Book Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Book Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Road by Cormac McCarthy
Published by Random House LLC on 2007-03-20
Genres: Dystopian, Fiction, Literary
Pages: 245
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

NATIONAL BESTSELLERPULITZER PRIZE WINNER National Book Critic's Circle Award FinalistA New York Times Notable BookOne of the Best Books of the YearThe Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post, The Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York, People, Rocky Mountain News, Time, The Village Voice, The Washington PostThe 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,

The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a post apocalyptic story. Basically, the plot of The Road revolves around a man and his son walking down a road in hopes of survival and finding regular old civilization.

The writing style of Cormac McCarthy is sparse and stark. At first, McCarthy’s random punctuation drove me nuts. I even had to set The Road aside for a few days because I just could not get into it. Eventually, I forced myself to take some time to truly get into this book. I got over my qualms with the punctuation, and wound up reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy very quickly.

To be quite honest, The Road disturbed me. Very dark themes are dealt with in The Road, one scene in particular (involving red scarfs for those who have already read this book) really, really, really bothered me. I get that post-apocalyptic novels aren’t happy books, that doesn’t change the fact that they disturb and scare me. What can I say? I am a social person, I don’t think I could handle being all alone in the world with just my kid, but then again, I’m not a huge fan of young children. For a post-apocalyptic book, The Road was alright, the writing style was definitely unique, but I still by far prefer The Stand by Stephen King, which again also disturbed me, but I felt more empathy for the characters of The Stand. I know, I know, The Road is more literary, it’s supposed to be higher quality, but I can’t help my preferences.

When reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy, I kept thinking about how if the world ends and there is nothing but ashes with no people around, I want to be good and drunk. Therefore I recommend the Kamikaze shot. Dekuyper currently has a product out called Kamikaze Burst which takes all of the guess work out of making these shots.

Other reviews of The Road by Cormac McCarthy:

Fingers & Prose – “the syntax is brilliant and bears repeating.
A Library Of My Own – “the story making me think a lot about life.
Reading With Tequila – “For me, it was just okay.

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I read “The Road” and “The Stand” after reading “The Passage” because I enjoyed “The Passage” so much. “The Stand” I liked, but I think I would have preferred the original 800 pg version to the 1100 page version. It dragged a little at parts.

    “The Road” I just never got into. I finished because I just couldn’t justify not finishing such a short book, but honestly it was so bleak I just didn’t care. Plus the lack/random punctuation drove me crazy.

    Good review!


  1. […] style in which this story is told is very similar to The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I guess it is me, but I much prefer stories of apocalypse told in the Stephen […]

  2. […] what happened to me when I read The Passage. I had seen comparisons of the book to The Stand and to The Road, so I was leaning heavy on The Stand comparison, which I do think hindered the book for […]

  3. […] novel is all about survival when the worst happens.Now, this was not quite as creepy as The Road by Cormac McCarthy, yet I found Life As We Knew It to be just as compelling. I found this book to be scary, […]

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