BOOK REVIEW: The Road – by Cormac McCarthy

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Title: The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Genre: Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic, Dystopia
First published: September 26th 2006
Finished reading: May 9th 2014
Pages: 284
Rating 4,5

“He walked out in the gray light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. The crushing black vacuum of the universe. And somewhere two hunted animals trembling like ground-foxes in their cover. Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.”

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I actually confused this book with a different movie (which I detested and apparently don’t remember the name of), so I’m really glad I decided to pick up The Road anyway. Once I started reading, I quickly realized my mistake and recognized it as a whole different movie I saw only a part of and besides a long time ago. But I remember the images were strong and impressive. And so is this book. Although we never get to know where the story is set nor the names of the main characters, Cormac McCarthy is able to make us sympathize with them. The Road is a story about a father and a boy, making there way down south in a post apocalyptic world… A story about determination, survival and the love of a father for his son.

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We follow the father and son on a difficult journey south, where the cold weather, desperation, lack of food and the destruction seen in the post apocalyptic world make it difficult to go on. There is a sense of hopelessness in it all, but nevertheless the father never gives up, and tries to convince his son to do the same. They find all kind of obstacles on their way, and death is never far away… There is hardly any soul left, and most of them are the bad guys. The father wants them to reach the sea, and sees that location as their salvation. But when they finally arrive, he soon finds out he was wrong. That live in the post apocalyptic world is like a neverending circle full of hopelessness… And the only thing that keeps them alive is the bond they share.

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Although I don’t really enjoy the writing style of McCarthy, I cannot deny this is a strong book with a strong story. What made the story worthwhile is the bond between the father and son, and their way of dealing with the situation. Both were born in different worlds, and have accepted the new one in order to survive. An interesting book to read and I will be watching the movie again as well.

BOOK REVIEW: No Country For Old Men – by Cormac McCarthy

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Title: No Country For Old Men
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Genre: Thriller, Crime, Western
First published: July 19th 2005
Finished reading: April 1st 2014
Pages: 309
Rating 1,5

“You think when you wake up in the mornin yesterday dont count. But yesterday is all that does count. What else is there? Your life is made out of the days it’s made out of. Nothin else. You might think you could run away and change your name and I dont know what all. Start over. And then one mornin you wake up and look at the ceilin and guess who’s layin there?”

myrambles1review

I must be honest and say I wasn’t planning on finishing No Country For Old Men. I actually started reading this one a few months ago, but couldn’t grow into the book and left it. The lack of punctuation, Southern dialect and too many point of views without any explanation who the characters are… It all made me just want to bury the book under a pìle of dust to be never found again. But the fact they made a very succesful movie out of it and a lot of people seem to enjoy the story made me pick it up again. I would be lying if I said I liked it, but I admit the story became a little better later on. Although now finished it, I would never touch this one again.

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The three main characters of this book are Llewelyn Moss, Anton Chigurh and Ed Tom Bell. In the beginning we don’t know who the story is really about, and it’s quite confusing. Would it be Llewelyn Moss, who found a bunch of dead Mexicans in the desert with a briefcase full of cash with them? Or is it Anton Chigurh, who is trying to get the cash back at all costs, revealing himself as a coldblooded serial killer? But no, it is Ed Tom Bell, the sheriff, who we follow in the end. Being a war veteran, he has some issues of his own, but he seems to know what he is doing. There are a lot of deaths showing up in his jurisdiction though lately, and he is trying to find out who is guilty. Both Bell and Chigurh are trying to find Moss, and Moss has even more people hunting him…The money he found was drugs-related and those people aren’t the ones you want to play with. Moss isn’t able to hide forever, but Chigurh seems a mastermind in disappearing. Will Bell ever find him?

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I guess I only finished No Country For Old Men because I literally forced myself to read it until the end. I didn’t enjoy it, and the language he used annoyed me right until the very end. It might be that he impersonated the Southern dialect perfectly, but even as a philologist I just couldn’t enjoy the story. The lack of punctuation and spelling just got on my nerves. Part of the problem was that I felt almost confused about what the story really was about and even who was talking at certain points. So all in all I would only recommend this one to my potential enemies.