashback and she was the only female character. It will be interesting to see how the movie twists that role to attract a female audience. I doubt they would have cast Charlize Theron if the part were just a few minutes on the screen.

  2. I’ve read it and it’s really good. Hopefully the film would turn out just as good as the book.

  3. It’s the darkest novel you are likely ever to read…The redeeming note here is in the writing. As in all the best fiction, in McCarthy’s work, language is not a tool; it’s an element. The novel can’t escape a saving irony: that the end of this unsigned world has the maker’s mark on every page.

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