On My
Bookshelf

The Road

by CORMAC MCCARTHY

SYNOPSIS

The 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.

 

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT IT

Stylistically breathtaking. Brimming with beautiful lines of darkness and despair cut through by subtle threads of hope. Passages that stir the senses about life and death and love. These are just some of the things I find so enthralling about this book. But most of all, I’m deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to read a book so simple yet so surprising, something that shows a display of genius can be found and presented in even the barest poetic fashion. The Road is a soul ripped open. It fundamentally changed me and my writing in ways that very few books have.

This is art. This is why it’s so important to consume books. They’re gateways into other minds. They challenge our perspectives, force us to see the world in other ways (sometimes uncomfortable ways—which is a good thing), and make us more compassionate and understanding beings.

Basically just read The Road. It achieves all this and more. At least, it did for me and for others I know who have read it.