1. SuttonMichael254
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    SuttonMichael254 Active Member

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    The Road

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by SuttonMichael254, Aug 21, 2012.

    I have been meaning to get that book, i have been told i need to read it, seeing that the project i am working on right now is closely related. I saw the bootleg version of the film, and i actually started reading the book, it was at my cousions house and i think i got to like the 5th page before we had to go.
    Anyones thoughts on The Road?
     
  2. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    By Cormac McCarthy? Not a happy book. At all.

    It's a good book, written in a unique style that takes a little while to get used to since it is extremely stripped, but don't expect to read it and have a bit chuckle. It's a novel that is dark, makes you feel cold, an emotional journey that really gets inside you and makes you ask yourself some pretty uncomfortable questions. Questions you might not want to even ask.

    I've heard people call it pretentious, or over-hyped. I can't really defend the novel against things like that but I really enjoyed it.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I enjoyed it, but it is bleak - very bleak. It's well-written and thought-provoking, though - I got into a nice rip-roaring debate about it on another forum once that was a lot of fun. Also, unlike many serious works of literature, it's a very easy read. You can get through it quickly.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's a great novel (though I don't think it's McCarthy's best novel), and it's fairly short. You can easily finish it over a weekend. Like the others have said, it's a bleak novel, though I suspect you probably know this since you've seen the movie.

    I would also recommend looking into other novels by McCarthy after you're done with The Road.
     
  5. Mackers
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    Mackers Contributing Member

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    The book is depressing as fuark. I had to read it one chapter at a time. Without spoiling anything I was choked at a certain part of it. I can't think of a book ever doing that to me before
     
  6. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Only watched the film, never read the book and never want to. I do believe it's the only story I've ever engaged with that actually had me wishing the characters would all just die - not because I hated them, but because life is so darn bleak and there's no hope in sight. I just thought to myself, staring at the kid, "Just die. Just die."

    Unique reaction, to be sure, but not sure it's a terrific one.
     
  7. Krishan
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    Krishan Active Member

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    I've read the book and watched the film. I felt that the film actually wasn't depressing or blean *enough*. There was still life in the film. The trees had leaves. Things grew. There was nothing anywhere near as horrific as the picture painted by the book.
     
  8. adampjr
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    adampjr Member

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    It is one my favorite books. I really like Cormac McCarthy's books even though I find his style aggravating at the same time.
     
  9. eclipsenow
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    eclipsenow Member

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    Wow, that's a pretty strong reaction! I just wanted them to find somewhere safe. Somewhere to eat, drink and... maybe one day... to be merry again. But I'm an idealist. A dreamer even.
     
  10. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, this is one dark, dark, book.

    As a father of a boy a few years older than "the boy" I think I could emphasise with "the man". And this helped me appreciate the story.

    I think this is one of the few books where if you've seen the film, you don't need the book. I read the book after having seen the film, but agree with other reviewers that the film is so good, you don't need the book. In my case I wanted to read it, and don't regret it. However, it may be that having seen the film I read the book from that angle.

    I was a bit worried by the reports of the lack of apostrophes in the "can't" and "won't"s. But it didn't bother me like I thought it would.

    And that acting from Guy Pearce in the penultimate scene ...... what can I say?
     
  11. Danvok
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    Danvok Senior Member

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    Very dark and bleak. I enjoyed it nevertheless. Strong prose.
     
  12. SuttonMichael254
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    SuttonMichael254 Active Member

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    Just got done with it today, took me two days to finish.
    I will say that the writing style was a tad bit diffrent than the norm.
    No quotation marks for dialog
    The structure was very jumpy
    The dialog seemed very strange in some points, a whole lot of "Okays"

    He had a good way of describing the phsyial feelings of the characters, i know it was cold as hell throughout the book.

    No chapters at all, which i thought was a tad weird but it worked.

