My first interaction with ‘The Road’ was with the 2009 film, and as a 14 fourteen-year-old, I thought it was lackluster. Back then I needed the action and adventure popcorn flicks. But as we all know, things change. I listened to the audiobook, and now the hardcover book is on my list to buy and read myself. I even went and rewatched the movie with a newfound appreciation and compared to 14-year-old me, I love it!
I found ‘The road’ by Cormac McCarthy, to be surprisingly the opposite of depressing. Which so many people call it, and even grip on it, in other reviews. But the thing is, I don’t think that’s the case. The atmosphere and settings may be dismal and gray. The two main characters, who are father and son, struggle and endure. So many times, the primary source of tension is whether or not they’ll find food. So many times, they do. Either by scraping by or stumbling upon a fortunate supply of varying degrees.
What I’m getting at, is when life is overwhelming, the odds are stacked against these characters, there is still hope and joy. Mostly kindled and rooted in the son. While the father maintains, either a façade or a glimmer of hope and joy in conjunction with the pessimistic realism that warrants caution in this apocalyptic world. The son’s hope and joy keep the father from falling down the abyss of cynicism and despair. At the same time, the father’s pessimism and realism teach caution to the boy.
The trick here, is to find the blessings, even when it seems there are none. Yes, so many times the story is dark and abysmal and there seems to be no hope. So many times, just by hanging on a little bit longer, they find providence. It seems to me that despair and depression take the front stage, but backstage there is the opposite. It’s easy to take the stage as a whole for face value, but if you don’t see behind the stage you can’t have a complete appreciation for it.
Then we get to the end, no spoilers. But if a story manages stick with me for some time when I’ve finished it. Then I call that a good story. The ending did just that. I have very little complaints about the road, anything would be nitpicky. If anything, I have complaints about those negative reviews that focus only on the dreary, depressing, abysmal themes of the book. When I honestly believe them to be only one side of the coin.
My final rating for ‘The Road’ is a Hard Cover edition for my bookshelf.
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