    Overall i liked it, i guess it kinda is related to my project. Im glad i read it. Now im off to read the dark tower series :)
     
  13. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Let me just say even as someone who writes horror The Road film had one of the most disturbing scenes of violence without ever showing it. That house scene with the cannibals gave me the chills just the sounds where creepy the book is brutal and uncompromising as well.
     
  14. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Haha yeh, quite strong - in all honesty you could say the story and film are in fact very good to have generated such a strong reaction. Viggo Mortensen's acting was terrific, especially near the end, you know with the black guy. That look of despair - it didn't look like acting. His very eyes chilled me.

    Well it's mostly because even about half way through the film, I knew their whole journey was pointless, and I was sitting there thinking "You hold on to this glimmer of hope, but for what? There's nothing waiting for you." And of course, that's exactly the case when they get there, and it's like, "Now what do we do?" Nothing. Death is the only escape.

    Personally I dislike the ending greatly - it simply wasn't realistic, after such a painfully realistic film. No one's gonna still have a pet dog - such a big one at that - after the apocalypse. The dog's the last thing you're gonna feed when you have 2 small kids. Never mind all that, you have 2 small kids plus a huge dog and in a world of cannibalism, murder and savagery you're telling me such a family's gonna just "take on" another kid for no reason? It's not realistic - perhaps a single adult, or a couple who've lost their child to starvation, yes, but as it's set up it just doesn't work - and after all the grief the film's put me through all in the name of realism I expected better than that sorta cheesy American dream Hollywood crap (no offence to Americans).

    I get the idea was "family ideals haven't died! that's the hope that we all need!" but that simply wasn't built up at all. A father's devotion to his son is one thing, adoption - having a stranger devote to another stranger in the same way a real father does his son is quite another thing, and that needs to be built up, at least hinted at. If such a shred of hope had been present in the film I certainly would've spotted it - I was looking for absolutely anything to hang onto - but there was none. In that sense, it became the most enraging ending for me - an unsatisfying ending is frustrating enough, but when it comes from a film like this that has just torn your heart and all hope of life apart, it comes as an outrageous joke that there's no satisfaction even in finishing the film.
     
  15. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    I did like the ending. To me the story of the book is that the father is trying to teach his son how to survive in the world, but he's got it wrong. The family with the dog have learned how to survive in the world, by means unknown to us. I don't feel I need to have those means spelt out to me, we don't know everything about their world. But fundamentally, the man had it wrong, the veteran's family has it right. Particularly in the book the veteran's injuries and missing thumb show that it hasn't been an easy journey. The living birds and insects represent hope to me, further south I presume, and perhaps it isn't all pointless. We aren't told in the book or film whether this hope is founded in reality, but there's at least that possibility.
     
  16. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Well the movie was bleak one of bleakest films ive seen but it was touching and I loved the soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis which really set the sad,somber mood for the film. I tried reading the book but it was hard to read for some reason to me.
     
  17. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Oh, man. I agree completely with what everyone's been saying - this book is bleak. Incredibly so. And I loved it for that reason. Adored it. If you love dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction, definitely a must-read.

    This book wasn't Brave New World, where it's socially horrifying but at least there's escape (exile). It wasn't even 1984, where there's at least a semblance of hope before it's all crushed. There was never hope in this book, not even a semblance of it, and even the good things were just some way to stave off death. It's bleak, and depressing, but it will make you ask questions and make you question the importance (or lack thereof) of everything you know.

    I haven't seen the movie yet. I need to remedy that soon.
     
  18. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    This is a very different reading of Nineteen Eighty-Four to my own. Winston and Julia never really had a chance, and the only 'hope' in the novel came from them lying to themselves, believing that there was hope in the proles but, of course, the Party already had that covered. And Brave New World, is that really an escape? Bernard Marx was exiled in the end to Iceland, but that was openly essentially a re-educational facility without Soma, which the Alpha (I forget her name) left in the Savage Reservation proves is addictive. Neither Bernard Marx nor Winston Smith ever had a chance
     

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